Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Reader's Journal - The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish Part 3

The Opposite of Everything is a new first book written by David Kalish, chronicling his battle with cancer and divorce, in the third person novel of the story of Daniel Plotnick. The book highlights many of Kalish's emotional struggle with his bout with cancer. It delves deep into past and present emotional trauma and this made Kalish main character Plotnick real to readers.

Our emotional history and our life experiences help shape our personalities. Daniel Plotnick and other characters in the book are well thought out and well developed due to their experiences. Readers 'get to know' them because Kalish sought to bring them from existing as sub-characters that help move a novel along to major players that fill in the blanks and answer questions readers may have about the main character. For instance, in reading the book, one may wonder why Daniel Plotnick harbored intense agitation toward his father Harold Plotnick. Kalish, instead of saying why, showed the reader as he temporarily switched narration of the story, continuing from Harold Plotnick's point of view. In doing so, this allowed the reader to understand Daniel Plotnick's background history, thereby making the characters more 'fleshy' and the story more real.

On their weekend together in the Catskills, Harold Plotnick saw for the first time what he deemed as "murder of his son's normality". Seeing his son in a different light, Harold angry at first, became grievesome when Daniel 'fell over' the George Washington Bridge. This switch of point of views show the story from different angles, perspectives, and the reader experiences each person's emotional struggle with Daniel Plotnick's crisis.

The characters that come to play as the story unfolds, Plotnick's Dad, Steve his best friend, Mona (Steve's Mom), and Sonia - Plotnick's Columbian girlfriend, are all rich and engaging. Their existence make the story more believing. As the characters unfold, Kalish cleverly interweaves their strong points, thereby bringing to the forefront how their existence enriched Plotnick's life. Amidst the tumult of emotions running wild in this book, as everyone comes to grip with the circumstance, his characters were able to work through their own struggles and somehow assist in the healing process of Daniel Plotnick.

Endowing his characters with real emotions, Kalish established in his book solid relationships that are intertwined and dynamically charged as they affect one another, and one can see that especially when Daniel Plotnick found love. Writer David Kalish has a knack for writing raw emotion and creating and interweaving complex relationships. It is also credible that he kept the theme of the book (the opposite of what comes naturally) running consistently as a never-ending thread throughout the story; even to the point of running the risk of the reader questioning the 'sanity' of his main character.

Although the ending was a little cliched for the theme of the book, we actually appreciated the way in which the story came to a close. We also liked that the story had a hopeful open ending, giving it the ability to 'live on' in the reader's mind and to ponder what's next for Daniel Plotnick?

This is our last journal entry on this book. If you haven't already gotten this book, we suggest you do as it won't be a disappointing read!

Link with author David Kalish and learn more about his book The Opposite of Everything  on his website - http://www.davidkalishwriter.com 

Happy Reading!

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