Sunday, October 11, 2009

From One Extreme To The Other

As you probably know, Dan Brown’s latest book, The Lost Symbol, recently hit the stands and let’s just say the reviews are mixed. Certainly, he has his fans, but not everyone is. Here’s a small sample from reviewers. From Robert Wiersema of The National Post “a heavy-handed, clumsy thriller.” And of The Da Vinci Code: from Salman Rushdie “...a novel so bad that it gives bad novels a bad name”. And From the BBC’s John Humphreys: “The literary equivalent of painting by numbers, by an artist who can’t even stay within the lines.”

There’s more, but you get the idea. Yet Dan Brown has sold an estimated 80 million copies of The Da Vinci Code in 40 languages and has made more money than most writers will see in a hundred lifetimes. I certainly don’t begrudge Mr. Brown fame or fortune, and since I’ve never read one of his novels I can’t comment on his writing.

But I will say that if you’re already a rich and famous writer, do you really need as many reviews as Mr. Brown has had? How about giving some ink to the unknown writers who are working hard and excelling at their craft?

There’s a Canadian writer named Addena Sumter-Freitag whose poetry collection called back in the days I recently reviewed. No one knows who she is, except a few of us, and she deserves more. So, here’s my review:

The first time I heard Addena Sumter-Freitag read a couple of her poems I was hooked. There was something about the clarity, power, and passion of her words that got to me. So when a collection of her prose and poetry was published I had to buy back in the days and read every word.

This author writes intimately about people and topics many other authors would avoid or merely allude to through metaphor and vague references. Sumter-Freitag tells it straight up, exactly as it was in her world. And quite a world it was. Her collection, back in the days, is a story about growing up a seventh generation, black woman born and raised in Winnipeg.

This is the voice of a writer who knows herself; whose strength lies in her talent and candidness, her family, and her love. Is it any wonder her voice is so strong and memorable? Read back in the days. You won’t be disappointed. If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of Addena’s book go to

And to read Mr. Wiersema’s entire review go to

To read excerpts of Fatal Encryption and Taxed to Death, visit

Fatal Encryption is available through at and Taxed to Death can be found at

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