Bali Wave Ghost: story summary, reviews and feedback

BALI WAVE GHOST SUMMARY His wife was one of the victims of the Bali Bombing and now, twenty years later, Odie is back. He decides to abandon his career as a reality TV star and begin a new life on the Island of the Gods. The demons of his past and a dangerous love affair soon combine with a medication problem to make Odie’s inner world as unpredictable as Bali itself. The beaches of Sanur, the ricefields of Ubud, the nightlife of Kuta and local warungs are the settings for Odie’s encounters with expats, locals and tourists. Written in Black’s dynamic, darkly humorous style, Bali Wave Ghost is a lyrical blend of romance, drama and history. " …this may well be a mad work of genius or a work of mad genius… In a way it reminds me of Einstein’s Dreams, another short novel that’s a classic… What category do you put it in? I’d say literary, with a touch of experimentalism.” Richard E. Lewis, a lifelong Bali resident and the author of Bones of the Dark Moon, a bestseller in Bali. Mr. Lewis also wrote The Killing Sea, published by Simon and Schuster.  

The following originated as a LinkedIn post by Lee A Meiser.

Bali Wave Ghost by Stephen Black

"This novel is a psychodramatic love story set on the Island of the Gods (Bali) in the year 2022. It is intended to be entertaining, informative, musical, and thought-provoking. I hope you find the characters interesting . . . The writing of this book began in Sanur, Bali in the summer of 2012 and was completed in Ubud, Bali in December 2015 . . . Concepts like Fate, language, technology, and crime crash against each other, recede and then crash again. BaliWave Ghost surfs between East and West, North and South and spirituality and materialism."

This novel is not for the faint of heart. There was a bombing in Bali in a place named "The Sari Club" in 2012, in which 202 victims died. Mr. Black takes on the persona of a first-person widow, named "Odie," who lost his wife, "Kathleen" in this blast. "The demons of his past and a dangerous love affair soon combine with a medication that make's Odie's world as upredictable as Bali itself."

"The beaches of Sanur, the ricefields of Ubud, the nightlife of Kuta, and the local warungs (eateries) are the settings for Odie's encounters with expats, locals, and tourists. Written in Mr. Black's dynamic, darkly humorous style, Bali Wave Ghostis a lyrical blend of romance, drama, and history."

The novel describes Odie's love of the Balinese people, his descent into despair, and his eventual friendships with unique people on the island: a lover named, "Francesca," a surfer named, "Will Sun," a backpacker named, Sarah, and multiple locals. It feels as lush as the frangipani flowers Black describes and at the same time out of bounds with the descriptions of desperate thoughts and retorts.

If you are easily offended, Bali Wave Ghost is not for you; if, however, you care for an insider's look at Bali, the novel would interest you. I have known Stephen Black for more than 10 years via LinkedIn. He gave me the best advice when I began writing for myself: Start with Draft #50 and keep going until you have reached Draft #1. Great advice Stephen: I believe you followed it when you wrote Bali Wave Ghost.

Lee A.

Editor and writer

“Henry Miller is alive and well and living in Bali!” -Diego  Lopez, Publisher of Nusa magazine/founder of Nusa surfwear
Bali Wave Ghost takes a dizzying, terrifying dive into a hidden heritage filled with the scent of frangipani and pure pleasure."
Julie O'yang, novelist, screenwriter, visual artist
 From an email correspondence with Hitoshi Wada:
“How beautiful your sentences are.”
Artist, writer and producer, Stephen Black wrote Bali Wave Ghost during his four year stay in Bali. Please poke around to learn more about his other books, artworks and music/video/VR/game projects. Following is a 2016 review of I Ate Tiong Bahru, another bookby SB. plans are now being made for a crowdfunded sequel called I Ate Tiong Bahru 2. ArtReview Asia review of IATB

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