Sunday, April 22, 2012

Crashing Eden

Crashing Eden

Michael Sussman

About the Author: (

I’m originally from Lexington, Massachusetts, the historic site of the shot heard ’round the world. The middle son of two microbiologists, I grew up in a wonderful community called Five Fields, my lost Eden. I loved reading, sports, music and photography, and tried my hand at writing poetry and song lyrics.I attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, but dropped out after catching mononucleosis. Over the next six years I lived in a commune in Paradise, Nova Scotia, joined a spiritual cult, traveled to Israel, Hawaii, and Mexico, checked into a psychiatric ward more than once, worked as a dishwasher, waiter, wallet salesman, greenhouse laborer, landscaper, day-care teacher, and street musician. Eventually I returned to school, majoring in music performance and composition at Hampshire College in Amherst.My B.A. in Music opened many doors. Unfortunately they were all doors to restaurants, where I returned to waiting tables. Meanwhile, I started a band with a friend named Steve O’Hearn. He went on to found Squonk Opera, a music and performance ensemble that has traveled the world and appeared on “America’s Got Talent.”I might have become a Squonker myself, but instead went to grad school, earning my doctorate in clinical psychology. After spending a year as a postdoc at the Menninger Foundation, I proceeded to work in hospitals, counseling centers, private practice, and as a clinical instructor at Harvard University.My first book—A Curious Calling: Unconscious Motivations for Practicing Psychotherapy—was a main selection for America’s largest psychotherapy-related book club. I edited and contributed to the follow-up volume, A Perilous Calling: The Hazards of Psychotherapy Practice. These two books have recently been translated into Chinese by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Press.My life changed forever in October of 1998, with the birth of my son. Ollie is a remarkable fellow, and he single-handedly jump-started my creativity. When he was five, I started writing picture books, and in 2009 I published Otto Grows Down, illustrated by Scott Magoon.As Ollie aged, I started writing for an older audience. The result—Crashing Eden—is my first novel, an urban fantasy for young adults and savvy not-so-young adults. Ollie was my muse, my collaborator, and my most astute critic. I’m forever grateful to my son. Now, if I could just get him to clear his dishes …

Summary: (

For one boy and his friends, the path to Paradise comes at a cost—one they may not be prepared to pay.When a biking accident leaves 17-year-old Joss Kazdan with the ability to hear things others can’t, reality as he knows it begins to unravel.A world of legends exists beyond the ordinary life he’s always known, and he is transported to the same Paradise he’s studying in World Mythology. But the strange gets even stranger when his new friends build a device that delivers people through the gates of the Garden of Eden.Now Samael, the Creator God, is furious. As Samael rains down his apocalyptic devastation on the ecstasy-seeking teens, Joss and his companions must find a way to appease Samael—or the world will be destroyed forever.

I'd Recommend to...
High Schoolers looking for a fun read

My Rating:

My Thoguhts:
Joss is a wreck. His brother, Eli, committed suicide a year before (WHICH IS NEVER THE ANSWER!!!!) and has just been released from Juvenal Detention Centre. He was sent there for burning down a house of Eli's tormentors after Eli's death. On his way home from school that day, he gets into a bike accident and is sent to the hospital with a concussion. When we awakens, he hears a strange noise in his ears, and the noise is later discovered to be the Shankman Frequency, the sound that all humans could originally hear, but now only people up to age 6 can hear. It brings bliss and happiness to all who hear it and all is right in the world.
When Shakti, the person who caused the accident, comes to apologize, Joss tells her of the sound and discovers some interesting information. Later, he is receiving and giving out PVDs, or Primordial Vibration Devices which allows anyone who wears it to be in total bliss. Unfortunately, this makes Samael, the Gnostic Blind god, angry, and the original 9 plagues start to reoccur. Callie, Joss's Sister, receives a message from the PVD with how to save the world,  but her mother takes away her PVD and forbids her from wearing one. Can Joss and his friends convince his mother to let Callie wear one? Will they save the world? I guess you'll just have to read Crashing Eden to find out!
This was an interesting story. I did like it, though I didn't like some of the religious aspects of it, being how it was based on a Gnostic religion, not a Christian religion. But that didn't stop me from reading it and enjoying it. Even when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about what would happen next in the book; it was full of - not so much suspense, but more just the feeling you get when you don't want to put it down. I often spent a few nights staying up later to read more of it and was disappointed when I had to put it down to go to sleep.


  1. Wow. His biography sounded like the summary of a book I would want to read. And then the actual book summary is engaging as well. Great review. I love books that keep me up late in the night and hurrying through my chores to get back to it.