Author: Hassan El-Tayyab
Publisher: Poetic Matrix Press
Release Date: June 1, 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
How one man’s writer’s block spurred a life changing journey through unknown terrain!
Hassan El-Tayyab has known his share of challenges. Being born with a cleft pallet left him with several painful surgeries throughout his first twenty years of life. Being an Arab-American in Massachusetts also didn’t help his social status at school, particulary after September 11th. Having his family torn apart by his dad’s drinking when he was young and an abusive romantic relationship that recently ended didn’t help either. But now he has been laid off from his special education job in Boston. And to top it all off, he hasn’t been able to write a song in months. So, he decides to take a trip across the country and post an ad for a riding partner. A young woman named Hope Rideout agrees to split the gas and time with him and they embark on a journey to California. All too soon it is over and they part ways. Now Hassan is facing the reality of what to do with his life. He meets up with another young woman who posted to have him drive some stuff back to MIT. On a chance encounter, he winds up at a metal working shipyard in Berkley where he begins to find himself in metal working art on a piece called Fishbug that is going to be displayed at Burning Man in Nevada. They group appreciates Hassan’s help and work so much that they give him a ticket to Burning Man. There he meets many more colorful characters, sorts out the meaning of his life, and finally composes his first song in a long time!
This book was inspiring if not informative. I had never heard of Burning Man, so I had to look it up. Once I did and say the aerial photograph, it all made a lot more sense when he was talking about street layout and how it is a small city. It really is! Back to the book. The emotion that Hassan pours into this book is very evident. From his relationships to his physical pain. But he doesn’t let the story get the reader down. For every challenge, he has a humorous story that balances it out. I really enjoyed all the experiences and characters that he met at Burning Man. His story will be an inspiration to many.
There are some sexual encounters as well as occasional harsh language throughout the book; therefore I recommend this book to mature audiences.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Poetic Book Tours in exchange for an honest and thorough review. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.