You Have Crafted A Quality Piece Of Writing
Denes, I want to give you my overall impression of your work: You have a terrific writing style. You have obviously done a significant amount of planning and preparation in crafting your work.
Your prose is nicely written with details that capture the reader. Right from the start your plot was very engaging. You do a nice job of slowly making your way through the story with details and a certain voice that allows your reader to really interact with the characters (who are all rounded out, and very nicely developed). The greatest value in fiction, it seems to me, lies in what we can learn about our own lives when we take time to analyze someone else's — even if that someone else is just a character in a story.
Characterization is one of the most important elements of any successful story. I always love it when I leave a story feeling like I know the characters. This is true for your prose. So many authors rush through their stories without really developing them. Not you. Your book reads like a movie in my mind. You have crafted a quality piece of writing. Bravo!
By Lisa Conner
Editor, Outskirts Press
The Mountain Democrat
CALIFORNIA'S OLDEST NEWSPAPER -
Volume 161 · Issue 102
‘Wilderness’ is a look at life
By Wendy Schultz
"WILDERNESS" Book review
Author: Denes McIntosh
Publisher: Outskirts Press Inc., 2012, softcover, 381 pages
Cost: $18.95, ebook version $5, Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com
(Where One’s Inner Wilderness Meets the Natural World”) is Denes McIntosh’s first novel.
“The Old Coyote,” as McIntosh, styles himself, is a songwriter, recording artist, poet and cultural blogger, but “Wilderness” is his first foray into the world of adult fiction.
In “Wilderness,” David, a 58 year old product of the ’60s, is writing a novel at “The Last Café.” His observations of the other regulars at the café offer insight into the human condition — people you want to know; people you probably already know.
When David becomes involved in a horrific situation, the moral dilemma it creates between his own altruistic character and the actions he feels he must take, cause him to explore his inner wilderness, searching for a way to make sense of it all.
There is a wide range of characters in “Wilderness,” from poetry writers and femme fatales at the café to the clients at the Center for Creative Living where David works as a counselor, to the characters in his novel who are facing their own moral and religious conflicts.
The line between reality and fiction becomes blurred when David’s actual world and the world he’s creating in his novel begin to co-mingle. He needs to resolve his moral dilemma in order to preserve his own sanity.
McIntosh, who said he is 63, has a long song writing and recording career beginning in the 1970s and continuing to the present.
The Georgetown resident is completing a new album and in the midst of publishing his first book of poetry. He’s also working on a new novel, titled “Everyman.”
(Wendy Schultz has been a columnist for the Mountain Democrat since 2002 and a staff writer since 2005.)
“The first time I read ’Wilderness’ I kept reading because I couldn’t wait to see what happens with the characters. The second time I read it for the sheer pleasure of the writing. Anybody reading it once is definitely going to want to read it again.”
“The gradual regeneration of the human spirit following the brutality of the ‘incident’ renewed my faith in others, and in myself.”
“Poetic, prosaic, insightful, getting to the heart of the human condition.”
“Harlen McCoy had me at ‘raking the invisible leaves’, and kept me with ‘wanting to hire a Judge Judy impersonator from Craigslist to come over and take a bath’.”
“’Kevin wore the same kind of shirt every day of his life, but with different colored sleeves’? We need more Kevins.”
“A story of faith, not prescription, or formula faith, but the kind that enables love to find a willing host.”
“The women in this novel are women I want to get to know. The men are the friends I wish I had.”
“Your description of Pastor Blauer is an Edward Hopper painting in words (‘He’s about 5’6” tall, with a cheap haircut, and usually wearing a powder blue suit. Sometimes he wears a brown polyester suit, kind of shiny from age. Makes him look upholstered, like an old hide-a-bed, or a couch you might keep out in the carport’).”
“I like that David watches Tom and Tracy Morgan through their window in the evening from his rooftop. I like that Tom sits on his couch naked. And I like that he doesn’t care who’s watching. If I were a character in the book I’d be Tom Morgan.”
“Made me look at my own wilderness.”
“Sexy and romantic. I wish Gina would dangle her hush-puppy in my café.”
“Stimulated more discussion with my husband than any book we’ve ever read together.”
More Reader Reviews:
Wilderness Would Make A Great Movie
An excellent bit of storytelling, written with humor, wit, intrigue and suspense. The details of each of the characters make them so authentic and accessible, they seem like people I’ve known. I became delightfully engaged, then shocked as events turned, then compelled to find out how things become resolved.
The breadth of perspective and vivid descriptions of real-life places and adventures provided a great read, while posing deeper ethical questions. I love a book that provides nuggets of wisdom and insight that make me think. This book gave me a rich philosophical and psychological experience.
By Ann Foster
Very Colorful Descriptions Of The Characters.
I usually speed read and try to understand quickly where the writer is going with the story line so I can finish the book and get on with other interests. I found myself reading each line and thinking about the words. This writer uses a lot of imagery, similies, and very colorful descriptions of the characters and their feelings. When the main characters had to make difficult decisions, I found myself wondering what I would have done. Half way through the story, I felt comfortable with the characters and towards the end, I found myself accepting the totally unbelievable blending of real people with imaginary people.
By One old world rose
An Enjoyable Story With Beautiful Vision
"After many starts and stops, I recently finished your book and I wanted to tell you what a pleasure it was to read it. I felt like I could easily picture the setting . . . . and many of the characters, and the story was engaging and felt real. I love your detailed descriptions of natural settings, and conversely of the emotional states within the characters, and I really liked your philosophical and cultural "asides" throughout the book. I found myself nodding in agreement with many portions of the book. So, congratulations! It seems like a truly realized piece of creativity and I hope you are getting everything out of its manifestation that you hoped.
I will recommend the book to my friends. I meant to tell you it reminded me of "Tinkers" by Paul Harding, a book I enjoyed very much and which won a Pulitzer Prize, in its examination of innerspace and the relationship between humans and the natural world."
By Greg Young
And More From Greg:
“This novel is a story of a writer's journey through a crisis, and the story he is writing along the way, but there is so much more to this book. The writing is rich with imagery of the natural world, the world between ourselves and others, and the world within us. These keen insights inform the book with wonderful cultural and psychological perspectives, so I came away with so much more than the story of a writer. The voice is colorful but natural, like being told a story by the town's longest resident, yet never condescending or patriarchal. The settings are all actual places, so it has a very authentic feel. Yes, there are some editing errors (the most visible are unexpected changes from 2nd person voice to 3rd) but that's easy to see past. Overall, it's a very enjoyable story with beautiful vision.”
By Greg Young
Smiling And Laughing From The Start
I was smiling and laughing from the start of this novel. There are so many wonderful insights such as "the mainstream tends to wash most of the un-ordinariness out of a person". Throughout, the story makes sudden turns that are delightful and totally unexpected. The most surprising turn of events would give away the uniqueness of this special story so you'll have to read it yourself. . . . . . . . . Overall, a fun read. I look forward to more novels by Denes McIntosh.
Right Up There With Charles Dickens
There are four things I loved about this book: the quirky and endearing characters, the interesting plot twists, the references to known localities and entities in San Francisco, and the beautifully written philosophical paragraphs from the main character's point of view. And I love surprises in novels - surprises that make sense. You pulled them off! Right up there with Charles Dickens!”
The Plots Were Riveting
Denes,I just finished Wilderness. And I thoroughly enjoyed it, starting with the title. The characters were beautifully designed and delineated with great insight. Each one is an individual with their own feelings, problems, and human foibles, and someone I can relate to or recognize. Your descriptions made me feel like I knew them and want to talk to them, listen more to what they have to say, hear more of their experiences, visit the beautifully described places with them, and have a philosophical discussion with them. You (and they) made me think. The plots were riveting and developed with skill. I definitely want to go to the Last Café.
On Behalf of One Another
Politics and Religion: The great dividers.
Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and fires:
The great uniters.
Such a shame how it takes a horrific natural disaster for people to set aside their differences to begin to work together, and on behalf of one another.
Missing Joe and Janis
I miss Joe Cocker and Janis Joplin.
That’s right. Both of them.
Equally powerful, equally mesmerizing, each in their own inimitable and wonderful way.
If you’ve never seen or heard either of them, you may not know it, but you miss them too. And if you have experienced them you know you miss them. More so than I can even express.
I don’t need to be reminded about the void left in my once well-satiated soul. My psyche is just a little out of sync since they’ve been gone. My equilibrium is just a little bit off-kilter. The pop-star-strippers the star-makers keep running out in front of us are mere wannabe’s, pickpockets, and imposters compared to the likes of Joe and Janis. There’s no soul in the pitch-enhanced vocals of these soulless singers. These pretenders are not here to enhance our lives with their pop drivel and corporate pornography. They never have been. They’re here to enhance themselves. They’re here to manipulate us into purchasing their product lines, and the obscenely priced tickets to their lip-synched shows so they can maintain their mansions, private jets, yachts and wardrobes.
Why would anyone choose to support these musical charlatans? I don’t know. Just a Pavlov's Dog response to the fake world we’ve all become accustomed to living in, I guess.
But Joe and Janis . . . . . passionate, authentic, captivating, fascinating; each in their own peculiar way. Each one as unique as the other. Each with a voice the size of their desire, and a heart the size of their fiery voice.
Janis was the tortured soul-searing singer who could bring you to your knees in a passionate plea for mercy. She could give you gifts you never knew existed. ‘Take it. Take another little piece of my heart now baby. You know you’ve got it, child, if it makes you feel good’.
And Joe, the trembling vocal jester with convulsive soulful gestures resembling both the agony and the ecstasy simultaneously in song. ‘You are so beautiful to me. You’re everything I’ve hoped for, e v e r y t h i n g I n e e d. You are so beautiful to me’.
Joe and Janis. Gone too soon.
Gone but not forgotten.
Never have been.
Never will be.
Not in my house.
Josh, Dylan and Denes McIntosh, Don Bassy. Marin County, CA
Thursday, August 29, Las Esquina, Todos Santos. 6 - 9 pm.
*Every Wednesday evening. Todos Santos Brewing*
(The Living Room Sessions)
(Playing Intimate originals and Iconic covers)
Every Tuesday evening, 6 - 8 pm. Pacifica FM, Todos Santos
(temporarily closed. Re-open sometime in Sept. or Oct.)
Thursday, August 1st, 6 - 9 pm. La Esquina, Todos Santos
Sunday, August 11, 6 - 8 pm. Todos Santos Brewery
Sunday, July 28, 6:00 pm. Todos Santos Brewing
Thursday, July 18, 6 - 7 pm. La Esquina, Todos Santos
Saturday evening, July 6, 6 - 8 pm. Pacifica FM, Todos Santos
Thursday evening, July 4th, 6 - 9 pm. La Esquina, Todos Santos
Saturday evening, June 29, 6 - 8 pm. Pacifica FM, Todos Santos
How it improves people for us
when we begin to love them.
Todos Santos, Baja Sur, Mexico
Opinionated survivor of culture changes and culture clashes.
Observer and interpreter of the Human Condition.
I've been alive a long time,
and have learned a few things along the way.
I'm still writing songs. Some of them are to be embraced,
and some to be ignored, depending on your own perspective.
Some songs for fun. Some angry ones.
Personal songs. Some songs of faith.
Songs about the human condition.
Mine . . . . . . . . and maybe yours.
Works In Progress
"Hand To The Plow"
(Bared Souls and Broken Bones)
Denes' published columns in the Union newspaper, Grass Valley, CA
Playing intimate originals and iconic covers.
Available for House Concerts by arrangement.
(The Old Coyote)
Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Author, Poet