Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Review: The Breaking of the Shell

Well it took me a few extra days to finish up The Breaking of the Shell and it took me even more days just to write the review.  The book is a parable and reminds me so very much of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.  Author Barry Durdant-Hollamby works very hard to stoke a fire of discovery in the reader and succeeds on many levels.  You’re gonna hear his lesson whether you want to or not but what you choose to take from the lesson is on the reader.

The Breaking of the Shell revolves around Alexander Baker’s life and the mysterious message left to him by his ailing father.  From his childhood, Alex is lead a sheltered and privileged life and while he seems to be doing well on the surface, following the models he believes display success, his world in shambles and his relationships failing.  Through messages from his friends and ex-wife, mystical omens and dreams, Alex is given tools and messages in order to lead a healthier and more peaceful life.  By the end of the book, Alex is well on to changing the world.

I really enjoyed reading about Alex’s ups and downs and empathized with him even when he’s at his most deplorable.  Throughout most of the book, he’s portrayed as an “every guy” kinda guy who just wants to have the respect of society.  This need drives him into shallowness.  He is a very warm person at heart who has a clear sense of right and wrong.  His wrong actions cause him deep guilt and shape him into a man who avoids the difficult choices at all costs. 

Once I finished the book, I was slightly disappointed with Durdant-Hollamby’s delivery.  It was so very literal but that’s just my personal take on this genre.  I’m not used to reading self-help books and my only other foray into anything like this was the previously mentioned The Alchemist.   

After viewing his other works, I understand his mission better.  Durdant-Hollamby is a self-help author and motivational speaker so this book isn’t really a traditional story but a self-help and counseling book written in the form of a story.

Overall, I’m rating this book 4/5 stars.  There’s a wonderful lesson here wrapped up in a good story and I don’t doubt that anyone would benefit from reading this book.  Whether or not we can all put the message to practice is another issue.

As mentioned, Barry Durdant-Hollamby is author of several self-help books and his work shows his desire for helping and guiding people to a better self.  Please feel free to check them out here on his website.

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