reviews of life knocks

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Life Knocks was shortlisted for the Dundee Book Prize.  You can download it below for less than the price of a coffee…
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Life Knocks UK Amazon link:
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Life Knocks US Amazon link:
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Thank you. x
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5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant snapshot of life in poetry
By D. Hurst (Behindthebackofbeyond) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
Life Knocks has become one of my favourite books. It is such a wonderful snapshot of life, written in a rhythm that alone is worth reading, let alone the story which is all captivating, mad, sad and degenerate to know. The main character Colossus is brilliant, delightfully messed up in the story and more for the fact that he knows it! His relationships are portrayed amazingly, the writing so fantastic – around his love interest and also his crazy landlord Mohammad. This story and its writing is so refreshing in a field full of drab that stick to the rules of confinement. I loved the metaphors, envious that someone could come up with such wonderful images. Author Craig Stone is an awesomely talented writer and storyteller. For the book the fact that he’s an indie author is an advantage as I can see in the hands of the establishment they’d want to take away some of this book’s uniqueness. Too many published books don’t say anything, don’t convey the truth of human nature. This does in abundance. Buy it, read it, love it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Colossal Colossus Sossloss
(REAL NAME)
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
LIFE KNOCKS knocked and I answered.
Having read Craig’s bio, I was intrigued to say the least and I welcomed him onto my Kindle to tell me a story (? his story ?) on my journey into work, at lunchtime, and on the way home from work.
I’d not read anything like this before, but I was hooked.
It is a strange tale, sad and yet funny, depressing in places and yet uplifting in others, always interesting, thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining.
Well done, Craig. Thanks very much for an enjoyable read and I look forward to more of your work.
Now … where’s the light switch in this toilet cubicle … ?
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5.0 out of 5 stars I forgot to feed my children!
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
There are some books that have me hooked from the first page, others take a while longer and I dip in and out for a bit until one day I realise the ten minute read before I start the dinner has turned into an hour and I’ve forgotten to feed the children. Life Knocks was that sort of book for me.
Craig Stone has a quirky style of writing with a particularly unique eye for an unusual metaphor; “Love is a bath of beans with a pig dressed as a clown and a naked farm girl; pretty much amazing when you get over the shock.” This is a book that is far more than its metaphors though. With any character driven book it’s vital that I engage with the main protagonist and I soon warmed to Colossus Sosloss (really!). There were times I wanted to shake him, to tell him to shut up or to speak up but throughout the book I cared about what happened to him. The other characters too were sympathetically written, even the racist, sexist, homophobic landlord, Mohammed has moments where I felt real warmth towards him.
The book swaps between the past and present (I seem to have read a few books like this recently) and sometimes with a switching narrative I find I’m more interested in one period than the other. Not so with Life Knocks, I was as captivated by Colossus’ past as his present and following his journey to discover how one led to the other was a fascinating, hilarious, tear jerking yet uplifting rollercoaster of a read.
If you like contemporary fiction that doesn’t pull any punches then I think you’ll find Life Knocks a refreshing read. I know I did and am looking forward to reading the sequel, The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness (actually published before Life Knocks) very soon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant original book
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
When you are looking for a fresh, new book to read, you can stop looking right here. Life Knocks is a brilliant original piece of writing that touches all the emotions. So many people will empathise with large parts if the story. It’s tragic and so, so funny at the same time and written from the heart. A truly fantastic 5 star read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life Knocks (Kindle edition)
By Neal JLC (Biggin Hill) – See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
Craig Stone came to my attention through ‘twitter’ & although I sometimes believe we are not living on the same planet he has come up with a real gem of a book which is both disturbing, funny, rambling & coherent, somehow all at the same time. If you are a part of the human race the actions of the principle character Colossus will not fail to touch a nerve as he struggles with some pretty serious life issues. In a strange way the overall experience is however uplifting & I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I have a feeling the author will go places.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly wonkey
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
This book MUST be read. The characters are unlike any I’ve “met” in books before, and yet are totally believable. The main characters name is also a work of pure GENIUS. Reading Craig Stone’s words is like trying to stand up straight in a sloping room. And that is NOT a bad thing. You won’t regret spending under 2 quid for this book. Trust me. I’m Welsh.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing read!
By CPO (UK) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
Really really exciting writing!! I loved this book so much, was so sad for it to end – I still miss the characters now haha – Craig has got an amazing talent for descriptive writing all of his own..the book is unique, unputdownable and laugh out loud funny – my husband was always telling me to shut up!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, uplifting and sad, really great read!
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
After hours of searching for a new book on my Kindle, I gave up and had a quick look on Twitter, which is where I discovered this amazing book!!
I’m not the best reviewer, but this is a fantastic book and one of my favourite recent reads!!!
When Stone is explaining the past, I was desperate to get back to the present, and this continued throughout the book, making it difficult to put down.
The characters all have their quirks, but they are described so well that they felt like old friends. The landlord, Mohammad, is deeply disturbed yet hilarious and possibly my favourite character, and you can’t fail to identify with Colossus on his many levels.
Stone’s writing style is unique and certainly makes me want to read more of his books!
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4.0 out of 5 stars When life knocks, knock back
(REAL NAME)
 This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
Life Knocks follows our narrator, Colossus, through both the past and the present as he wonders how he ended up where he has and what he managed to gain and lose along the way. We discover his frustrations at his current situation and his longing for the past he had all the while trying to hold down some kind of job and avoiding his strange over-bearing landlord who has a rather unnatural obsession with Somalians. This book is written in an open and forthright way which really makes you believe you are listening to the inner ramblings of a man pushed to his limit by life, love and everything in between creating a work that takes the reader on a journey that goes to show how twisted yet fascinating life can be. The only reason this didn’t get the full five stars is because Colossus himself is so damn frustrating at times I couldn’t bring myself to give five stars to the man (yes I realize he is not real but its the principle of the thing). The ending of the book pulls together past and present beautifully and leaves the reader wanting to know more and determined to find out what Colossus does next and whether his stupidity once again gets the better of him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great story
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
This is a well told story that, at the same time, conjured scenes of complexity and sent my mind into realms of complex reflection.Craig tackles two plotlines, a before and after setup, that works beautifully. I will admit, that despite the hypnotic attraction of the characters in the ‘after’ storyline, I felt strongly drawn to the ‘before’ plot. It was moving and there promised to be a major paradox at the heart of it. The drawing together of the two storylines, the parallels between the two situations, is just incredible. I felt as if Craig was reading my deepest thoughts, which speaks volumes for the veracity of the story and character.
For me, this is epitome of self published ebooks are about. A singular and amazing read. Read and grow…
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5.0 out of 5 stars couldn’t put it down
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
I don’t have a great way with words, unlike the author, but I shall have a go at summing up how this book made me feel.
It was compulsive reading. I’ve completed in one weekend.
I’ve giggled out loud at the all too familiar awkward situations that the main character haplessly stumbles in to and also felt his pain at the breakdown of his relationship and being alone.
I can’t wait to find out what happens next…
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5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud funny and heartbreaking, a must read!!
By S. Laverie “sjl80” (London, England) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
I cannot overstate how good this book is!
It takes you on a journey through life, the ups and downs, happiness and sadness all told with Craigs quirky humour. I might be biased as I know Craig and used to hang around with him when we were teenagers then fell out of touch with him, but it really is an amazing book. I felt a bit like a stalker reading about someone I was close to but it was also good to catch up on how he is doing and where life has taken him. This is a riveting read for a small price and will enrich your life and give you moments when you see bits of yourself in his story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
A sideways look a life, irreverent but touching. Guaranteed to make you think, but don’t think for a minute it has any answers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT CRAFTMANSHIP
By M. Jean Pailler (Uzès, France) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
A very gripping and well-crafted book. Clayfoot Colossus is a very endearing character. His loves and travels are impeccably told, with sound psychology. His “life with Mohammad” is hilarious. Very realistic descriptions, and that very English sense of humor that one misses in so many books.
Really an enjoyable reading.
One is dazzled by the exuberant wealth of metaphors, and assorted wordplay. Too many gems for any to be singled out. There cannot be too much of a good thing, of course, yet… an older hand might have wanted to curb that buoyancy a little…
The construction of the book is non-linear, which is a very good thing in any long fiction. The end chapter clicks perfectly into place. I have loved reading it, and want to read it again.
Buy that book! is my conclusion…
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read everything by Craig Stone you can find–I mean it!
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
With a non-linear progression that shifts seamlessly from present to past and back again, Craig Stone draws you in so adeptly that you don’t even realize you can’t let go. Despite its length, I devoured this delicious work of prose in 2 days because I quite simply could not fight the ever growing desire to discover what would happen next in this completely unpredictable yet wholly acceptable tale. The sensory details, figurative language, and brutal honesty combine to deliver impeccable suspense, humor, and tragedy directly into your brain, which is sorely missing such things. That’s why you’re reading this review-to see if this book is what the doctor ordered. It is. Buy it and read it already so your brain can be happy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars . . . at the time, reason was in the back seat and adventure was driving.,
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
While reading Life Knocks, I had a sense of unease at witnessing the main character’s life slowly crumble. My discomfort was intensified when I learned that most of the story was based on the author’s life.
I grew up believing that our shortcomings should be kept to ourselves, but Craig Stone lays himself bare for all to see.
To compensate for putting the reader through his painful experiences, Stone soothes with his special brand of imaginative prose. He is thought-provoking, hilarious, insightful, and brilliant.
‘Perhaps if we choose to not actively participate in life, eventually life knocks.’

I highly recommend this book. Just don’t hold out for the happy ending. It’s not coming.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Direct, honest & original
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
I recently read and loved Craig Stones’ The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness, so was interested to read Life Knocks, which is essentially the prequel to Squirrel (although he wrote Life Knocks second).
Stone is a writer who completely ignores the “rules” of writing, usually to great effect. He has a distinctive writing style that shouldn’t work, and yet it does. The main character and narrator, Colossus Sosloss, is a no hoper who can’t get out of his own way. Theoretically, it’s no fun to read about a man who continues to self sabotage in the most ridiculous ways, who spirals into drunkeness and drug abuse, and never really seems to find his way. But Colossus is such a sympathetic character, I felt myself wanting to read on in his story while simultaneously wanting to slap him for being such an idiot.
Stone is a talented writer who draws you into the messed up world of his anti-hero, and keeps you there, even when you’re sure you should leave. Despite Colossus making the same stupid mistakes, I wanted to cheer him on to see if he could make some sense of the life he’d so well and truly screwed up. I think this is because Stone has true empathy for his characters, and his writing is direct and honest in a way that’s rarely seen. It’s not easy to pull off writing like this, but Stone does a great job. It sounds like a cliche, but his writing has heart: Stone is not afraid to play with lanaguage, twist words and phrases into forms that would confuse a yogi, and to put himself on the page warts and all.
There’s no pretence, artifice, or cleverness for its own sake. Life Knocks just is, and it’s pretty damn good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely awesome
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
Craig Stone writes with tenderness and an unabashed honesty. A gentle sleep followed by a rude awakening, Life Knocks is a wonderful story full of lonely hearts, joy and promises. A real story about real things; hedonistic adventure and the crushing mundane. Completely engaging and almost impossible to tear your attention from, it’s likely you will fall in love with the characters and be left thirsty for more. You may laugh out loud, you may sob in a public place but you won’t care, in fact, you’ll barely notice as you’ll be too busy devouring the next chapter.
Read this book simply because it’s brilliant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Craig Stone is a genius
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
If you are considering reading this book, you should. I can’t remember the last time I felt Iike I climbed into the mind of a character to this extent. And it’s not because I can relate. Colossus behaves and thinks what should be impossibly different from me in a way that should alienate me. But instead, I find myself not just reading about, but living the roller coaster ride of small moments along with him. I was completely engrossed by every word, and somehow in the end wondering if maybe I am more like Colossus than I thought.
Plus, it’s funny.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolutely Amazing Read, most definitely worth your time!
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
I absolutely loved this book. The writing style was such that I was unable to put it down. I was absolutely distraught when my Kindle broke halfway through and I had to wait for my new Kindle to arrive so I could continue reading. This book has laugh-out-loud moments which can lead to slightly embarrassing moments in public, but trust me, they’re worth it.
This book is both hilarious and touching. Stone’s writing style is almost poetic at places and he has a talent for coming up with the most amazing metaphors and descriptions. Look at the quote below:
‘He has a boxer’s nose that rests violently across his cheek and his old bald head is littered with dents and divots as if his favourite past time is rubbing his own face with a cheese grater then trying to iron out the grazes with a hot iron.’
It starts of quite normally, but then just turns into what would seem absurd wasn’t it for the fact you can completely imagine how it looks. I loved reading these kind of descriptions because this is how I think. The awkwardness of some of the moments was very recognizable whereas other moments were simply aspirational.
The book has almost too much to offer. It is funny, emotional, slightly heart-breaking and enraging. It is like life. At the beginning the narrative structure, the switching back and forth between past and present, was a bit confusing, but halfway through I really started to appreciate it. In life, we always look back on our past experiences in the hope to find some kind of sense or reason for why we are where we are now. Perhaps a warning here is in place. If you object to recreational drug use, drinking or general life enjoyment, this might not be your book. In which case you should really question your own sense of reality. Missing out on a book like this would be an utter shame.
I haven’t read ‘The Squirrel That Dreamt of Madness’, Craig Stone’s first book, but am seriously considering buying it. I don’t think I have ever read anything quite like Stone’s writing. It is funny, witty and deeply insightful. Stone describes life itself beautifully and despite the depressing moments in the book, life is definitely winning. In a literary scene where a lot of books are written by formula and where authors use stereotypical expressions, it is amazing to find something this refreshing and authentic.
If you are looking for an intelligent, hilarious read this is your book. Colossus’ story could be yours and Stone’s writing style allows the reader to be very close to his life and create a truly enjoyable reading experience. I recommend this to…well, everyone really. I can’t imagine who wouldn’t want to read this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky
By kehs (Hertfordshire, England) – See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)
This review is from: Life Knocks (Paperback)
Having read Craig Stone’s Squirrel That Dreamt of Madness and thoroughly enjoying it I had to purchase this book too (Lulu.com for the paperback). I’m pleased to report that Stone once again provided an intelligently written tale about the knocks that life throws at us. I have to say that this is a hefty chunk of a book but despite its size not a word is wasted. Stone writes in a rambling stream of thoughts that all somehow link together to become a coherent, profound and compelling story of love and heartbreak. Some of the subjects involved are serious issues such as depression and drugs but Stone doesn’t drag the reader into a black hole but somehow seems to fill them with hope and optimism. I found myself routing for the main character of Colossus and felt I actually knew him. I felt as if I was on the journey with Colossus and when he was happy I was happy, when he cried I cried – although equally there were times I would have liked to have taken him by the shoulders and given him a good shake. Oh, and I must give the quirky landlord a mention – for those of you who are old enough to remember the TV series Rising damp he put me in mind of Rigsby.
Craig Stone is an author to watch out for. I wish I were eloquent enough to convince you to buy this book but you should, you really should! I predict big things for him – and you’re reading this Craig, I hope you’ve got another offering in the pipeline for us!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Bloody Brilliant read so it is!
By Carl Elliott “Carl” (Leeds, England) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
I became completely hooked on this book within a very short space of time, and found myself unable to put it down.
Craig Stone’s writing style is instantly enjoyable and he captures your imagination perfectly with his life stories and the often slightly mad thoughts which occur within in his own mind.
The book is funny, romantic, heart breaking and inspiring all at the same time, and the constant switching from ‘modern day’ to ‘past memories’ keeps you interested and turning the pages as you anticipate how his two totally different worlds end up coming together.
I find I seem to share a lot in common with the author in terms of how my mind works and how I tend to over analyse most situations, and so for me his inner thoughts and awkwardness in certain social situation were very realistic and easy to identify with.
Life Knocks is a truly brilliant read, and for the frankly ridiculous asking price of £2-3, there is no excuse for not having this book on your smartphone or Kindle.
I look forward to Craig Stone’s next E-book, and will certainly be purchasing it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars
Life is life, and all we know. Good and bad and joy and woe are woven fine. “Candide” ~ Voltaire. 
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
I was sat at work. Every time I glanced in the direction of the Kindle icon on my desktop, like a 2yo asking “why” repeatedly, the icon queried “Is it 5 o’clock yet?” Between feedings, my brain rumbled for more & my eyes, set loose in the evening on “Life Knocks, consumed its words like a ½-starved bird flapping & flailing at a seed feeder. Or perhaps more accurately, like a cat tearing at a catnip sack.
When they were handing out politeness or conscientiousness before incarnation to earth, whoever was charged with the task must have tripped, spilling it on the autobiographical character, Colossus, who wound up overdosed. This, along with happenstance and at times an alcohol/drug-infused brain, land him in some of the most uncomfortable, dodgy, and comical predicaments: wresting the arm of a suicidal German on a Cambodian beach, mouthing off to the head of the Cambodian mafia and near-drowned in the Indian Ocean;compassion–with an ability to walk around in others shoes whilst sometimes forgetting his own—provides a counselor’s ear for a homicidal drunk in a bar, a racist, meshuga landlord with high-octane boundary issues with his tenants, & anyone seemingly in need of one (with patience for that mad landlord that deserves nothing short of canonisation).
He must have some sort of serious angel on his shoulder. Though I think for the period in time covered in this book, the angel must have called in a brigade of reinforcements. With mind-blowing powers of observation & bare honesty, so empathetically-placed was I, frequently nervously in the moment with him, I quite frankly wished I could reach in and pluck Colossus out of the story; but then, I was eager to see how the story unfolded.
He loses himself in love, loses love and is adrift without it; but the message ultimately is optimistic, assuring us that we’re firmly moored on the shores of hope. There is a personal love story here but I feel the real love story is the adventure of life itself somehow perfect in all its imperfections, its ups and downs (“knocks”), and the humour found in it all; and that how we see Life is how we choose to look at it. “We can see life as a mountain; or we can see life as land that moves upwards with an awesome view.”
The book succeeded further for me as a reminder to view the rough, cold, patch of concrete I live on–where angry, apathetic, weary, disappointed (even despairing) feet of residents pound hope out of the pavement every day– with softer eyes of equanimity.
“I wanted to tell him life is thinking you are a broken kettle; until it rains, a fish falls from the sky and you realise you were always an awesome goldfish bowl.” We know without a doubt from the start “Life Knocks” is an awesome goldfish bowl. Jolly-good. Buy it, read it, enjoy the ride laughing along the way. You won’t regret it.
And on Craig Stone’s writing, I leave the words to David Foster Wallace: “What the really great artists do is … They’re entirely themselves, they’ve got their own vision…and if it’s authentic and true, you will feel it in your nerve endings.” Consider my nerve endings: felt.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Puts me in a cut up mood
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
I absolutely loved the structure of this book. A journey of before, during and after taking a ‘love-heroin’ overdose. It is so rare to find a voice that can be authentic, honest, funny, raw, confused, vulnerable, reflective, patient and growing at one and the same time. Real, is how I would describe it, and yet the descriptive nature of this vision is totally surreal, yet absolutely true. That is what I loved most about it. It’s rich, complex, simple and subtle, all at once.
A journey worth exploring with Colossus, the beautifully crafted words, will make you literally laugh out loud, be brave, and hug someone you hate. At times you’ll want to either hug or slap Colossus as well, as his journey takes him to places you love and fear for him, this book plugs into you in that way. You will miss his voice, when it’s finished. That is the kind of book it is. Genius.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bonkers in a totally sane way, 24 Aug 2012
By E. M. Spradbery (South Coast, England) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
I haven’t quite finished (the hilarious) ‘Life Knocks’ yet because I am in a hurry to give it five amazon stars and the highest praise I can think of. The first section about leaving a hated job was funny enough but the second section describing the author’s appalling landlord must have set a new record for describing hilariously dreadful characters. Fascinating, too, is the writer at times describing himself as ‘weak’ – allowing himself to be dragged out to a grotty pub after midnight when watching a good film accompanied by red wine, certainly illustrates this. This situation in (presumably real life) was echoed and illustrated in a blog when Stone claimed not to be able to guard a friend’s chair when asked for it in a pub. As someone who is shy but can guard a pub seat like a rotweiler I am fascinated by this trait, and would like to discover whether it is fact or fiction.
I predict that the name Craig Stone will soon become well-known.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life Knocks Well and Truly Rocks!
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
After reading The Squirrel That Dreamt of Madness, I was eagerly anticipating the release of Life Knocks. With the severity of my withdrawal symptoms beginning to cause some rather painful physical problems (trust me you really don’t want to know) I took it as a miracle (as a rule I don’t believe in miracles but this is an exception) it was released only a few weeks after I’d finished Squirrel.
To be faced with something equally wonderful and enjoyable yet profoundly different in style to its predecessor I devoured the book as fast as I possibly could. It gripped me and pulled me in as if I were connected to it via an umbilical cord I couldn’t detach from even when I had to get myself to work. Indeed every time I got to the end of a chapter I continued reading on regardless of the time. The result was many a very tired morning and eyes looking like I’d done a few rounds in the boxing ring the night before. Sacrificing sleep was well worth it and I’d actually consider sacrificing weekends off work and annual leave if it meant being assured either a follow up to the adventures of Colossus Sosloss or something completely different from this talented writer.
We have in Craig an intelligent, humorous, hopeful realist with an ability to render you a laughing mess on one page while pulling firmly on your emotional heart strings the next. He is someone who writes from deep within but based on spot on observations of himself, others and the experiences that ensue.
This is a life story and a love story but like it says on the tin there is no Hollywood ending. With Life Knocks you don’t just get what it says on the tin either. Craig offers so much more whether its musings about why black stains mysteriously appear in his unused sink overnight (`the pixie slaves forced to march across the sink in dirty boots after mining jewels for evil fairy overlords’) or calling into question our use of general sayings (`..we need to start saying we had a whale of a time only when backed into a corner and harpooned to death’).
Why Craig’s writing works so well is that everyone can draw or take something from it in the positive way you’d expect to in taking out time to read something. I believe this makes it completely accessible whatever genre may be your usual preference.
I urge you to buy this book now because if you don’t you’re seriously in danger of missing out on one of the best independent writers out there today. Plus you’d potentially be responsible for the worsening problems caused by my withdrawal symptoms which have returned since finishing it. I sincerely look forward to the next offering. PS – Thanks Craig for another great read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A true beat novel for the modern age, don’t miss.
By Mark Bowler (London, UK) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
The rainbow love child of Charles Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson, Life Knocks cannot help but grab you and toss you around like a sentient thing living a similarly flawed but nonetheless beautiful existence. Highs and lows will lead the living to self reflective laugher and the robots into a vicarious lather.
Craig’s philosophy is obviously innate, but there are parallels with a rich history ranging from Zen Buddhism to Korzybski’s linguistics.
Above all else, Life Knocks is a love story, and who isn’t a sucker for a good love story? Leeches an’ all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars intriguing and entertaining, in an unusual way
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
In essence Life Knocks is the story of an introverted guy (Colossus) and his meandering journey through life. Along the way we experience his relationships, his hardships, his good times and his bad. All the worries and concerns that we all think about (but seldom voice, or even realise we are thinking) are cast out on the page as Colossus bares his soul to the reader.
Craig has a delightful, rambling, bordering on nonsensical style. I must admit it took me a little bit to get used to it, but once I did, that same style helped the story to envelope me. In both ‘Life Knocks’ and ‘The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness’ (the sequel to Life Knocks, although I read it first to no detriment to ether book) Craig manages to create characters/feelings/situations that I could identify with, even though the situations Colossus finds himself in are mostly quite foreign to me. I found myself looking forward to the next obstacle to appear in Colossus’ life, the next invasive but funny intrusion from his bizarre landlord, the details of how his past life and current life could possibly meet. I guess its a good ol’ slice of life story (although a slice of a slightly strange life) – joy, suffering, love, despair, confusion, forgiveness, freedom…the range of our experiences and emotions are all there in words crafted so well that you forget you are even reading, instead I felt like I was living the book alongside the characters.
There is no obvious moral in the story (which is not to say it lacks one but its not a disney-style, teach you right from wrong, good guy wins and bad guy looses kind of thing), no hero to worship, no spectacular deeds to capture your attention…but capture your attention it does. I felt good at the end of this book – not because the knight in shining armour won the girl, but because I had gotten to know someone intimately, and it turns out he has the same fears, problems and confusions that the rest of us do. I celebrated his little wins, agonised over his decisions, got frustrated by him, felt sorry for him, applauded him and laughed with/at him. A great read – Thanks Craig
Oh and at the crazy price it is there is no reason not to read this one yourself!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Frustratingly humourous
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
Reading this I really felt Life Knocking for Colossus. Crazy times in the pub, love lost in Hawaii… many an incident had me cringing or guffawing – I’ll let YOU find out. Each & every character had their own defining personality – the landlord was genius; one minute you want to punch his lights out, the next, squeeze his shoulder. Fabulous. Two things I’ll take away from this novel… pub bench inspection IS imperative before sitting down and ALWAYS wear gardening gloves. Thank you Craig.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Craig Stones writing is food for the soul
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
If you have not ever been dubious about the corporate career conveyor belt you are on, and the impact that has had on your dreams and spiritual health, then you might not be that into it. However, I could very well be wrong. Just read the first few pages and you may be hooked like I was. The resignation email that introduces us, typifies the bravery, ambition and honesty that come through every thoughtful (and often poignant and very funny) paragraph.
The way that Craig Stone articulates the communication challenges between loved ones in times of stress, makes this a must read for anyone who might contemplate their own or their partners intentions when the pressure of living up to life’s expectations has left you tongue tied. That these relationship challenges are intertwined so elegantly into the beautifully painted landscapes of Hawaii and chapter after chapter of wonderful adventure is a significant achievement in the story telling.
The parallel tale, on the aftershock of the Hawaiian experience, back in London, is also very funny, thought provoking, poignant and evocative, as the main character struggles to come to terms with his decisions in his life and his state of mind.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
I have to say there were moments in this book where I almost cried with laughter , would definitely recommend to others.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A captivating read, humour, grit and honesty touch all the senses.
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
Life knocks is a book that stays with you long after reading the last page. I enjoy reading books which pull me into the characters journey. Life knocks pulled me in and it felt like I was there at every step enjoying the thrills, laughter, fear and pain. A journey about a man and self discovery (an interesting read for a female who is interested in what really goes on inside a man’s brain!)It is also about experiences that we all go through, very honestly put into the most beautiful words that leap from the page and dance around the room, leaving you smiling from ear to ear.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, True , Ineffable…..
By mi-shell (england UK) – See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
Just finished reading Life Knocks by Craig Stone and it has to be one of the most honest, compelling, hilarious books I have ever picked up. This book honestly made me laugh like a crazy women and sob like a baby, I was unable to put it down. Craig Stone has such a way with words and an imagination any man (or women) would die for. After reading it was a nice feeling to know that not everyones life is chocolates and roses but for some (probably most of us) it can be more like laxatives and nettles some of the time. xxx
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5.0 out of 5 stars DON’T KNOW HOW TO RATE THIS-IS FIVE STARS OK?
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
I am certainly not the kind of person who dishes out five stars willy nilly. However in this case I intend to make an exception. I loved the crazy imagery, and the manic adventures,the kidnapping and the love interest. But most of all what an attitude the guy has to life. And what a character has been created in the landlord- revolting in virtually every aspect of his being- yet somehow endearing. Will be having a look at Craig’s other work. I recommend you try this-you won’t be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky – Interesting – a good read
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
struck a chord with me about the way I have felt at different times in my life but didn’t take the route the character in this book did.
Well written, interesting and in my opinion a cut above the crap I normally buy to read on holiday at a much higher cost. I liked it so much I bought the company ( ok not the company but one of his other books).
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 6 Jan 2013
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
Loved reading this . It was easy to identify with Colossus as he is like someone else I knew and loved in a previous chapter of my life…..( Still love you now Shawy)I feel the reader will also identify with this all too real & flawed but wonderful character. Read it …. You will not be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible book
(REAL NAME)
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
This book makes the reader feel smugly efficient at finding treasure. The narrator describes a deconstructed life that is somehow survivable. His observations make the reader want to see more of people and more of life. Well done.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ever messed up in your life? Read on….
By C. Hughes (N. Ireland) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
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This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
If you’ve ever messed up in your life then you will love reading Life Knocks. Unless you have also thrown away the opportunity to live happily ever after on a tropical island with the love of your life through a combination of over-excess and stupidity, you are guaranteed to feel better about yourself. A wonderfully quirky and gritty read, it is packed with fabulously funny lines which will stay in your mind and reappear at the most inappropriate moments. Loved it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolutely Amazing Read, most definitely worth your time!
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
I absolutely loved this book. The writing style was such that I was unable to put it down. I was absolutely distraught when my Kindle broke halfway through and I had to wait for my new Kindle to arrive so I could continue reading. This book has laugh-out-loud moments which can lead to slightly embarrassing moments in public, but trust me, they’re worth it.
This book is both hilarious and touching. Stone’s writing style is almost poetic at places and he has a talent for coming up with the most amazing metaphors and descriptions. Look at the quote below:
‘He has a boxer’s nose that rests violently across his cheek and his old bald head is littered with dents and divots as if his favourite past time is rubbing his own face with a cheese grater then trying to iron out the grazes with a hot iron.’
It starts of quite normally, but then just turns into what would seem absurd wasn’t it for the fact you can completely imagine how it looks. I loved reading these kind of descriptions because this is how I think. The awkwardness of some of the moments was very recognizable whereas other moments were simply aspirational.
The book has almost too much to offer. It is funny, emotional, slightly heart-breaking and enraging. It is like life. At the beginning the narrative structure, the switching back and forth between past and present, was a bit confusing, but halfway through I really started to appreciate it. In life, we always look back on our past experiences in the hope to find some kind of sense or reason for why we are where we are now. Perhaps a warning here is in place. If you object to recreational drug use, drinking or general life enjoyment, this might not be your book. In which case you should really question your own sense of reality. Missing out on a book like this would be an utter shame.
I haven’t read ‘The Squirrel That Dreamt of Madness’, Craig Stone’s first book, but am seriously considering buying it. I don’t think I have ever read anything quite like Stone’s writing. It is funny, witty and deeply insightful. Stone describes life itself beautifully and despite the depressing moments in the book, life is definitely winning. In a literary scene where a lot of books are written by formula and where authors use stereotypical expressions, it is amazing to find something this refreshing and authentic.
If you are looking for an intelligent, hilarious read this is your book. Colossus’ story could be yours and Stone’s writing style allows the reader to be very close to his life and create a truly enjoyable reading experience. I recommend this to…well, everyone really. I can’t imagine who wouldn’t want to read this.
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Juli Rahel
I absolutely loved this book. The writing style was such that I was unable to put it down. I was absolutely distraught when my Kindle broke halfway through and I had to wait for my new Kindle to arrive so I could continue reading. This book has laugh-out-loud moments which can lead to slightly embarrassing moments in public, but trust me, they’re worth it.This book is both hilarious and touching. Stone’s writing style is almost poetic at places and he has a talent for coming up with the most amazing metaphors and descriptions. Look at the quote below:
‘He has a boxer’s nose that rests violently across his cheek and his old bald head is littered with dents and divots as if his favourite past time is rubbing his own face with a cheese grater then trying to iron out the grazes with a hot iron.’
It starts of quite normally, but then just turns into what would seem absurd wasn’t it for the fact you can completely imagine how it looks. I loved reading these kind of descriptions because this is how I think. The awkwardness of some of the moments was very recognizable whereas other moments were simply aspirational.The book has almost too much to offer. It is funny, emotional, slightly heart-breaking and enraging. It is like life. At the beginning the narrative structure, the switching back and forth between past and present, was a bit confusing, but halfway through I really started to appreciate it. In life, we always look back on our past experiences in the hope to find some kind of sense or reason for why we are where we are now. Perhaps a warning here is in place. If you object to recreational drug use, drinking or general life enjoyment, this might not be your book. In which case you should really question your own sense of reality. Missing out on a book like this would be an utter shame.I haven’t read ‘The Squirrel That Dreamt of Madness’, Craig Stone’s first book, but am seriously considering buying it. I don’t think I have ever read anything quite like Stone’s writing. It is funny, witty and deeply insightful. Stone describes life itself beautifully and despite the depressing moments in the book, life is definitely winning. In a literary scene where a lot of books are written by formula and where authors use stereotypical expressions, it is amazing to find something this refreshing and authentic.If you are looking for an intelligent, hilarious read this is your book. Colossus’ story could be yours and Stone’s writing style allows the reader to be very close to his life and create a truly enjoyable reading experience. I recommend this to…well, everyone really. I can’t imagine who wouldn’t want to read this.
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Pam
I received this book from the author for an honest review. This book follows the life of Colossus as he quits his job and shows how he he had depression, love, drugs and so much more go on in his life. It starts out with a very funny letter to his boss as he quits his job. This letter is what we all have felt like saying to our bosses all through our lives. It draws you right into the story. You get to see him interact with his landlord even though all he wants to do is ignore the man. Friends try to draw him out and he never seems to be able to tell these people no. It also tells of how he found his short lived love Lily and some of what they go through. Plus tells so much more. The humor at times in this book will have you busting out laughing. It adds such a great touch to the story. Craig Stone has a very sharp mind for writing this book. It is masterfully written. You find yourself drawn into the world Colossus lives in where all you want to do is help him escape it and on to a better life. If you are looking for a story about a real life situations and one persons struggle you need to pick this up. You soon won’t forget the story of Colossus.
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Betty McMahon
It was a thrill to “discover” writer Craig Stone — kind of like being in on the ground floor of an Apple stock offering. Life Knocks covers about 6 years in the life of the 20-something writer — years in which he bounced back and forth between the ridiculous and the sublime in a life constructed atop a passion for alcohol and drugs. It’s a slice of life just made for a writer, and Craig hits a home run in his recollections of it. His descriptions of people and events are spot-on; his characterizations show remarkable insight into himself as well as those he interacts with. He doesn’t shy away from describing his own vulnerabilities and weaknesses. At times hilarious and at times heartbreaking, it’s an always entertaining and well-written narrative from a writer I expect to hear a lot more from in the future.
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Melissa Brown
“Love is like being in a bath of beans with a pig dressed as a clown and a naked farm girl. Pretty much amazing, once you get over the shock.”This is one of the many quotes that lie within the pages of Craig Stone’s book, “Life Knocks.” This is a book that made me laugh so hard at times, I would literally throw my head back and drop my kindle because I was so amused by his sense of humor and his words.Craig Stone is a master of the metaphor and simile. His sense of humor is one that takes a bit to get used to (at least a few pages), but once you do, you’re along for a very fun ride through the eyes of an enormously funny writer.In addition to the wonderful humor of this story, however, is a hidden gem: a genuine love story between Craig and Lily—a woman who captures his heart, who overwhelms and amazes him and who he shares his life with for a time. Heartfelt, wonderful scenes involve Craig’s outpour of emotions for Lily—elation, devotion, fear and heartache.“A watched pot never boils but if I took my eyes from these negative thoughts for a second they would lurch rapidly towards becoming words that spill over the edges of my lips and boil the beautiful moment alive as we lived it.”—WOW! I read this passage over and over and over again…it may very well be my favorite in the book.The author bounces around between dates in the book—so you never know quite which stage of his life you will be reading about, and I truly loved that about this book.
This book is considered the prequel to “The Squirrel——Madness”, however, being a prequel, it is not necessary to have read the other book first. This book is definitely one that was “stepping out of the box” for me…and it may be for you, as well, but it is certainly worth the read.
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Cloey.k
The book begins with a letter to management resigning his position at a bank. He pretty much says everything everyone has wanted to say at some point in their lives but was too afraid to say. I laughed so hard and so much I had to read it three times. After Colossus (yeah, that’s his name… not kidding here) walks away from the world of employment which I like to refer to as “The Wheel of Hell” to become a writer his journey begins…and what an interesting journey it is.Craig Stone is sharing a part of his life in similes and metaphors and I was laughing, smiling, sad, and at times wondering WTH? He shows us that for every decision we make there are consequences and possibly even repercussions – these are his. I can’t wait to read his book “The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness” this story begins where “Life Knocks” leaves off.
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Shazza
Shazza rated it 5 of 5 stars
During work I sat. Every time I glanced in the direction of the Kindle icon on my desktop, like a 2yo asking “why” repeatedly, the icon queried “Is it 5 o’clock yet?” Between feedings, my brain rumbled for more & my eyes, set loose in the evening on “Life Knocks”, consumed its words like a ½-starved bird flapping & flailing at a seed feeder. Or perhaps more accurately, like a cat tearing at a catnip sack.When they were handing out politeness or conscientiousness before incarnation to earth, whoever was charged with the task must have tripped, spilling it on the autobiographical character, Colossus, who wound up overdosed. This, along with happenstance and at times an alcohol/drug-infused brain, land him in some of the most uncomfortable, dodgy, and comical predicaments: wresting the arm of a suicidal German on a Cambodian beach, mouthing off to the head of the Cambodian mafia and near-drowned in the Indian Ocean;compassion–with an ability to walk around in others shoes whilst sometimes forgetting his own—provides a counselor’s ear for a homicidal drunk in a bar, a racist, meshuga landlord with high-octane boundary issues with his tenants, & anyone seemingly in need of one (with patience for that mad landlord that deserves nothing short of canonization).He must have some sort of serious angel on his shoulder. Though I think for the period in time covered in this book, the angel must have called in a brigade of reinforcements. With mind-blowing powers of observation & bare honesty, so empathetically-placed was I, frequently nervously in the moment with him, I quite frankly wished I could reach in and pluck Colossus out of the story; but then, I was eager to see how the story unfolded.He loses himself in love, loses love and is adrift without it; but the message ultimately is optimistic, assuring us that we’re firmly moored on the shores of hope. There is a personal love story here but I feel the real love story is the adventure of life itself somehow perfect in all its imperfections, its ups and downs (“knocks”), and the humor found in it all; and that how we see Life is how we choose to look at it. “We can see life as a mountain; or we can see life as land that moves upwards with an awesome view.”The book succeeded further for me as a reminder to view the rough, cold, patch of concrete I live on–where angry, apathetic, weary, disappointed (even despairing) feet of residents pound hope out of the pavement every day – with softer eyes of equanimity.”I wanted to tell him life is thinking you are a broken kettle; until it rains, a fish falls from the sky and you realise you were always an awesome goldfish bowl.” We know without a doubt from the start “Life Knocks” is an awesome goldfish bowl. Jolly-good. Buy it, read it, enjoy the ride laughing along the way. You won’t regret it.And on Craig Stone’s writing, I leave the words to David Foster Wallace: “What the really great artists do is ……They’re entirely themselves, they’ve got their own vision…and if it’s authentic and true, you will feel it in your nerve endings.”
Consider my nerve endings: felt.
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Maddalena
Bloody brilliant. A joggle of events, the rise and fall of Colossus Sosloss, a man who started like plankton, reached the top and fell down again. If this book has anything to teach, surely it is that life knocks are what you get to learn that you’re alive and it’s a life worth living, not with hatred and anger, but with rainbow castles and honey milk.Life Knocks is a book worth reading, one of the few which made me actually laugh out loud while alone in the car waiting for the kid to come out for school.Can’t wait to read Stone’s next book: The Squirrel That Dreamt of Madness(less)
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Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay
It is the story of Collossus that is narrated through this story. We follow him through his numerous adventures – right from quitting his job to finding love to his depressions. From the highest point to the lowest of low point of his life, Collossus realizes that no matter what, one cannot stop life from moving on. This is a story of the highs and the lows, of love and of loneliness, of laughter and of tears and it will have you riding through all of it with a smile on your face – whether hysterical laughter or just a sad smile.The book begins with Collossus’s letter to the ‘management’ informing them that he is quitting the job. And with that very letter I got hooked on. There’s been so many times in our lives that we have wished we could say a few choice of words to our bosses/colleagues but never could manage. Reading that letter just cracked me up. Then there is his love interest, Lily, who captured & trampled on his heart. But his dedication towards her is remarkable. His interaction with other characters in the book are also quite interesting. Then there’s also a segment about drug addiction/alcoholism. Though under the influence, he lands himself in quite a few predicaments – all of a sudden not everything was funny anymore – at least for me. Overall though, the message in the book was very optimistic.The author’s style of writing is pretty simple yet indulging. By writing in first person, Craig Stone has managed to add a personal touch to the story. His sense of humour is really something. I have cracked up laughing at the most appropriate and inappropriate places. At the same time he managed to touch that sentimental & emotional chords of my heart with his portrayal of what ‘reality’ is like.I love getting lost in mystery/thrillers and in the fantasy world of magic, faeries and werewolves. This book was a good change as it managed to bring me back right into the real world where disappointment, failure and heartache awaits everyone. When ‘life knocks’ & it invariably will, we can choose to hide or welcome with open arms. The important thing is how we deal with it. We just need to take the lemons and make a lemonade out of it.
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Drake
Drake rated it 5 of 5 stars
Craig Stone knows his way around a metaphor and can describe even mundane moments in life in a fresh & exciting way. Told in 1st POV in present tense, the style may be jarring for some as he jumps through his life – but I loved it! It made me feel as if I was on the roller coaster of life with him. And his life is plentiful and wild. I recommend this read for those willing to step into a world that may be very contrary from their own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A story so real, i felt like I was there
 This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
Craig Stone has invited me into a world of honesty, colourful characters in the form of true friends and touched on the madness that can be love and the madness that can be real life. So hooked was I, I kept having a sneaky read from my desk drawer. Craig’s writing has once again taken me on a fantastic rollercoaster of emotion, so much so, I really felt like I was there. A most brilliant read after The Squirrel That Dreamt Of Madness.
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4.0 out of 5 stars LIFE CAN BE HARD, BUT NOT ALL THE TIME
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
I started reading this book with very high expectations, and it didn’t disappoint me.  I strongly recommend this book.
What makes this book even more interesting is the fact that the story is the real story of the author. It is one of the most honest books telling a real story that I have ever read. Ever. The story is very clever, told alternatively at different moments in the life of Colossus. In that way, we can see the process of falling in love, moving to Hawaii, falling out of love, almost becoming an alcoholic, a strange friendship with his crazy landlord, till finally getting a job and then deciding to leave it to go to live in a park (but that’s another book, The Squirrel Who Dreamt of Madness; a brilliant book that you should read too).
It is a very enjoyable story of depression, love, and reflections about life. The story of how life knocks at certain point in our lives, and we just have to react to its knocking, and act accordingly. When life knocks, there is nothing else we can do. It has an ironic touch all over the book that makes it funny at times, even if the events that are being recalled are kind of dramatic. And the tone is a positive one, after all. Life can be hard, but there is always a silver lining. Craig Stone is a master of metaphors and images that are very easy to understand, since he uses very recognizable references.
A book that everybody who have felt a bit lost in life should read. Life is a rollercoaster, but we are not all the time at the bottom. Read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully moving! February 20, 2012

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
After reading “The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness”, I could not wait to see what Craig Stone would come out with next. “Life Knocks” is exceptional, moving, comical, and at times heart-wrenching as you see what led to the events in “The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness”. Stone’s amazingly unique brand of philosophy makes more sense than 1+1=2, and opens your eyes to new and gorgeous ways of seeing the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars . . . at the time, reason was in the back seat and adventure was driving.
By Marsha Cornelius (Woodstock, GA) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
While reading Life Knocks, I had a sense of unease at witnessing the main character’s life slowly crumble. My discomfort was intensified when I learned that most of the story was based on the author’s life.
I grew up believing that our shortcomings should be kept to ourselves, but Craig Stone lays himself bare for all to see.
To compensate for putting the reader through his painful experiences, Stone soothes with his special brand of imaginative prose. He is thought-provoking, hilarious, insightful, and brilliant.
‘Perhaps if we choose to not actively participate in life, eventually life knocks.’
I highly recommend this book. Just don’t hold out for the happy ending. It’s not coming. 
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4.0 out of 5 stars Answer!
By Teasha Seitz (Moraine, OH United States) – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Life Knocks (Kindle Edition)
I can’t compare Craig Stone’s writing to another author’s because Craig’s writing is so original. The humor is sometimes dark and very twisted. Some parts are beautifully honest while other parts are shocking. Definitely for adults only. He overuses metaphors sacrificing clarity for artsy turns of phrases. Still, over-all an enjoyable experience to read.
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Please download and try the book!
Thank you :)x
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Life Knocks UK Amazon link:
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Life Knocks US Amazon link:

http://bit.ly/USLifeKnocks

willesden green

3 thoughts on “reviews of life knocks

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