Pierre Hollins’ The Karma Farmers is a philosophical novel about man’s conscience and fate – about love and friendship and violence and destiny. A fascinating journey exploring manipulation that leaves your mind in turmoil
“All that matters is the piece of yourself you leave in others, and the piece of themselves they leave in you” (p.253, The Karma Farmers)
Two undertakers in an old Cadillac. A writer with a unique book promotion plan. A contract killer and his chauffeur. An old man with an endless feeling of remorse. Added to that, there is this revolutionary concept of man’s consciousness – whether it is able to exist throughout and after death. That is, in a nutshell, what Pierre Hollins’ The Karma Farmers is about. But that is not all…
A man, Brad, is obsessed with the concept of the ability of human conscience to be unhindered by death. He feels superior and inadequate at the same time – this because he cannot scientifically prove his beliefs. He is no scientist and therefore, his book, Death and Physics, is a mere work of fiction instead of a scientific theory. If only he could prove his beliefs and findings beyond any doubt and based on objective research, he feels his work would become so much more. Brad has decided to market his book in quite a different way: by leaving copies in bookshops between the ‘real’ books. Without an ISBN or a price tag they are little treasures to find for inquisitive readers. If they want the book, they can either sneak it out of the shop or, in a more confrontational way, negotiate the purchase of the book with the book handler, who, supposedly, has no idea how Brad’s book would have found its way to his shop.
Little does Brad know that two undertakers, Frank and Norman, have their own agenda and are about to involve him in an ingenious plan. Well, that is how they feel about it. But that is not all: the plan is so much more. There is an old man with a fascinating and secretive past, desperate to make amends, or is he? And a contract killer, Finnigan, on his way to the next job, following instructions that make him feel uncomfortable. A bit strange for a murderer without a conscience, let alone empathy! But there it is: his assignment does not sit well with Finnegan, even if his driver is blissfully ignorant – the events to follow will change their lives forever. Meanwhile, Brad plans his first talk and little does he know that he will be confronted with violence and vengeance, will explain and discuss his theory with someone he should fear for he is danger itself. But it is too late… Frank and Norman have laid out their intricate scheme…
With The Karma Farmers, Pierre Hollins takes the reader on a fascinating, philosophical journey through and beyond the humanly possible and imaginable. The author provides us with insights into human existence and mortality, about manipulation and coincidences – or better yet, karma at work. Brad is a young man who, on the one hand, is full of confidence, one could even say has that typical arrogance of knowing he is right but then again, he feels inferior to scientists, to those who unlike he himself, have the qualifications to conduct scientific research. That is why his book is a novel – not a work of science and that gnaws at him, the inability to substantiate his conclusions with undeniable proof. By the way, Is it right to empathise with a contract killer? To feel animosity towards the undertakers? The main characters of this work of fiction felt like enigmas themselves and somehow, they fit perfectly in this intriguing book.
The philosophical questions, as man’s conscience, are endless and timeless and intertwined with others. If you favour the concept of existentialism, you will perhaps have difficulty with this book. To me, this struck home as all mankind is manipulated into actions and thoughts, even if we firmly believe our decisions are our own and objective, they are always based on subjective reasoning. “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main,” says English poet John Donne (1573–1631) and that is what Pierre Hollins shows us in his cunningly woven and expertly written philosophical novel in which the threshold between death and life is lifted. It is not an easy read but a rewarding one that keeps you thinking about karma and the inevitable, about the (non-)existence of God and man’s behaviour, action and reaction. In doing so, the author leaves us a piece of himself – to ponder about.
About the Author
Pierre Hollins is a stand-up comedian; he has written for TV and radio, and his cartoon strip GURU featured in the Fortean Times for many years. ‘The Karma Farmers’ is his first novel, published by Unbound.
|Publisher||Unbound Digital (14 Aug. 2017)|