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Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite
True Stories of the Philosophical Theater by S. Yerucham chronicles one man’s quest for meaning in a world seemingly defined by contradiction. Yerucham’s sweeping narrative conveys readers across the globe, from Indiana to India, Israel, Thailand (to name a few), and, ultimately, to post-hippie San Francisco, where he at last reconciles his restless questioning mind and his wanderlust with his longing for home and family. This memoir is deeply personal and yet truly universal, with familiar themes such as fatherhood, homesickness, and the struggle inherent in adhering to one’s religious practices and beliefs while immersed in foreign cultures. These are all woven into the narrative with deft precision for clarity, purpose, and reader engagement.
S. Yerucham is a kind of modern-day Everyman, posing eternal questions and finding possible answers in the most unlikely of places. Add into the mix Yerucham’s masterfully inventive use of language and prodigious vocabulary and the result is a rare and singularly appealing literary memoir. Readers will be astonished at how quickly its pages breeze by, with every new horizon offering pure delights and new mysteries to ponder. Yerucham has a marvelously wry, self-deprecating sense of humor which adds a wonderful tongue-in-cheek quality to the text, making the reader feel part of the epic goings-on as the author transitions from a wide-eyed eighteen-year-old self-professed chameleonic shape-shifter to a homeowner and family man. Along the way, Yerucham quotes many of the world’s greatest books and takes us on an armchair tour of a number of the most appealing and exotic locales. It is hard to imagine a literary memoir with more to offer readers than S. Yerucham’s True Stories of the Philosophical Theater.