Mark Twain said “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” And Philip Nork tells a good set of stories in Life is a Balance, balancing truth and fiction as skillfully as he balances conceit and conquest and the changing perceptions of a young man searching for something more than “just sex.” Life is a Balance follows on from You're Never Alone and starts when the child self is already a teen and well-versed in inspiring the fairer sex, having decided at an early age to disprove his mother’s belief that no men are worthwhile. But life is empty, for all the women this teen has pleasured, and he longs “To figure out what was missing and make it happen.” A sequence of chance, frequently sexual, encounters follows, all told with quietly self-deprecating humor, low-key honesty, and oddly sweet double-entendre—the ups and downs of life with lessons waiting to be learned. Drugs, alcohol, sex, freedom and more… it’s a heady blend, and the young man’s magic works on guys as well as girls, but the author keeps the telling well in check. Even questions of what’s true or false, male or female, love or lust, become just facts of life, wise lessons, and bright-colored roses to be balanced against the emptiness inside. But there’s a path, and the story has direction as well as voice, making this the sort of book that fulfills more promises than it makes. Balancing gritty realism with gentle mysticism and faith, fitting together the bad and the good and adding hope, plus roses, this book pulls the reader in and won’t let go till the ending’s become a beginning and balance is restored. Enjoy.
Disclosure: The author and I exchanged books and it took me way too long to get around to reading his, but I’m glad I finally did.
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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
Philip Nork was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the oldest of three children. His early years were devastating as he endured the divorce of his parents, the death of his beloved great-grandmother, and the resulting feelings of isolation and loneliness. While these events took their toll, they also shaped the man he grew up to be. Phil had a different perspective than his friends and his experiences were totally unique. As his young male friends were busy playing baseball, defending their turf, and hitting on girls, his time was spent reading, listening to music, writing his feelings down in his journal and trying to understand the differences in people and to figure out how “we can all get along.” After graduating early from high school, he entered the work force as a way to help support his mother and his siblings. To get away from the reality of his life, Phil spent much of his off time with his friend Joyce, a lesbian. She was able to help him experience women at his own pace and taught him many of the lessons he was to put in place. As more and more straight ladies entered his life, these experiences allowed him to learn more about human nature and he was able to turn these special times into the stories in his book. Phil lives in Nevada with his wife and their son. He mixes work with his love of writing. He spent the first 25 years of his working life in the restaurant industry. He took all the knowledge from his early days at McDonalds and parlayed that ...