- ASIN: B08CYB31DC
- Publisher: BookBaby; 1st edition (July 21, 2020)
- Publication date: July 21, 2020
- Language: English
- Print length: 377 pages
- Genre: Essays
The BookViral Review: The essay collection has become a curious genre in recent years but for every writer that proves themself a sophisticated and shrewd observer of reality, another dismays us when ego takes the reigns. But Gibbons’ essays refreshingly escape any sense of vanity as he shares powerful stories that are both questing and vulnerable in their candour.
Assuming a deep intimacy with his range of reference Gibbons views the past through the prism of the present and takes us on a powerful voyage of discovery and remembrance. The themes of ‘Soldiers, Space, and Stories of Life’ have preoccupied him throughout his writing life and whilst diverse they are nonetheless connected by the common threads of heroism, self-sacrifice and mortality, in particular, which loom throughout.
There’s a great deal of what matters to Gibbons upon these pages and as you delve deeper into his essays you will find many have the ring of eulogies, stark in their telling and respectful to those who have died. Reminding us what spurs men and women to acts of heroism and self-sacrifice in times of war and the extraordinary steps they take in their exploration of the unknown. Indeed, it would take a hard heart to read ‘No Better Place To Die’ or ‘Invisible Wounds That Kill’ and not be moved or read Space Exploration And Lessons Of China’s History and wonder if we will indeed learn from our mistakes.
You can seldom sense conflict or ambivalence in Gibbons’ essays, but he doesn’t cushion reality’s jagged edge and in his ‘Stories of Life’ he is particularly adept at opening up conversations about fate, life and loss with diverse essays like ‘The Man Who Saved The World, Farewell To The King Of The Road and Ghost Of Christmases Past. Essays that will have many readers reflecting on the transitory nature of life and the finite years we have to share with the ones we love.
With seventy-eight essays to read ‘Soldiers, Space and Stories of Life’ is a powerful and thought-provoking collection. And if, after reading it you find yourself discussing them with a friend then perhaps Gibbons has achieved his aim of keeping the names of many who might otherwise have been forgotten alive.
Simply superb ‘Soldiers, Space, and Stories of Life’ is an unreservedly recommended five-star read.