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Book Review: Rest Is Illusion


The Rest Is Illusion is a book by Eric Arvin, published in 2006 by booklocker. It is a coming of age story, set on the campus of Verona College, focusing at the five students on a critical point of their lives.


A coming-of-age story with a supernatural bent, “The Rest is Illusion” is set on the campus of Verona College, a small liberal arts school that overlooks an ancient river valley. The story centers on five students at critical points in their lives. Sarah, a young woman at odds with everything her parents stand for; Ash, a mysterious genius; Dashel, a young man with a mysterious illness; Tony, a closeted football star; and Wilder, a manipulative hopeful politician. Their individual stories run in and out of each other in the course of a week. Personal problems are further complicated by an unseen force that surrounds the college, living deep in the woods. As this entity begins to more fully touch the lives of the characters, things begin to unravel. For some this is a needed change, but for others this is a catalyst to a terrifying end.

(Thanks goodreads for the summary.)

My reading experiences:

Honestly, out of all the five characters, Ashly and Sarah are the most should I say normal? That doesn’t feel right. Okay, normal in comparison to Tony and Wilder.

Tony’s story is the first time I have read, in which the struggles of a man in closet are shown. Apparently, his own choice of lovers is actually used against him as a blackmail, imagine that.

Wilder is a shitty person. There’s no way around it. His family appears to be equally shitty, with his mother appearing as a robotic person, while his father… let’s just say there’s not much I can say about him.

Dashel is the most sympathetic character. He is already dying from an illness when the book starts. He is also the first character who is introduced.


I am not sure where I stand regarding this book. On one hand, the story is clearly emotional, on the other hand, it is not my usual type of book, with magic or science, with wars and duels, (Lots and lots of explosions,) and duels.

Also, as I have noted above, this is the first time where I have read gay characters and their struggles, whereas in the books which I usually read or reviewed here, their preference for men is just mentioned, but their struggles are ignored, or there are books which go in an entirely different direction, which are just written porn with described action of two men, which I avoid like a plague. (Or maybe I should say avoid like Corona? But that one doesn’t roll off the tongue the same way.)

Overall, if you like to read the struggles of some college students, go ahead, read this book. But if you expect action, like me, then avoid it, you will be disappointed.

While that is my final opinion, I like to add that this book is not terrible by any means, it’s just not to my liking, that’s all.

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Published by Tanish Shrivastava

I'm a guy who likes programming, chess, and writing.

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