Afriation Phobia: A Psycho-phobic Novel
Richard Bird Baker
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views (09/10)
First I have to say I have never read a book in the second person, but I absolutely loved it. How often do you get to be totally in the mind of the character? This was an easy to read, fast-paced book that readers will not want to put down.
We follow our character as he travels the back roads, jumps trains and generally doesn’t want to put up with other people. He finds them bothersome and at times controlling his life. I especially liked the jail scene in which our character is locked up for trespassing at a railroad. Many other inmates try to befriend him but he just doesn’t want to be bothered. The author describes in detail the attitude of the guards and trustees, as well as other inmates. They are like wild animals locked in a zoo. Yet there is one inmate who will not leave him alone and finally out of desperation our character tells him all about his thoughts on individuals he doesn’t want to come in contact with and how society is messed up. Big mistake as now he can’t shake this individual.
It’s interesting that the author could really show how hard it is for some individuals to not be able to discern from reality and dreams. No matter where our man goes, he is either a trespasser or vagrant. How many times have readers looked at the homeless with disgust or small town people feel they don’t want any invaders in their town?
Our main character has devised seven categories of people that helped him make sense of society and interpersonal relationships. As I read his descriptions, I thought to myself this man has a good point! In fact, we discussed these descriptions in my college psychology classes.
As we travel with our main character, we find that the information he provided to that pesky inmate became the inmate’s goal in life. In fact he was more fanatic about this than our main character, but he used his knowledge for his own gain and the downfall of society.
The author provided a great insight into those individuals who have dysfunctional thinking and a hard time dealing with society as a whole. Readers will feel there are right there with our main character.
In the beginning of “Afriation Phobia,” the author discusses reasons why he chose to write his story this way and how it was received by the publishing world. In addition he provides a very concise, yet detailed glossary of the terms he used in his book. In the beginning readers might have difficulty remembering the definitions, but by the time you are on Chapter 3 you have got it and it will really make you look at how we interact in society and who makes the rules.