Tag Archives: Irving H. Podolsky

Irv’s Odyssey: Seeking the Way Home- Irving H. Podolsky


Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from the author in return for an honest review.

Irv’s Odyssey: Seeking the Way Home is the third of the Irv’s Odyssey trilogy. Read my reviews of the previous books using the Irving H. Podolsky tag.

Synopsis (from amazon)

Food service and Irving Podolsky are NOT friends. Still, Irv rises to the level of waiter in the Fairmont Hotel. What about his budding film career, making the world a better place and finding a nice Jewish chick? Well, instead, Irv meets an exotic older girl from Germany. Could she be the one, Irv’s forever, but not-Jewish-at-all soul mate? Ben suggests she is. Ben is a drawling spirit voice channeled through a Puerto Rican pothead. And Ben knows all about Irv’s recent nocturnal fly-outs: those uncontrollable out-of-body trips that bring him to the Other Side where he encounters creepy crawlers in attack mode and goes back and forth in time and into his own future. These bizarre events are not dreams or fantasies. They are real. For as Irv finds out, magic and miracles do exist. And so does true love, if he can just convince his parents that it’s okay to marry a shiksa.

Review

This book was somewhat different from the first two and initially I wasn’t really sure about that. It started off with a much stronger spiritual element than the previous two (which had a spiritual element, but where it wasn’t the main bulk of the story). At this point I doubted somewhat if I would enjoy this book. Then Irv met Marianne and it suddenly switched over, rather than Irv’s spiritual life being the focus it became his, not personal life, exactly but his life in reality I suppose. When it was mainly spiritual there was still and element of day-to-day life, and when the focus was on his personal life there was still an element of spirituality but there was never really an equal balance.

Marianne didn’t like elements of Irv’s spiritual life and he agreed to give those elements up. When reading I found this a little contradictory to the plot of a spiritual journey. It was almost as if he had been trying to discover himself then just given up on the whole idea. However after thinking about it I think that actually his giving up elements of his spirituality was a part of finding it. His spirituality had been part of what had led him to where he was, and once he got there he needed to think about how to balance his spiritual and personal lives.

One thing about this book was that Marianne’s habit of not finishing her sentences really grated on me, especially when I wasn’t yet used to it. I did like her as a character but I really thought at one point that I might have to give up just because of it.

I do think this is probably my favourite of the series, but it was the hardest to read.

3/5

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Irv’s Odyssey: To the Light and Beyond- Irving H Podolsky


Disclaimer: I was given this book free of charge by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Irv’s still employed at the mental hospital, a place where all the people who don’t “fit in” get jobs behind locked doors. It’s a crazy circus and Irv’s life is far from settling down. A free-loading porn stud and con man moves into our lad’s apartment, and the jerk won’t leave! It gets worse. Irv discovers the place where humanity hides it’s most shameful secret. And it’s not in the Buckhead Steak ‘n Brew where Irv becomes a salad boy/dishwasher. And it’s not at the Cloisters Restaurant where Irv get pushed into bussing tables while tripping on acid. And it’s not in Europe where he meets three people who change his life in ways he only read about in Sc-Fi novels and mystical books. Actually that “shameful secret” is no secret at all, yet only Irv wants to know it. Will our friend ever find his way back to Normal? Not yet.

Review.

Irv’s Odyssey: To the Light and Beyond is the second book in the Irv’s Odyssey trilogy. You can read my review of the first book here.

I did prefer the first Irv’s Odyssey book to this one. I can’t really put my finger on why. I think maybe a little less happened, but I also didn’t like Irv so much in this book. He seemed a little self-centred in this one, especially towards the end. He makes a big thing of having morals, and debates things with himself but doesn’t really seem to listen to his own debates!v He was more decisive in this book however, it’s almost as if he has gone in the opposite direction, rather than debating with little action he is focusing on the action.

The author did explain that the visual hallucinations/disturbances would be more understandable in this book when I had trouble with them in the last book. He was right. They were still a little confusing but they made more sense- and I can see that they were set up to have a significance in the final book.

3/5
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Irv’s Odyssey: Lost in a Looking Glass- Irv H. Podolsky


Disclaimer: I was sent this book free of charge by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis (from amazon)

Irving Podolsky is a nice Jewish boy looking for a nice Jewish girl and a job out of college which would, Irv hopes, make the world a better place. But when our hero’s food supply dwindles down to a slab of Velveeta and a jar of pickles, our lad  takes his only job offer: directing pornographic movies. This leads to a night shift gig in a mental hospital, only to have that be replaced by the lowest rung in food service, which drives Irv so bonkers his mind ejects out of his body to the Other Side. Irv’s Odyssey is a humorous quest for love, truth and the meaning of life while lost in alternate life styles, a psychedelic drug culture and the free-love of the seventies. Lost in a Looking Glass starts the journey.

Review

I’ve been putting off this review a little, mainly because I’m confused as how to categorise it. Irv H. Podolsky isn’t actually a real person, but he is the alter-ego of a person who is involved in the film industry- whose name is a secret. So is it an autobiography? A novel with autobiographic content? Or just the imagining of a creative mind? I wasn’t even sure how to approach it as a reader, but I’m going to review it as a novel.

I liked the tone of this book a lot. Irv’s voice was very believable and conversational. Actually his tone reminded me a lot of Lucy in the Sky, or maybe the setting has biased me?

As far as a drug culture and psychedelic elements were concerned, honestly I didn’t notice them a great deal. Irv did seem to be smoking weed a lot, or sometimes complaining that he couldn’t but it was more in the story than part of it, like a smoker would light a cigarette, it had n real significance.

There was also only one scene I would really call psychedelic, and that didn’t really fit in with the story either. There were also times where Irv talked about seeing lines and feeling spaced out, but they just made me want to tell him he needed migraine treatment- they sounded so similar to my migraine experiences!

It didn’t really matter to me whether there was a psychedelic/drug element to the story however, so finding little of it didn’t disappoint me.

When I decided to read this book I did think I would find the porn section most interesting. Not because I wanted to read something erotic (I wouldn’t imagine behind the scenes in porn is actually that erotic) but because I was interested to see how someone outside his comfort zone would cope with it. I think that was covered well, and the (possible) social and technical sides of porn were interesting to read about. Poor Irv though, it really wasn’t the place for him.

So that’s how he ended up working mental hospital- something he never intended to do. In the end this was actually the bit I found most interesting. It was rather sad in a way to read about these ‘kids’. Especially as a lot of those who cared for them didn’t really seem to want to be there. I think it was my psychological background which made this part of the novel most interesting for me- although it contained little real psychology.

I can certainly identify with this book. I can think of few of my university friends who are now in graduate jobs which they trained for, and most of those who are needed further training. Whilst I love my job it’s certainly not what my aim was when I went to uni- I’m still working up to that masters!

Overall I did enjoy the book, and I would be interested to read at least the next book in the series To the Light and Beyond

One little warning I would give is that this book does contain a lot of sex, it’s not very graphic but those who don’t like sex in books may not enjoy that element.

3.5/5
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