Numerous reviews for U. R. Bowie’s books are on Amazon:
Some of the OWN reviews on Amazon:
Not since reading “A Clockwork Orange,” which, by the way, is the favorite book of fifteen-year-old Own Selph, the narrator of this novel, have I been so caught up in the rhythms and sounds of sentences in a book. The story is very simple (and very sad), but the way you surf your way through the book on the waves of the sentences is somehow exhilarating. As Ole Own would say, “Give it a try, O my brothers and sisters. Take you a wittle wike-like surf.” You won’t regret it.
The biggest surprise for me was to enjoy a novel that features a school shooting. Of course we all want to understand the psychology of a teenager who would do such a terrible thing, but this book does much more than analyze an event. The author takes us deeply into the mind of “Own.” The work is intelligent, complicated, challenging and fascinating. I highly recommend it.
One of the more difficult things for an author to do is to write a book that begins by giving away the ending and then tells the story of how the characters got to that point while somehow keeping the reader interested. Author U. R. Bowie handsomely pulls off this feat in this short novel that should appeal to readers in their late teens and up.
“Own:….” begins with a school shooting/massacre (certainly an effective hook) and keeps the reader engaged by offering a fast-paced story that features a protagonist who we somehow grow fond of and find ourselves rooting for despite the knowledge that he is about to become a mass murderer. (Odd ? Think Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars movies).
Elkie “Own” Self is the novel’s anti-hero, a 15 year old North Georgia boy whose personality is an interesting and unlikely combination of Holden Caulfield, Jim Stark (The James Dean character in “Rebel Without a Cause”), and Alex DeLarge from “A Clockwork Orange”. In fact, Own and his friends model themselves after Alex and his droogie pals, though their games and pranks are more often childlike. Together they create their own version of he English language, and one of the strengths of this book is that it is actually written in that language, and somehow the reader learns it as he/she reads, and the reading becomes faster and more comfortable just as the action in the book picks up. (The language seems to be a combination of English, Spanish, Russian, Internet Slang, and Cockney Rhyming with borrowings from such disparate sources as “A Clockwork Orange”, Loony Tunes Cartoons, and Dr. Seuss. It is actually quite fun to try to figure out some of the roots and references, as the author clearly put a great deal of time into their creation. “You sabe, Kemo?” might be an obvious Lone Ranger reference, but others are more obtuse. As Own says on page 19:
“What is the FUN, really, in life? Well, one of the funs is words, flicking and fillying about with them as ye speak. Me droogs and me always had quite the time with words and palabras. We loved the word “grope.” Arrested, he were, for “premeditated groping in the first degree”. That’s funny. HAR. One of the names for our club was Gropers of North Georgia, Inc.”
U.R. Bowie, the author of this novel clearly loves words as well, and in “Own:…..” he strings words of his own invention together to tell a story of teenage love and pathos which should resonate with old and young alike.
This is a cautionary tale. It’s about a very sad subject: school shootings. We tend to think that the only people who get involved in perpetrating violence in the schools are extremist and often insane. Maybe most of them are, but in a country such as ours, where guns are readily available, where Hollywood stars profess to be all for gun control but go on perpetuating the gun violence that our children watch on a daily basis, this sad thing can happen to any young person. In this novella, which is, in large part funny and entertaining, we learn to love a character to whom it happens. Sad. And yet the book is full of humor too.
Elkie, the protagonist, takes a gun to high school and murders twelve students. We don’t see blood or the suffering of the families. We’re seamlessly lead into Elkie’s mind through his bizarre, unique language. Elkie’s speech is easy to understand and become accustomed to.The author has expertly crafted it enabling us to see inside Elkie’s odd self. The author has deftly handled the unusual speech and dialogue that conveys SO much more than words and thoughts. Well done.
Please see additional book reviews for OWN and U. R. Bowie’s other books on Amazon: