I love Kenneth Weene’s books. Each one makes me laugh and cry (sometimes simultaneously) but each one leaves me thinking in ways about things I never thought I’d think. Confused? That’s okay! Kenneth is a retired psychologist. He can help you figure it out! Below are reviews of two of Kenneth’s books. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.
Through this unique book, we follow the memories of one man’s time in an insane asylum. He has voluntarily put himself in, and could leave at any time. He finds the asylum life predictable and safe – until some of his friends die, others marry and one of the doctors is killed. Finally deciding he’s ready to venture into the real world once more, he leaves the confines of the asylum.
Memoirs from the Asylum is an unusual book that gives the reader an inside look at something we’d rather ignore – the insane. It’s a series of vignettes, intimate looks at each of the residents, and some of the staff, who may be just as crazy as the inmates.
I highly recommend this book. It is powerful, poignant, humorous and heart rending. It leaves the reader feeling as if they’ve just made the same journey as the main character and raises questions about the world of mental health.
5 Golden Acorns
There’s one in every town! We can all think of that iconic, almost dive bar, that’s got the same customers lined up waiting for the doors to open. It’s the kind of place who knows all the regulars by name. They’re close knit, almost like family.
The story is told from the point of view of Cal. He and his best friend, Ephraim, live in a boarding house within walking distance of the Dew Drop. Cal warms a stool while Ephraim picks at his guitar and sings.
Sal owns the Dew Drop. He’s kind of a stingy old man, but is equally generous in some ways. He watches over his regulars like a father.
Jonny is the pool shark. None of the regulars will play him. He either has to go to different bars or wait for the occasional outsider to walk in so he can get some action.
Sam stutters, Chip gets violent if he drinks tequila and The Captain “Saw Combat”. Each character is quirky and interesting in his or her own way. The reader realizes that somewhere in their life, they’ve met each of these people, whether in the bar or on the street. We’ve all seen Angelica the transvestite or Ginny, Trish, Sharon and Carol, the barflies.
Tales from the Dew Drop Inne is a fun collection of vignettes, strung together in novel form. Cal moves through his world in a semi-inebriated state. He works a few low paying jobs, making just enough money to pay his rent, buy his beer and put a little aside. He’s saving for a bus ticket back to Cedar Rapids, well aware that he will probably never make the trip.
I greatly enjoyed Tales from the Dew Drop Inne. It’s lighthearted and entertaining, but leaves the reader thinking about life. Weene has a unique ability to look into the hearts of his characters, finding the best there. I highly recommend this novel.
5 Golden Acorns
© 2013 Dellani Oakes