Zennfinnity Was Here

Fiction - Humor/Comedy
199 Pages
Reviewed on 11/28/2021
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Author Biography

Jeff Pearson was born in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada, in 1963, and attended Carleton and Lakehead Universities where he mostly majored in Maximum Intoxication / Fiasco Production. Then he went vagabond—rambling / exploring / travelling / working—for years, all over Canada and beyond. For the past twenty years, he has been honing his writing skills while manning various fire towers deep in the Canadian wilderness. Mr. Pearson's memoir, Miss Nude Canada's Shoes (And Other Fiascos) - Act I * Greenhorn, was a 2020 Readers' Favorite book-award winner.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite

People's diverse experiences in different situations make life such a beautiful journey. In Zennfinnity Was Here, Jeff Pearson narrates eleven stories that depict our diverse world and the varying struggles and emotions accompanying them, including loss, pain, frustration, joy, fondness, and more. The second story, Owl Feather, portrays the loss of a friend and an eleven-year-old's struggle with Christianity's requirements for making it into heaven. Spoon for a Knife is built around a mentally challenged character, Si-Si, and a sane character who is almost driven mad as he protects Si-Si from herself. The elaborate and engaging tales cover diverse scenarios, from an adventurous cycling trip "across the grand expanse of Canada" to a plan to escape a dystopian world, remembering good times with friends, and more.

Zennfinnity Was Here's excellence lies in its uniqueness. It reads like a diary dedicated to one main theme at a time. This smashing, thought-provoking collection of stories contains some highly introspective characters who capture you with their natural, friendly tones. I was gradually drawn in by its relatable conundrums and profound themes: mental health, society, minimalism, religion, ADD, boredom, and more. In The Meek Shall Inherit Charles Bronson, one of my favorite stories in the book, the protagonist reveals the wish to dwell on the good memories instead of constantly reverting to troubling ones. This struggle to control one's thoughts is one I believe everyone can relate to. Jeff Pearson's book is perfect for mature readers from all walks of life because of its realistic representations, splendid humor, and attention to detail regarding some common life challenges.

Pikasho Deka

Zennfinnity Was Here is a collection of eleven short stories written by Jeff Pearson. The book opens up with "Meals On Wheels", in which a food delivery man has a very unorthodox experience where he finds himself forced to revisit his past. In "Tiger Rhino Camp", a group of Canadian tourists touring Nepal get the shock of their lives as their plan for an exciting adventure turns on its head when they witness something none of them bargained for. "Favorite Organic Farmers" is a heartwarming tale of an old man reminiscing about his cross-country trip seventeen years ago and discovering the two strangers he met back then had turned their lives upside down. "Goo Is In Laos" follows two old friends exchanging letters in reminiscence, one of them writing from a Laos prison.

Covering a wide array of characters and subject matter, author Jeff Pearson pens a captivating collection of stories that leave a lot to ponder about. The characters ooze personality and seem to pop out of the page. Their colorful nature and wildly distinct character traits make for some very intriguing reading material. The narrative explores a wide spectrum of themes and ideas such as isolation, loneliness, depression, and redemption. Each tale has something different to offer, and you can't help but feel a bit enriched and accomplished after finishing the book. Although I enjoyed them all, "Favorite Organic Farmers" was my personal favorite. If you're looking to dive into a well-written collection of short stories, Zennfinnity Was Here is the book for you.

Vincent Dublado

Zennfinnity Was Here by Jeff Pearson is an anthology of eleven short stories that are sure to illuminate your consciousness and its connection to everything around you. His affecting stories unveil the limitless possibilities of human encounters and the responsibility we unconsciously embrace in making choices. The first story, Meals on Wheels, tells the story of a guy who delivers a meal to a widower who happens to be his Grade 8 music teacher. Tiger Rhino Camp will take you to the exotic world of Nepal with sauntering elephants, jungle camps, and an American pretending to be a Canadian. The ten other stories here will similarly give you a piercing understanding of modern awkwardness and humiliation that makes this collection pulse with life.

Zennfinnity Was Here is a funny and self-assured collection that may well earn Jeff Pearson a place among the tier of contemporary humorists. Pearson’s stories have a sense of urgency to them, pushing you to keep reading to find out what will happen next in their limited time frame and situation. He brings a humorous eye to the material conditions of his characters’ situations and backgrounds. You can think of it as an ecosystem of absurd slices of life. Pearson is a master of setups with a keen eye for awkward situations that are increasingly perceptive as you get to know the men and women in his tales. Reading this collection is a roller-coaster ride that is sure to give you an exhilarating experience.

Natalie Soine

Zennfinnity Was Here by Jeff Pearson contains eleven different stories with an interesting variety of characters, themes, and plots. From a lady who has her meals delivered by a curious new delivery person and has a drastic life-changing experience to the significance of a simple owl feather when two friends have to deal with various forms of discrimination and a shocking tragedy. From a perfect example of Karma at a Tiger Rhino Camp to discovering that the results of a mistake may take more than thirteen years to surface. Zennfinnity Was Here will take you on a wild ride through a myriad of experiences, including life, death, love, hate, trials, tribulations, and some weird and wonderful encounters. All of this will leave us wondering about Zennfinnity.

The stories included in Zennfinnity Was Here are all well written. The index is helpful to refer to each story. The illustration on the first page is beautiful and matches the book well. There are many different characters that all contribute to the outcome of each story. Some of them I would like to meet and others certainly not. I absolutely love the concept of this book. There is no obligation to read it all at once. The reader can put it down and return later to a whole new story. The vivid descriptions make it easy to visualize the scenes as Jeff Pearson takes us through each chapter. For anyone who decides to read this incredible collection, may the graces of Zennfinnity bathe you in warm protective light.