Reviewed: 2009-11-05 - (Review Updated: 2009-11-05)
A beautiful story of heroic courage in the face of disastrous betrayal and unremitting persecution.
Reading Samuel by Lazlo Zalezac reminds me of some of the stories from the Holocaust in WWII. Hopelessness and destruction and betrayal, the smell of death surrounded them; yet some survivors shrank inside themselves to preserve a spark of humanity amidst the atrocities they were forced to endure--and yes, commit themselves--for survival.
Samuel is alone in the world. All who could have, should have cared were gone. Today people turn against him with their suspicious minds. Is this any different from before, when others beset him with betrayal?
Nevertheless, Samuel maintains a spiritual integrity despite the abuses of humankind. It was the non-human penal system that gave him a program for living and set him free ... until the free world turned on him again.
If you have the world view that this lifetime is all there is, Samuel will probably be a real downer for you. But without explicitly saying so, Lazlo Zalezac gives hope for life continuing beyond our span of years, even if it's in the effects we leave behind. If you hope for meaning beyond this vale of tears, Samuel can give you a new perspective on what that hope could mean.
No sex, some spelling errors, a non-typical SOL ending, a simple and well-conceived plot, a surprisingly developed protagonist, and a theme that will give you cause to stop, to ponder, to question.
Samuel is a powerful story packed into a relatively small package.