I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
Author Mathias B. Freese takes readers deep into his mind and life through a series of personal essays and third-person stories in his book, “Again. Again and Again: Awakening Into Awareness – Essays and Stories”.
Having once been a psychotherapist who’s never hesitated to turn the therapeutical gun barrel toward himself, Mathias B. Freese ramps up his radical reflexivity in this latest work, from confessional first-person narration to third-person “stories” starring “characters” named Matt. (This genre could be called meta-Matt.) “I write to know perhaps something about who I am,” Freese writes. “I write to arrive at some awareness, however dim, about self or other, for when I have that fleeting moment of awareness, I feel at one — true.” Truly, Again. Again and Again. is a song of himself.
Rocker Billy Idol proves to be an unlikely but apt echoer here: “When there’s nothing to lose and there’s nothing to prove, well, I’m dancing with myself.” As a one-man show, Freese puts the “dance” in “abundance,” stressing an author’s singularity, the innerness of writing, the sharing — rather than the proselytizing — purpose of artistic expression. In other words, as Freese says, “a book is one person’s awareness as he or she sees it.”
More than a few times, Freese had implied that Again. Again and Again. would probably be his swan song, his “final stirrings,” his ultimate testament. How laughable, considering both his prolificacy and “urge and urge and urge” (as Whitman would gush). Sure enough, the author is no longer so sure that he’s expressed enough, and it seems that yet another stirring idea spurs him to create again. Again and…
This was an incredibly profound and thought-provoking read. The author found the perfect balance between his 1st personal perspective essays and the more 3rd person short narratives that each highlighted an important theme or idea that the author presented. One line that immediately stuck out to me was one in which the author speaks of a friend of his who said literature always featured love and death, but in reflecting on that notion the author realized that his friend forgot time itself. This was so profound, as the author delves in one page into the heart of not only literature but life itself, for what is love and death without the time it takes to achieve both?
The thing that stood out to me as a reader immediately was the author’s writing style. Whether he was writing a short story about man’s awareness of the universe around him or a personal essay on the pursuit of greatness and how the journey is far more often beautiful than the completed end as a whole, the author always wrote as if he were having a personal conversation with the reader. This very intimate and thoughtful approach to this style of writing was so well-conceived that I was on the edge of my seat the entire reading, mesmerized by the author’s words and the passion for which he wrote.
Heartfelt, engaging, and thoughtful in its approach, author Mathis B. Freese’s “Again. Again and Again” is a must-read book of short stories and essays on life’s most existential questions. The honesty and enlightening way the author weaves together a collection of writing that is both inspiring and philosophical really highlights the author’s sense of teaching and writing, making this one book readers will not want to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!
About the Author
MATHIAS B. FREESE is a writer, teacher, and psychotherapist who has authored eight books. His I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust won the Beverly Hills Book Award, Reader’s Favorite Book Award, and was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Book Awards, the Paris Book Festival, and the Amsterdam Book Festival. In 2016, Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers, his first memoir, received seven awards. The following year his second memoir appeared, And Then I Am Gone.