Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Reviews for Chapter 32 (101-200)


101 review is by Priyab468 on 5/11/20 - (Trinidad and Tobago)

Set in the backdrop of the 70’s, The Embryo Man tells the secret love story of Charles and Harmony.

Mr. Pendelton is our adult version of Lemony Snicket, as he warns
us from the beginning about the unfortunate events in this tragic tale.

But even his dire warnings could not stop me from devouring this book.

In terms of the writing, there were a few grammatical issues, but they were
few and far between. What I liked about Charlie, is that though he is young,
there is such maturity to him. Charlie teaches us so much, and I respect him
greatly for this. The theme, though controversial, held strong throughout.

But at the end of it all, to me, what determines a good book, are three simple questions.

Did I enjoy it?

Would I read it again?

Would I recommend it to someone?
Hell yes.

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102 review is by Vanishree on 5/13/20 - (Uttar Pradesh, India)

I was told that this book was unlike any other.

I was naturally a little uncertain because there wasn’t much that could surprise me,
having read so many works from the genre. However, it did surprise me because it
was very unlike what I had previously read. The book was more than just reading
something, it was something you felt and experienced.

The way Harmony is written made me think about the love I have and the pain hit
me with the thought of being without the one I love. The emotions were so raw that
it made me feel, love, smile, cry, laugh and cherish the love I have.

It makes me feel almost stupid for being sceptical about the book. I know it might
sound repetitive but its the truth; the book made me cherish the one I love because
just the thought of experiencing that pain makes me want to do everything in my limits
and beyond to not let that happen. I must say that their story is a story worth knowing.

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103 review is by Priyaarg on 5/14/20 - (Sri Lanka)

Charles Pendelton’s “The Embryo Man” is not your average kind of love story.

It is intricate, unconventional and emotional to the core. It’s a bittersweet story
of a young boy falling in love with a teenage girl. As I started reading the novel’s
“Gratissimum”, I was worried that it would be too controversial for my liking, since
the author warns that it could be. However, as every reader, I was swallowed up
by the roller coaster that is “The Embryo Man”. The entire story flows with a poetic
structure of writing, which is heart-warming, unique and romantic. In this era
of unstable relationships and separations, this story stands proud and tall in
depicting the purest form of love that we could only ever read about.

The story has little treats of poetic lines for whimsical readers such as myself.

It almost provides a Shakespearean touch to it. “Like pages to an archaic novel
no one will ever read for, the wind has blown them away; I rush onward” (pg. 107).

The author does not hide the fact that the protagonist of this story is young; it rather is
the crucial element of the novel. He reveals the fact in almost every chapter of his story.

“I came to the conclusion that women were emotional creatures, and a man had to be able
to think on their level. Of course, that is impossible for any man, let alone a child struggling
to understand the fundamentals of life” (Chapter 4, p.g.112).

However, the boy is exceptional and mature for his age. “Any other kid might not have
noticed, but I wasn’t your average kid” (Chapter 4, p.g.115), and this fact is the theme of
this story. He is a man in a boy’s body. Society’s expectations aside, this is the reason he
feels detached from everything and anything that is suitable for his age. He struggles to
adjust with both aspects of his personality. At one point in the story, he says “I feel like
an embryo man”. This sets him apart, alone.

Ultimately, this is the factor which will tip his world upside down:
“to be a man before you can be a boy will ultimately destroy your soul” (pg. 318).

They say, where love goes first, the madness follows.

Of course, the dreams and certain scenes in the “mushroom experience” is far-fetching,
however, we are dragged right into the middle of it. What’s special about this story is
that, in most clichéd novels, either the older person leaves/ cheats the younger one;
or one grows mature and wants to explore the world, however, all these nonsense
are not included in this story.

This is a story of true love between two pure souls, regardless of age, ethnicity or religion.

After finishing this novel, I felt a sense of loss, so deep that I was staring at space for a
long time. I felt every emotion that Charles did: the happiness; the anger; the fear; and
finally the heart-wrenching anguish, when he says “The most ironic part of it all is that
once I was terrified of death. . .Now I'm terrified of life” (pg. 319).

To have experienced love this deep, only to lose it, and to have nobody else who could
understand the level/ kind of emotion that was shared between two people, is the saddest part.

Very rarely do I share personal messages sent to me, but this
one in particular
holds a very special place in my heart. . .

You've destroyed me :( :( :(. That was soooo unique!!! I couldn't stop crying.

To have experienced love like that, and to have lost it, I can't imagine the pain
that your character (or you?) would be going through. As a novelist, you've done
a great job! Because as a reader, (a romance lover, if I could say so myself),
you've completely turned my past few days upside down. And that, my friend,
is what makes a novel a successful one. I will send you my review in a while.

I need rest, from all that crying. and chocolates, from all that sadness.
Rest assured, you've done a great job! with that book of yours.

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Rated 5-Stars)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))


104 review is by Perbat on 5/17/20 - (Pakistan)

Review of ‘The Embryo Man’ by Chas Pen

‘Take what I've given you, my darling, and give it in time to someone new.
Make her your world. The world I can no longer give you.’ -Harmony

This is the summary of the whole novel, as controversial as it may seem.
These words hit you in the deepest core.

The storyline is intriguing, though it may contradict with the era it’s portrayed
in. The author’s feelings have been taken from the depths of his heart and
portrayed on the canvas of these sheets. The writing style is commendable
and the vividness of the dreams relate to the story. Overwhelming emotions
rendered, grasping the reader’s emotional thought.

The character arcs of Charles reflect immense emotional evolving.

Harmony’s character shifted from cynicism to embracing the new relation to
her ill fate or destiny as many may call it. The author’s pain and expressions
are poignant. I may not have been comfortable with how the story began,
but the choice of words, metaphors may have struck a chord.

I would rate it a 4 star!


105 review is by Sereni_tea on 5/26/20 - (Guwahati, India)

It's tough to review a story without a hint of spoiler but I would try my best.

As the story begins to unwind itself with the words of the writer, as a reader you
might feel a dilemma. But eventually you would get in the shoes of the writer.
The epigraph and gratissimum pave a way for the reader to the storyline without
revealing much but comforting the readers before jumping into one of the "not
so typical" love story one has ever read.

The love story could be termed as a controversial one though, but as you walk with
the writer through the story, you would be able to feel the love and respect with which
the whole story has been narrated. Every feeling that the protagonist of the story might
have felt through the entire storyline has been expressed by the writer beautifully and
aptly with his arrangements of words. Anyone who has felt a love larger than his life
can understand the position of the protagonist in the most judicable situations too.

Some of the dream sequences which have been mentioned in the story are too
descriptive at times but again, it would be worth mentioning that those dreams make
us, as readers, be more aware of the stand of the protagonist towards his beloved.

Regarding the sexual and erotic moments, those have been explained by the
writer in a very tasteful way, not in anyway filthy or disrespectful. I would
probably mark those moments as the "conjunction of lust and love".

It could be felt that the writer has opened up his heart towards his audience being
vulnerable with the risk of being judged. As a reader you would feel for the writer despite
of the fact that his story could be termed as one of the most controversial love story.

One should definitely give this book a read to experience the atypical love story
delivering a perfect feel of love, respect and belongingness which dodged the
accepted ideas of time, age and social norms.

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106 review is by Antimortem on 5/26/20 - (Mumbai, India)

Few books make one set it down, only to grip their thoughts together.

The Embryo Man is brilliantly written with a great literary sense and
a greater knowledge of human complexity. It takes only the first chapter
to drown you in the protagonist’s life and become him, and it takes
effort to break the surface again once the book ends.

While the prospect of a relationship between a nineteen-year old and a
minor is uneasy (and illegal), is also subject to a nuanced sense of human
perception. This book gets one thing right: it displays the varieties of the
subtleties of mind, and provides a life-like depth to the characters.

They are not to be judged for they do not try to appeal to the reader’s
sense of righteousness. The characters are to be observed and
unraveled with all their flaws, and the book is to be experienced.

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107 review is by Solange on 5/26/20 - (Cameroon)

Reading the Epigraph and Gratissimum of this novel I could not help but want to
dive more in to find out what was in store for the young author and the mystery girl
that moved in next door. Yes I know it might seem like “the Girl next Door” is a little
bit cliché, but it was refreshing to see as I dived more into the book that this was far
from being your classic and cliché type of novel where boy meets girl, they fall in love
and end up happily ever after. The novel goes more into a controversial type of ending
with the author mostly recounting what he experiences with his lover in his dreams.

It is clear to see from the author’s words that he is coming from a place of honesty and
little bit of “sadness” where he is still in the darkness of how the story between himself
and his mystery girl “Harmony” ended. Also, the novel goes into a lot of in-depth about
their relationship (more than sexual but spiritual connection) and I like the fact that this
was not meant to be a published novel but just journals the author collected for himself,
makes it all the more authentic and unique. The novel takes you on a journey (emotional
rollercoaster) rather than to a quick and fast destination something I both like and dislike
at the same time. If you have a taste of the “out of the ordinary”, this book is for you.

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108 review is by Nehask99 on 5/28/20 - (Pakistan)

The Embryo Man is not your typical love story. It explores a forbidden land,
land beyond mainstream concepts and ideas. It takes great courage to put
forth an account of ones life which does not conform with our traditionalism
but this is the beauty of literature; it is endless.

Charles Pendleton exposes his vulnerability is intricately woven sentences
that enable the reader to feel like a part of the entire setting.

To be very honest, I was very disturbed in the beginning but as the story proceeded,
there was more and more to look forward to. The turn of events are enough to keep
the reader hooked because there is always something interesting churning up.

To think that someone turned a controversial topic into a piece of art in itself is laudable.

The abundance of emotions carefully curated by the author
enable the reader to relate and to some extent, explore.

An overall good read that will leave your head reeling.

Harmony is lucky because through the author, she still lives
among everyone who dares to venture through this literary piece.

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109 review is by Jawaria on 5/28/20 - (Pakistan)

The Embryo man without any doubt reflects the intelligentsia of the writer who has
outdone himself in innovating a narrative that could easily have been a simple love story.

The epic tale of two lovers separated by the constraints of years could have been a
book read once an tossed away but the embryo man touches on the issue of a boy’s
infatuation turning into an obsession with giving us a new perspective that love at a
young age can be true contrary to commonly held belief. Harmony was aged, way
more old than young Charles who was only six however the narrative breaks the
stereotype that when it comes to true love age is a mere number.

The writer Charles Pendleton is one of the very few writers who gave direction to his
readers allowing them to see what he saw in this story. It almost reminded me of when
Henry Fielding wrote a preface to his famous Joseph Andrews. While reading this novel
many questions arose in my head like where is he going with the story, why are some parts
strangely bold? But every time these questions came to me I was reminded of the author’s
notes that this story was not written to be read by the world. The gratissimum truly describes
the obsession that the writer had for it describes Harmony as a heavenly being.

The story gets disturbing when it comes to the sexual parts because believe it or not unconventional
does not mean writing about something illegal in a sugarcoated manner and then labelling it as a novelty
in literature. To readers it still would remain difficult to digest because they are the same group of society.

It somehow shows psychological problems on part of both Harmony and Charles. Even though
Harmony was old she acted out on her strong feelings for Charles exhibiting that love has no
boundaries but at the same time the fact cannot be denied that what she did scarred Charles.

The childhood trauma has been reflected in Charles’s behavior when he goes through and rewrites his
journals. His obsession appears scary but at the same time very thrilling. What Harmony did shows her
in a negative light for she had to be more responsible if I am to talk from the perspective of the society.

But if I am to see things as a human I only see two humans
so in love with each other that they are willing to risk everything.

Pendleton has fulfilled his promise of an unconventional tour of the 70s and his description of scenes and
characters also reflect that he is at epitome of his observational diction however one might wonder why could
it not be two adults or two children in love? That would have brought in more readership for the conventional is
cherished by the society. I cannot help but think why would a writer with such fantastic approach towards literature
wishes not to write any further than this story. For if he wishes he can pocket the attention of many avid readers.

Lastly I would like to say that this is a very brave writer who has truly bared his soul for the world to see.

Most basic emotions of a human maybe repressed by the superego but it cannot be denied.
Society may frown upon it but deep down we all know that love cannot be contained so a
big thanks to Charles Pendleton for showing us the hard truth.

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Rated 4-Stars)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))