I had to do a lot of this and other countless scribblings, in the four years I put Before the Cult together.
Writing a piece of work that is supposed to mimic, amongst other things, all the negative effects of being a delusional depressive with anxiety and ADHD is not easy. The first hurdle is that everybody wants to know what it is instead of what it is like. That is putting aside that it had the task of discussing heavy things like the nature of existence and death. I intended to confuse, amongst other things, and incite all negative emotions towards the text, even hate – I wanted you to feel the misery (frustration, anger, hurt, pain, fear, doubt, disbelief, disgust, sorrow, alienation and more). The work is mental torture, if you went through it well done, you are resilient. If you didn’t well, point made – it is difficult for anyone with depression to go through it.
With all this said said here is the official review of Before the Cult from onlinebookclub.org
Before the Cult: A Glimpse Inside a Depressive’s Mindby Sandy Masia does exactly what it seeks to do. The book gives an honest, albeit disturbing, view into a depressed mind. Half way through the book I wasn’t sure if I liked it at all, even being tempted to put the book down and not touch it again. Something compelled me to finish the book and with Before the Cult: A Glimpse Inside a Depressive’s Mind finished I have to give the book 3 out of 4 stars.
The story centers on Sandy, a university student, and his two companions who are seeking “the crop”. The trios’ journey to find this “crop” is the driving force of the story, moving Sandy to either fight or embrace the crippling depression he feels. To find this “crop” he tries to follow the mysterious “calling”. This journey pushes Sandy to do things that the general public would balk at.
This book shook me to my foundation, something I am not accustomed too. Throughout the book I began to feel sad and discouraged. As I previously stated, I was even tempted to never touch the book again. Yet when I thought about the book and what it was trying to do, I realized that I was feeling what the main character was feeling. Each thought that went through the main characters’ mind made me feeling even more and more discouraged.
The empathy I developed with Sandy happened to be what I liked most about this book. Such a visceral feeling is something that I have not gotten from a book in a long time. I worried for the main characters and at the same time I was almost sure that I couldn’t keep reading. I did not know what was going to happen in the book and I was sure I wasn’t going to like it. Even so, following the nihilism of the book, what would finishing it accomplish? The characters are destined to their fate and finding out what that fate was would change nothing. A depressing thought but exactly what the book is trying to convey; a sense of hopelessness and meaninglessness, meant to be experienced along with the characters, though thankfully to a lesser degree. Eliciting such a real reaction in print is impressive in its own right.
The least likable thing about the book, and why the rating was not higher, was the confusion I felt when reading the book. Sometimes I had to reread entire passages and even then I was unsure of what was happening in the book. Due to the characters having their own terminology and slang, the meaning of these words, and their origins, was lost on me and I did not understand their weight until the end of the book. There the author Sandy Masia has several essays that explain most of the more esoteric events that took place in the book. Without these essays I wouldn’t have been able to understand many passages, including the ending.
Before the Cult: A Glimpse Inside a Depressive’s Mind is beautifully written and leaves one with a greater respect for people suffering with depression. This book managed to elicit a visceral reaction from me in less than two hundred pages and I greatly love it for that. Over all I recommend that anyone interested in the thriller, horror, crime, or mystery, reads this book at least once. Let the weight of this book reveal its’ meaning and brilliance to you itself.
I loved this review, it is so spot on and thoughtful.
You can get the book here:
As always, thanks for reading.
p.s Sorry I didn’t post anything last week,I got real sick
“Hold you in my arms and hold you in my gaze
Singing with my dying breath
Underneath this earth I resurrect your soul and nothing less
Sorry for the space, if I could fill the void an ocean wouldn’t hold the love
And everything I have and all I ever was is not enough.“- KoRn ‘I Will Protect You’