Book Review: Gethsemane by Raymond Jacobs

October 10, 2014 Blog, Book Reviews 2

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Gethsemane by Raymond JacobsGethsemane by R. Douglas Jacobs
on November 4, 2011
Pages: 168
Source: Author
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Gethsemane is a sweeping poetic narrative that is a modern day version of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Philosophically told in three acts from the point-of-view of Lucifer, the story tells of his fall from grace, how his manipulation of his heavenly brothers, The Watchers, brought about the advent of Hell, and how Mankind adopted his ominous nature in making his purgatory (Earth) secular. In the last act, irony finally confronts Lucifer when he realizes the affection he has for a particular woman, and the notion of seeking redemption by virtue of his love for her becomes the seminal moment of his existence, and that of Mankind.


My Thoughts

Being a reader of mostly contemporary books, horror and romance and everything in between, it’s rare that I run into a book that creates an atmosphere through poetry. At first I thought that maybe poetry would frustrate me, that I would not be fully able to embrace the story, nor it me. When I started reading Gehtsemane I was pleasantly surprised. Instead of pushing me away or keeping me at arm’s length, the story did truly embrace my mind and I was able to delve deeply into the poetry while reading.

Although the story itself is amazing, Raymond Jacobs has also produced an incredible audio book of this story. With a full production he creates even more atmosphere than the mere words themselves can truly create. The story lent itself to this production even more and as I listened I found myself getting into it more than just the reading allowed, even though again I didn’t think that either was possible with a poetic story.

From the first words I was mesmerized and even though I am not a religious person I enjoyed the story and the ebbs and flows of the lines and rhymes. Normally I do not enjoy poetry that rhymes, yet again something that had me worried at the beginning, but it really did help with the cadence.

For when he expired, he did so portraying

A compassion for Man that went without saying

Since the unspeakable manner for which he died

Articulated that what was crucified

Was only his flesh that had been persecuted,

And not that of a spirit, which had been muted

Just a short glimpse of a paragraph and part of a story that we all know but they way Raymond Jacobs writes it gives it even more depth and emotion.

In short: I was extremely surprised with this. I think anyone can enjoy this. It’s not technically a fast read but it does flow easily.

The Author

About R. Douglas Jacobs

R. Douglas Jacobs first exhibited his flair for writing at an early age, but relegated his ability as a writer in concentrating on screenplays when he was in his early 20’s. He had hoped to be an auteur, and wrote, produced, and directed his own film in 1995, entitled Coffeebeans & Poems. But his attempts at independent filmmaking were exhausted through his failure to procure a distributor for his effort. So, in 1998, he shifted his energy to producing a Spanish language television series for ESPN with renowned fitness producer, Ernest Schultz, which was produced and aired in 42 Latin American countries through ESPN’s pan-regional networks in 2001. The network, unfortunately, reneged on supporting the program, Mente y Cuerpo, and without advertising revenue to sustain it, the series ceased to survive beyond 35 episodes. In 2005, R. Douglas Jacobs reverted back to writing as a means of coping with the disappointment of being unable to resuscitate his television series, and began compiling and writing sonnets for a poetic anthology, which he self-published in 2007. The book, The Rhymes of Love and Reason, marked his first foray as an author and served as a primer for an even more ambitious literary project, Gethsemane: An Epic Poem About Us, which he released in 2011. This particular literary endeavor was a landmark attempt in constructing a narrative to a story completely told in poetic verse and ending in unique rhymes. The challenge of writing this book took up two years of his life and, regrettably, led to the dissolution of his engagement to his companion of six and a half years. In 2013, R. Douglas Jacobs released his first children’s book, The Slip-slide Misadventure of Mildew Goo, in paying tribute to the concept of a novel caricature, which was inspired by his ex-fiancée. This book, like the two previously published works, failed to find an audience. R. Douglas Jacobs remain undeterred and decided to adapt Gethsemane as an audio book and produce the project in the vein of esteemed cinematic icon, Orson Welles. Like the book, which preceded it, Gethsemane: The Radio Theatre Experience took more than two years to create and features collaboration with gifted composer, Mark Moya, and a baroque ensemble they founded together, Musicus Gethsemanensis. Recently, R. Douglas Jacobs was finally rewarded with a long, overdue recognition from a reputable source in the literary industry. On June 12, 2014, Nick Owchar, former deputy book editor of the Los Angeles Times, reviewed Gethsemane, the book, and wrote R. Douglas Jacobs citing the book as being ”Emotional, brilliant, wow, disorienting, risky.” In many ways, the man who struggled to find some recognition as an “artist” felt a sense of redemption, which he had always sought. This fall, R. Douglas Jacobs will be working on reconstituting Musicus Gethsemanensis with the intent to record a separate soundtrack of the Gethsemane score, and will resume work on a manuscript to his next book, which will be a narrative told in free verse, and is aptly entitled, deFragmentation.

See him in an interview with Swoops World

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2 Responses to “Book Review: Gethsemane by Raymond Jacobs”

    • Christina

      Oohhhh! I looked that up and I’m amazed! I’m like you I was very surprised. Pleasantly!