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The kamikaze mind

by Richard James Allen

  Print book : Fiction

Quotes from Australian, SMH, Jacket, Bookseller + Publisher etc reviews   (2012-02-12)


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by OzLit


“A poetic take on what wisdom the universe might spit out after a black hole has gobbled an astronaut.”

Bernard Lane, The Australian


“Funny, ribald, insightful, memorable...ridiculous...the charm of studied absurdity.”

Michael McGirr, The Sydney Morning Herald


"A dazzling reflection of a creative mind bristling with ideas."

Su McInerney, U: UTS News


"The book is imaginative and very surprising...As an examination of identity, it is poetic, saucy, and comic, with gems of wisdom that seem to appear 'out of the blue'....These definitions are moving, beautiful and shocking."

Chrissie Parrott, dancewest magazine

"Probably the most quirky current poetry book is Richard James Allen's The Kamikaze Mind (Brandl & Schlesinger), which starts from the premise that an astronaut has entered a black hole and been reduced to radiation particles.  Allen's ingenous text is therefore the 'recovered fragments of his mind...organised alphabetically.'  The result is an accessible and surprising work that has a cumulative effect on the reader."

Andrew Wilkins, Bookseller + Publisher


"An astonishing and rich work, pithy and witty, tender and often wise, sad and raunchy, imaginative and very surprising...I found myself constantly wishing to note down quotable quotes...eloquent and moving."

Thomas W. Shapcott


The Kamikaze Mind is a unique compilation of poetic formations and ruminations permitting the reader to either wade in the shallows of a few pages or dive into the depths of reading systematically from one alphabetical marker to the next. It may amuse, bemuse, shock, confront, disturb, or caress the senses as one slides through each entry. As in free fall, there is exhilaration and anxiety to be experienced in the same moment. Allen has created a bold, choreographic project of juxtaposing a myriad of embodied and linguistic encounters over and, often, against each other. The persistent reader will find great reward in joining in the ‘dance’ between and across its pages.”

Dr Mark Seton, Jacket, February, 2007


"Poet, choreographer and filmmaker Richard James Allen's new book, The Kamikaze Mind, is an alphabet of lateral definitions, home-made and re-vamped aphorisms, mini-poems, and micro-narrative fragments that add up to what the writer calls "a dictionary of a floating mind."  Whether encountered on a sustained reading or casually dipped into, the entries are fleeting glimpses of the mind of an astronaut who has "launched himself into a black hole"where everything is in flux, everything relative, where truths crash into their opposites and, if you're lucky, something transcendent flies out of their fusion."

Keith Gallasch, RealTime


"Through an accumulation of broken meanings and definitions, moments of insight, panic, wisdom and longing, Richard Allen's Kamikaze Mind is a fierce and luminous examination of identity in a floating and disintegrated world. Sharp, fun, yet also intensely open and exposed, Allen constructs an astonishing lexicon which enables the reader to re-think and question the notion of a delimiting self. This innovative and resourceful web of interpretations, reminds us that we are all part of a greater field of interlocking processes, but, hold onto your Chambers, readers! - because this wordbook of the mind can also be as freakish, whimsical and as inconceivable as a gaggle of quarks. Yet it's also an edgy read, complex and sometimes sad - and open both to pleasure and surrender. A truly innovative and original book."

Judith Beveridge


“The Kamikaze Mind is a new form of novel, a deranged form of dictionary, a poem for the open minded, the hyper textual and the restless unconventional thinker.  It is genuinely experimental and yet a highly accessible and witty work … a text truly for the 21st century.”                                        

Gleebooks Gleaner


"Silly Season Gift Idea:  This year why not treat your mate or your fam to an intriguing book that I personally recommend - The Kamikaze Mind.  It's not one of those cover-to-cover reads so it's perfect for the magazine or newspaper buff as well as the bookworm.  It's thought provoking and stopping at the same time - the perfect Christmas gift. It's one of those books you keep coming back to, and when you do, you have a hard time putting it down. Author Richard James Allen tells the broken story of a mind, lost and found."

Rebecca Mar Young, Gum Tree Chinese Medicine Newsletter


“A fascinating Christmas gift which fits snuggly in Xmas stockings, beach bags, and back-to-work bags.  A perfect blend of irony, thoughtfulness and humour to wake up to after the partying stops, to accompany you to the beach, and to carry as a secret weapon to keep a smile on your face and a bit of perspective when it’s time to go back to work.” 

Christina Brown, Life Source Yoga and Health Newsletter



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