Gone Shopping! An Odyssey of Discovery - Reviews & Testimonials
Midwest Book Review
...a sublimely surreal novel of an ordinary man drawn into a supernaturally extraordinary shopping mall. Reality begins to bend at the edges when he encounters a bus station on the third floor, and the further he ventures, the more mysteries both internal and external are revealed - and beneath all the bizarre whimsy, he must ask himself deep inside what the true meaning of happiness is. An existential exploration as well as a rollicking fun read, especially for those who understand the true passion of shopping 'til you drop.
Bookwatch, June 2004
John Chaffee, Author of The Thinkers Way, review
Shop for happiness, discover wisdom
Shop for happiness, discover wisdom: What begins as an ordinary day at a new shopping mall turns into a delightfully fun, poignantly profound adventure in the novel "Gone Shopping! An Odyssey of Discovery" by Doc Carson .
The heart of this mystery is about finding happiness. As the shopper works his way through the odd stores on each level of this surreal five-level mall he begins to understand that happiness isn't something we stumble upon, it's something we create by recognizing the five ingredients of happiness-each one symbolized by a floor of the mall.
All the clues are there but solving the riddle requires the shopper to give it some thought - not just daydreaming thought, but focused, puzzle-solving thought. On the top floor the shopper meets a plucky young woman artist and a sagacious old man and together in a provocative dialogue they grapple with the hard questions of life: why so many people only make it to the third or fourth floor of the happiness pyramid and why so many take the stairs when there are elevators. Carson, in his subtle symbolism, has perceptively hidden the elevators in the back of bookstores. Excellent books like this help lift us to the apex of happiness without having to keep taking the stairs in life.
John Chaffee (New York, NY December 11, 2004)
Wichita Eagle Review
"I loved the book . . . I intend to read it again. The story, told through the eyes of a man who stumbles upon an unusual shopping mall where he takes a fascinating journey of self- discovery, makes Carson 's point of view stimulating and entertaining. . . . I was pleasantly surprised by Carson 's effort. . . . he offers insights that allows every reader to gain something unique.
Award winning author Tom Mach's Review
. . . one of those rare books that you pick up that you can say is truly life-changing. A Worthwhile Addition To One's Personal Library. According to Carson, the author, when we search for happiness we are actually taking a shopping trip to a special place called "the KT Mall." The KT Mall has five levels to it, the first covers the essentials of food, clothing and shelter. The second is security and peace of mind. The third level fulfills our need to affiliate with others. The fourth level deals with our self-esteem. But it's at the fifth level, where we fulfill our deepest personal needs. Carson takes you on this imaginative "shopping" trip where you begin to unravel, layer by layer secrets of human nature that keep many of us from ever really experiencing true happiness. This book weaves a tapestry of ideas that are worth reading more than once. My congratulations to Carson on a beautiful book!
-Tom Mach author of Sissy: Book One of the Jessica Radford Trilogy
(Official Newsletter of the Kansas State Library) – April 2005
—by Tom Roth, ILL
A nice read, it should make you think about your goals in life, and how to achieve a measure of peace in your life. This book is about finding yourself, learning to be honest about your needs and wants, and finding your center of happiness. In the narrative, the author goes to the new suburban mega mall to enjoy his day off and have a bit of fun. . . . When he gets in, what he finds is a blend of the Twilight Zone, Needful Things (A Stephen King novel), and a sort of philosopher-King old man. The purpose is to start on the first floor and work yourself up to each higher level of this strange mall. Each level is steeper and more complicated. The goal is to find the level you belong on to find out about yourself, and at what level you can become a whole person, a happy person who can be creative, inquisitive, and satisfied with your life. A quiet novel, but I found this quite satisfying in that it made me think about my own life, and my wants and needs.
Subject: Its not the "Hotel California," but one man experiences a strange life altering odyssey on one shopping day at the five-level KT mall. The riveting, thought-provoking novel, by writer/philosopher Carson with degrees in Philosophy and Psychology, illuminates the "Five Essential Ingredients to Happiness" in the most entertaining way possible.
Noteworthy: Our "word blocks" build our observable identity, but what is really inside? The novel propels us to the real center of the KT mall, and inside our own mind, illustrating that each level represents one essential ingredient for happiness. As the backhoe zooms by on one level its operator should be shouting, "books like "Gone Shopping!" are great, life is short, read fast."
Del Rio, Texas 78840
Summer Edition 2004
Nicki Listerman's Review
This innovative novel with its wisdom and fresh witty style is a book to treasure. Gone Shopping! An Odyssey of Discovery begins with an ordinary day exploring a new shopping mall, the KT Mall. But this is no ordinary mall as the shopper discovers at the entrance when he is handed a satchel full of free "Mall Money." Wandering the aisles of the first two floors of this five-level mall, he notices that each floor depicts one of the essential ingredients of human happiness! Each floor whets our curiosity for more. Who wouldn't wonder about the Comfort Zone with its big-screen TVs and personal servants? And, what is a backhoe doing zooming by with the driver shouting aphorisms? And why does it cost Mall Money just to look around the shops?
Discover how his wits guide him through this fun adventure to enlightenment. On the fifth level, through engaging discussions with wise, new friends; he gets to the core of what it takes to construct a happy, meaningful, well-spent life. You can learn along with him how to make careful decisions, spend time wisely, and understand yourself and the world around you.
-Nicki Listerman (Lawrence,KS)
"Gone Shopping provides the reader with a unique look at how the choices we make can affect the rest of our lives. As the narrator says, "Life is, after all, a shopping experience, . . ." The book presents a complex philosophical discussion in a format everyone can identify with-a simple trip to the mall."
Director, Kansas Center for the Book
"Wow! The writing is exquisite and filled with penetrating insight. . . .every college freshman should have this as an English reading and discussion requirement. I highly recommend it for discussion groups.
The analogies are fantastic . . . using two of my favorite educational toys . . . blocks and Legos, the author has developed a great visual, as well as a perceptive way to express his philosophy of life. I loved these toys even more after having read the book! This is a gem and a winner.
- Ruth Ann Guess ( Lawrence , KS )
An engaging and though-provoking novel. Tons of ideas are packed into these pages, and they build upon each other very neatly. It's an essential handbook for navigating today's materialistic society.
-Jill Hardesty (Assistant Editor Paleontological Institute, University of Kansas )
I kept wanting to see what was around the next corner!
-Michele McKellips ( Salina , KS )
A creative and imaginative new work.
-David G. Myers author of The Pursuit of Happiness
What a great book! I like what the author said about freedom. I think he's done a truly tremendous job.
-Dick Williams (Kuna, ID)