Fiction. Paper, Perfect Bound. 208pp.
$17.95 plus S&H
2011, ISBN 978-1-936419-067
Janet Planet is a unique work that attempts to showcase the young and rebellious spirit of a Woodstock generation that eventually grew up-and away-from those glorious hippie days. In the novel, Janet Harris-known as Janet Planet-is the reader’s guide into and out of the psychedelic years as she joins Jorge Castelan (a fictionalized Castaneda) and his circle of women and then falls into the new age movement of alternative spirituality. Set in the hippie haven of Woodstock, Janet embarks on her own spiritual journey into the mystery that lies beyond life.
by Eleanor Lerman
So she sits down at her makeshift desk—a long plank of pine balanced on two sawhorses—and turns on her laptop to check her e-mail. A few inquiries have come in overnight, which she’s too impatient to answer now. Then, as she scrolls down the list, she sees an address she recognizes, sort of, though she’s never received anything from the sender before. She didn’t even know there was a sender, and she still isn’t sure of that once she opens the message, which is addressed to “unlisted recipients,” meaning it could be something sent to a thousand people, or just to her. But because of where it’s firstname.lastname@example.org-Janet has a feeling that someone has her, specifically, in mind.
The first thing she sees is a now-familiar image: the squat cactus and its companion, the distant, vee-shaped crow. Below the image is a simple two-line message: Attached please find the first chapter of Flying Through Walls, the new work in progress by Jorge Castelan. As a loyal reader, we thought you’d like to be among the first to read and review the latest teachings of this important, new-age master.
Janet reads the two lines over again, trying to figure out what’s wrong with them, because something definitely is. Jorge Castelan’s books have been published by the same publishing house for over thirty years, and this kind of marketing technique—if that’s what it is—is hardly their style: it”s both too informal and too crude. Besides, this isn’t how Georgie works; he doesn’t allow his books to be read in pieces and he has certainly never invited the public, or even the most select group of friends, including the witches and the Fearless Guide, to “read and review” a work in progress. Listen, yes, as Janet had listened to him read, years ago; comment, no. Still, there is very definitely a file attached to the e-mail, a Word document, waiting to be opened and printed out. Half expecting her computer to be blown up by some alien virus, since she knows that you’re never supposed to open an attachment that you aren’t one hundred percent sure of, she takes the chance, opens the file and sends it to the printer that’s sitting under the saw horses, on the floor.