Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: Concret e Operational

Concrete Operational Boxed Set by Richard Galbraith (includes the book, music CD and Art Book)

Publication Date: October 2009
Publisher: CreateSpace
Format: Paperback, 262 pp; Art Book, 70 pp; CD, 5 songs
The Boxed Set is a limited edition collection

(Received for review from the author)

Purchase: Check out Buying info from the website HERE!


Click HERE for The Short and Book Trailer!

What is Concrete Operational? (From the website)

Concrete Operational, at it's core, is a collaborative media project. It brings together the aesthetic and audio qualities of art and music around the power of the written word to provide the viewer, listener, reader, with a complete experience.

This immersive event is what Richard Galbraith considers as one possible future for the book, Richard is project lead and author of Concrete Operational, the novel that provides the content and themes for the artists and musicians.

He believes the debate amongst the publishing industry regarding e-books, eReaders, electronic ink, copyright, print on demand and everything else is secondary to the true reason for the written word, art and music: to explore the emotion that it's creation derives.

It's future is how we evolve and ensure these ideals take priority.

Operation Concrete hopes to do this, by providing us with the facility to explore some of the deepest human emotions; anger, desire, love, jealousy and madness across three mediums.

We hope that as you feel the music, as you absorb the art, as you immerse yourself in the written word, you will find something that moves you, that helps you question life, and helps you move closer to finding a meaning behind it all.


The Concrete Operational Boxed Set is a total experience. You not only have the written word which we all know has incredible power to move the human spirit, but you have the art work and music that were created from the idea's and concepts that Richard Galbraith brings out in his book. It is not possible to review the whole without discussing each part separately first.

The novel itself, Concrete Operational tells the story of Germany Germany a free man who has now become a part of the machine. He hates the system, yet he is now a part of it. He and the world fought against the idea of "celebrity" that had taken over and become a tool of subjugation over man. Will he give in or fight for the freedom he once knew? What will it cost him? As freewill and fate collide and love, peace and the fabric of time itself comes into question will Germany Germany rise to occasion or be defeated?

I was skeptical as to whether I would be able to really understand what the author was getting at with the book, when I first got all the materials. But Richard Galbraith is really on to something with this whole concept, of using art and music to enhance the written word.

The story itself has is rather deep and puts me in mind of something like George Orwell's, 1984, the world under subjugation. It's up to the hero, Germany Germany to bring salvation to this future world that has gone completely mad. Society is all about celebrity, nothing else matters except fame, not talent, accomplishments or anything else. The celebrities themselves are like caged animals only allowed out when performing. Germany Germany was raised away from this environment but is eventually sucked in, although he retains his memory of what it was like to be free. I liked the novel a lot as I think it is a parody of one possible future we could face. There were a few editing issues, with it, but nothing too serious and easily overlooked by interesting concepts of love, jealousy, madness and other emotions dealt with in the book.

The Art Book that accompanies the book and CD is based on the concepts depicted in the book; anger, desire, love, jealousy and madness. It is composed of works of art from several artists based on each theme and accompanied by a selection from the book. I liked the presentation and how the selection from the book really explained the work. I really enjoyed the works of Tori Treasure and Holly Exley which depicted both love and jealousy.

The CD is composed of 5 songs by different musicians. The music is full of different styles and themes, but very accurately brought back to memory different parts of the book and helped to enhance it's themes. I particularly liked, "Hey, Hey My Head".

Altogether the book, CD and Art book make up a very interesting boxed set that works very well together. The CD and the Art book a real enhancement to the book itself which is really what the project is all about. I think the publishing world will really take notice with this one and see how other books could be enhanced by doing similar things with them. Richard Galbraith is definitely on to something. I would expect this is the first of many projects we'll see from him and look forward to the next.

I recommend this one to the reader who enjoys abstract concepts and is looking for something different from just the normal reading experience. It's very ambitious and very well done.

Check out my guest post and giveaway with the author, Richard Galbraith later today.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!