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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
In Kookaburra's Last Laugh by Leonard Szymczak, a man named Peter Pinowski, a psychologist, attends a retreat, hoping to experience transformation and make the journey home to himself, but he is instead led on a moving adventure that will bring him face to face with his own inner demons. Lost in the Australian bush, he hears the proverbial cry of the kookaburra which, according to legend, awakens humans from their dreams. Now, he feels it’s time to face his personal demons and straighten out his life. In the balance hang his difficult clients, an alcoholic father, and Celeste, a massage therapist in love with him. Can he do things right this time or could the laughter of the legendary bird be prophetic?
I was hooked from the very beginning of this beautifully told story. The narrative voice which is captured in the first person is clear and powerful, absorbing actually, and there is no way the reader can ignore it. Then there is the humor, the author’s ability to make readers laugh, even at very serious moments. I found myself laughing on almost every page of the book at the situations or expressions that are well-crafted to lighten the reader’s heart as they consider the tough questions and choices the protagonist has to make. The writing is stellar and there is a lot of natural conversation that captures the heart of the reader.
Leonard Szymczak has a subtle way of making readers think about themselves and their mission. There is a psychological depth to this story and a philosophical one, too. For instance, I couldn’t help but wonder at the kind of answer I would give if someone asked me the question: “Who are you?” Aren’t our names, our professions, or cultures the most common things that come to mind? Perhaps we can consider looking at ourselves differently and Kookaburra's Last Laugh helps a lot. This is an inspiring and entertaining story about life and personal transformation, a story with deep lessons for men and women of this age.