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On the Fifth Night is the extraordinary story of a man named Mark Hanson who loses his first wife to Huntington’s Disease and then, on a fateful day, many years later, punches his second wife in the face in a moment of madness. That moment of madness is the start of Mark’s transformative journey along a path of mystical presences, unhinged reflections and surreal travels through space and time. Mark’s story blurs the lines between sanity and insanity, and between life and death. It stands as an eternal testament to the glorious mystery and uncharted depths of human consciousness.
A thought provoking balance of sentimentality, darkness and light, On The Fifth Night is about those random moments in life that with the benefit of hindsight might not be so random. An incident of domestic violence might seem like a curious start to a story that presses forward into the territory of inspirational fable, but Michael Howard’s insightful and searching prose make it well worth yielding to his imagination. It’s certainly ambitious, veering from intelligent observation to more elusive levels of thought as Mark Hanson finds himself in extraordinary situations which are rich in quiet truths that explore the nature of love, life, the illusion of time and death. Often challenging and definitely original it’s sure to spark more than a few questions, but readers hoping that Howard will provide the answers will be somewhat disappointed. He plants the questions and steers you in the right direction, but he knows for a story like this to leave a lasting impact the reader has to formulate their own answers and on this level it’s likely to demand a second read.
A thoughtful debut and extraordinary journey of reflection, On The Fifth Night proves a meaningful introduction to the words of Michael Howard and is definitely recommended.
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I am an engineer and a mystic. I studied engineering and made my living in the engineering consulting field. But, like many post-modern people, I was disillusioned with modern ‘successes’ and sought something more than the answers I got from engineering. So I studied theology and found myself drawn more and more into the mystical traditions of many religions.
Sometimes I’m a go-getter and sometimes I’m a demotivated nihilist.
Most of all, I’m a husband and a father of three. And my mission in life is to love.