From ever, we have heard the platitude, self-praise is no recommendation and we have bought it wholesale and retailed it at the best boxing-day discount price in town. But is it fair to deny the belief, the boast, the claim, that something somebody owns, they have done, is so transcendent that it has no comparison just because it is deemed so by the owner of it? If Coca Cola says their product, Coke is it, who dares contradict it? Was Muhammad Ali’s claim that he was the ‘Greatest’ a lie? If Tiger Woods says the same about his golfing genius, would we deny it because he says it himself? Or if Ronaldo or Messi makes the claim that they are better than the best, would we be so presumptuous to say otherwise, that they could say what they want, but we know better?
Truth is, while this world is in a ramshackle mess left so by its maker or makers, we the people who live on it strive for perfection, for excellence, in everything we do. Great inventions, creations, achievements are proliferating across the globe courtesy mankind; so if man takes credit for an improved and improving world, we are justified in our claim in that respect, no?
Sometimes we have to toot our own horn because the person next to us is hardly ever going to do it for us. Why? Well we know all the answers to that question, all about the jealousies and bad mind that make giving praise a hard act for the petty mind. But if I have written a book that makes me exclaim when I actually read it for the first time after its completion, who in heaven’s name wrote this, having been blown away by the literary masterpiece it reads like, it turns out to be, shouldn’t a little self-praise be normal?
When the prestigious, exclusive Leaders magazine in my early days of writing decided to feature me and an essay I wrote, I knew when I sent it that it would be accepted by them and when they made the effort (before cell phones) to scour and contact me in Trinidad and shower me with praise, it was almost with a sense of déjà vu I heard it all. I knew how good it was the moment I first read it.
My coming publication, ‘Forever Young, Forever Sexy’ has so placed me in a state of excitement, surreal suspension, that to try and control it and not explode like the big bang, I have taken to writing this preview/review of it. I am undertaking it because I live in a country where qualified, competent and willing reviewers are non-existent. In the print media, you submit a precious free copy and ask some reporter, note taker, really, to review it but because that would require them having to read it and write up something educated about it, they prefer to interview you – your name, address, school etc. – while all what you want is your book reviewed.
So this book is a romance novel with Brad the playboy protagonist experiencing all the vicissitudes of the Casanova life, of being irresistibly desirable to the opposite sex, but also to later suffer from the curses and ravages of no longer being young and able. However, not letting chronology dictate how he lived, he mined all the pharmaceutical knowledge available on the subject – for both men and women – which when taken made one remain forever young and sexy – and which is made available in this book.
Picked out from a crowd of thousands by the star of a musical concert he attended some 25 years earlier was the one and only who wished him to contact her thousands of miles away, He never did but, however, more than two decades later she would see him once again and would be shocked that she instantly recognised him – because all the additives he used and stored in his body like a pharmaceutical warehouse kept him looking as if, indeed, age is only a number.
Apart from the romance connected with him staying ageless and evergreen, this book is worth reading if, I dare say, only for the writer’s command of the English language, his pyrotechnical use of it, and of proving that like T20 cricket, English has the potential to evolve from its mundane etymological roots to branches that spectacularly touch the sky.
When years ago my writer’s colleague asked me which book I would like to have – if only one was available – and I said Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha – I meant it then; now, however, to that same question, I will say without a pause: Forever Young, Forever Sexy by myself:
L Siddhartha Orie.