Saturday, October 15, 2011
Professor Askin Ozcan has named this collection of his stories and reflections Ideas and Jellyfish (Prakash Books, 2011), after one of the creative nonfiction pieces in the book—the comparison being that ideas are elusive, just like jellyfish, slipping away the moment you touch them.
The items in this book are full of wit, humor, and adventure, though not all chapters are equally exciting; some are rich in creativity and thought; some are rather plain, like usual observations. Many stories are based on the author’s adventures in different countries and cultures (Professor Ozcan being a widely-traveled person). Interesting coincidences also make some of the real-life stories more attractive. At the end of the book are some fresh jokes.
The best story, which is also the longest in the book, is undoubtedly Please, No Serious Business! Full of humor, fantasy, and gentle satire, it describes the formation of a political party consisting of comedians, who win the national elections while sticking to their motto of making people laugh. In imagination, humor, and mood, it emulates the author’s previous gem The Second Venice. This story alone makes good reason for all lovers of amusing fiction to get the book and see how far the author’s imagination can take them.
Call it the work of wit, Professor Ozcan’s amusing ideas presented in this collection aren’t so shy as jellyfish. They are likely to remain with the readers for quite a while after they have finished reading the book.