I received a reading copy from NetGalley and Troubador Publishing Ltd in exchange for an honest review.
“Throughout recorded history there’d been both religions and individuals who believed that all human experience existed in a cosmic reservoir that could potentially be accessed; the Buddhists with their Akashic Records, Carl Jung and the Collective Unconscious, Rupert Sheldrake’s Morphic Resonance.”
I am fascinated by this concept.
Haven’t we all experienced those flashes of lucidity that arrive-depart with lightning speed and infinite grace? I know I have. Fleeting moments that put the world on pause for a few nanoseconds. Everything is still and perfect and knowable. There is something more, something open and natural. A whole galaxy floats before you with its beauty and magnitude. A sense of sublime perspective. And then it’s gone.
“Everything was delicious and captivating, no ripples of dislocation or question. A head untenanted by thought and memory, filled with only knowing.”
What if we learnt to reach that state and harness its potential? What might become of us, then?
The earth emits electromagnetic energy. This is a scientific fact. Humans are conductors of electricity and our brains emit electromagnetic waves. These too are facts. It does not seem to me so entirely far-fetched that our brains might one day be able to harness that energy. That we will become attuned to the natural electromagnetism of this universe. What precisely would come from such an evolution is up for debate and B.B. Kindred’s characters are exploring just that.
Often the problem with this kind of exploration is maintaining a coherent story while also successfully conveying a wildly abstract theory. This novel isn’t exactly a sci-fi, but that’s probably where you’d find it in a bookshop. (N.B. It’s currently only available as an eBook, so don’t actually go looking!) It reminds me of titles like Nod by Adrian Barnes and Eleanor by Jason Gurley – both of which I read last year and both of which defy easy genre classification. They are playing with huge ideas, possibilities and ways of thinking and being. It is easy for the ideas to take over the story. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s better to know that going in. In regards to The Cairo Impulse, it’s success as a story is mixed. The best moments in the novel are those that venture into cosmic experience and the comedown that follows. Wonderment hit down by normality, the flippancy and self-awareness of it all.
“I woke feeling irritated by the sharpness of my thoughts”
by Alphabetty Spaghetty
"Your brain has a mind of its own."
The Cairo Pulse.
B.B. Kindred's writing is strewn with signature lines such as this. They frequently raise a smile that lightens a deep and complex truth previously unconsidered. Your brain really does have a mind of its own. This simple, almost throwaway statement could easily give rise to hours of musing. Whilst some specialise on one, narrow aspect of the world, Kindred's life has been a dynamic melting pot of study and experience, a journey from material, emotional and intellectual poverty to social scientist, Jungian philosopher and author.
In "The Cairo Pulse", Kindred takes us to the multi-layered intersection of psychology, neuroscience and the metaphysical, where she conceives realms invisible to the naked eye. She does so with wit and a profound understanding of the art of storytelling. Bold, quirky and unconventional, she's perfectly willing to challenge your preconceptions whilst compelling you to read on. With an imagination as luminous as Philip. K. Dick's, Kindred refreshes those parts of the psyche that others are frequently unable to reach.