Rumi Revisited


Fiction - Literary
121 Pages
Reviewed on 12/12/2021
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Author Biography

An author of contemporary literary novels set in Los Angeles and Oregon inspired of Voltaire, Sherman Alexie, and the social atrocities of John Steinbeck’s novels. A revolutionary in the sixties in Southern California, ostracized by family and friends, he has never given up the fight against hypocrisy. Whether he confronts crimes against humanity or lost chances for redemption, his novels elevate us beyond despair. They give us hope. We are all worthy of love and forgiveness. Even as he battles being bipolar for 50 years.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Rumi Revisited is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama subgenre. It is aimed at the adult reading audience and was penned by Craig Wells. Set at a crossroads of faith and culture in 1960s Los Angeles where anything outside of Caucasian came with major complications, the book tells the story of Cody who is in love with a Chumash girl named Malia. When Malia is kidnapped by a vengeful warrior seeking to hurt Cody’s friend Mr. Ozzard, Cody must take his first steps into manhood through violence and danger in order to rescue Malia and stop her kidnapper’s campaign against his friend.

The America of the 20th century was a melting pot of cultures and ethnic groups, and it is from this rich background that Craig Wells draws inspiration for this deep and personal saga of an outsider learning about the worlds that his neighbors come from. Cody is a wide-eyed and likable protagonist whose intentions make him someone that we as readers can root for. What strikes me most about Rumi Revisited, though, is the world in which the story takes place, one that feels so close to ours that it’s important to stop and remind yourself every so often that this is a work of fiction. The lore of the book is deep and rich, and the monsters that spring from it are highly sinister and constantly credible threats to Cody and those he cares about. Rumi Revisited is an exciting and compelling tale, dripping with gorgeous prose and packed with a dynamic story and compelling characters; a great read for anyone.

Natalie Soine

Rumi Revisited by Craig Wells is set in LA in 1964 and tells the story of Cody, a friend of Malia and her father, the last survivors of the Chumash tribe. A Persian man befriended by Cody, Mr. Ozzard, was once kidnapped by a demonic Chokki warrior bandit named Rami and rescued by his father, who had killed the Chokki brothers. Rami returned and took Malia, mistaken for Mr. Ozzard’s daughter Eishea, as revenge for the murder of his brothers. Cody is in love with Malia and goes on a quest with Mr. Ozzard to rescue her, armed with only a mythical dagger stolen from Rami. A large but friendly bull mastiff helps Malia to escape to the home owned by his master, Oscar, carrying a dagger with her. Rami returns and manages to capture Eishea. Malia, Cody, Oscar, Alex, and Joseph go to rescue Eishea, who they fear has been tortured by Rami.

Rumi Revisited is imaginative and filled with constant action as Cody tries to save first Malia and then Eishea. The variety of interesting characters from different tribal cultures makes for an unusual combination of friends. Author Craig Wells makes use of extraordinary dialogue between the characters to carry the story forward. I enjoyed the different scenes, locations, and events vividly described in the story including the homes belonging to characters and the vehicles which they drive. The family dynamics play an integral part in the story and contribute to the personalities of the main characters. This novel is suitable for adults who enjoy reading something a little different, unusual, and diverse.

Leonard William Smuts

In Rumi Revisited, author Craig Wells places his hero Cody in 1965 Los Angeles. Cody is a quirky teenager who is attracted to Malia, his best friend and potential girlfriend. She has tribal ancestral roots which give her the ability to travel between worlds, as well as superpowers. Cody and Malia frequent a neighborhood shop where Mr. Ozzard, the owner, once related the story of how, as a child, he had been the victim of abduction by bandits in the Middle East. In order to free him, his father hired mercenaries to kill the captors, thereby invoking a tribal curse upon him. This triggers a bizarre series of events when the surviving kidnapper returns years later to seek revenge in the form of the sinister figure of Rami. After an intense struggle involving paranormal manifestations, Rami kidnaps Malia, believing her to be Ozzard’s daughter. Rami also possess superpowers and chaos ensues as Cody enlists help in his search to find Malia. To make matters worse, Mr. Ozzard’s real daughter Eishea is also abducted. In the meantime, Malia escapes and meets the reclusive Oscar, with a little help from his dog Max, who both enter the fray. The stage is set for a showdown with Rami amidst local rioting, visits to Disneyland, nightclubs, supernatural events, and general pandemonium.

Rumi Revisited is a complex and fast-moving tale. Interestingly, Craig Wells weaves the plot around the symbolism of a mysterious dagger, said to be the weapon that was used in ancient times to kill Rumi, the Persian poet and mystic. The diverse characters are drawn from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, in some cases with links to the ancients and their intuitive knowledge of the spirit world. As we learn more about the main role players, we become aware of their often unhealthy family relationships, which extend to both physical and emotional abuse. There are flashbacks to earlier events as the characters search for Malia and Eishea. In some respects, those directly involved also seek to regain their own identities, and these dynamics are skilfully portrayed. Romantic and family issues are also explored to reach closure and correct past wrongs. Some readers may find it difficult to keep track of the unfolding relationships between the new characters that suddenly appear, while the action is at times disjointed. Suspense builds throughout the often violent clash between good and evil. I liked the writing style, which echoes the turbulent plot and will entertain the audience to the last page.