~Spotlight: Levels by Jim Vuksic~

Levels by Jim Vuksic

Imagine a world in which there is no war, crime, poverty, hunger, inequality, prejudice, bigotry, greed or envy. Everyone, without exception, has access to the exact same quantity and quality of food, clothing, housing, medical care, formal education and social advancement opportunities. Now imagine that, in this world, the words father, mother, daughter, son, brother, sister, marriage, family and religion do not exist because the concepts themselves do not exist. The inhabitants are occasionally transported to a place they never knew existed or are required to do something without having the slightest idea of what they are doing or why it must be done. Can you imagine such a world? Well I did. If you should choose to visit it sometime, I hope that you enjoy reading about the world of Levels as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Format: Perfect Paperback

Disclosure: I purchased the book “Levels” by Jim Vuksic. I do not know the author personally and have had only encounters with him as a friend on the Goodreads site. I had no communication with him at any time about this book. The comments that follow are my own personal opinion. I received NO compensation of any kind, or from any one, to provide this review.

I wanted to read this book and hoped I would truly enjoy the read. I did. I rarely give 5 stars but this book deserves every one of them. It is an amazing read. I read it twice and I’m quite sure I will read it again from time to time. It had a remarkable impact on me and provided a very clear and concise explanation of the philosophy that could make our society a very peaceful and intelligent one.

From the first chapter I found this book unique. The pace was smooth and continued that way throughout the book. It was never boring or exciting, but held my interest completely and I often had trouble putting it down. Unlike many futuristic stories, this book goes to the next step. It tells the story of an advanced society successful in its goals; one that has no need to engage in major battles. That success makes this book unique, fascinating, and disturbing all at the same time. There are no wars, battles, blood, suspense, or tension only experience and enlightenment. The conclusion is unexpected.

As I followed Jonathan and his various friends through their education and experiences, you get the feeling you are there with them. This book creates unusual emotional and personal connections laced with a truly deep sense of logic. It is an excellent read, and I highly recommend this book. I wish everyone would read it at least once.

Format: Kindle Edition

Levels had so many elements of a well-written novel. The main character, Jonathan, was structured as a likeable person whose struggles made me more than sympathetic to. The complex plot paints a picture of a subterranean culture surviving in a dystopian setting. It is well orchestrated and full of twists and turns. It would make for a great series or perhaps a series of films. Vuksic's writing is clean and disciplined. That being said, I would have liked to see the author step outside the safe zone and not be so "clean" when it came to the dialogue or the situations. A lot is left to the imagination when it came to the sub-plots. Sometimes too much to keep the flow constant. Overall this book is highly imaginative and well worth the read.
Where you can find Levels:
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Levels-Jim-Vuksic/dp/1617777994/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448492624&sr=8-1&keywords=levels+jim+vuksic
Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/levels-jim-vuksic/1103816206?ean=9781617777998
Where you can find Jim:
Interview with Jim:

What prompted you to write your book?

Writing a novel was just one of several items included in a “bucket list” that my late wife insisted I create upon retiring in 2001. It took me fourteen months to produce a completed, polished manuscript and an additional two months working with and learning from the copy editor, conceptual editor and layout design artist, assigned by the publisher to help convert the manuscript into a commercially viable book. Levels was released August 9, 2011. It is distributed internationally by Ingram/Spring Arbor and is available through fourteen commercial vendors in four formats – paperback (376 pages), e-Book (Kindle/Nook/Tablet), audio book on CD (9 compact discs) and audio download – 8 hours listening time, narrated by Stephen Rozzell.

What concepts are you hoping your readers will learn from reading your book?

Levels is a tale of a society constantly striving for perfection. To do so, sometimes even cherished institutions, philosophies, and traditions, that were originally intended to bring out the best in people, must be abandoned. Wanting something to be reality does not make it real and believing something to be the truth does not make it true.

What inspires you to write?

Writing a novel was an interesting and worthwhile experience. However, there are so many other interesting and worthwhile things I wish to experience, I seriously doubt that I will ever find time to write another book. When I get too old to do those other things, I may be inspired to write again.

What are your hobbies/interests in addition to writing?

I play both the acoustic guitar and electric bass. Addicted to spontaneous road trips, I love to hop in the car and travel, sometimes for days or even weeks at a time. I am also an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction books. Spending time with my four adult children and four grandchildren is what I enjoy the most.

What do you want your readers to remember about you?

The story revealed in Levels is a reflection of the beliefs, philosophies and goals that I have strived throughout my life to uphold and accomplish. If everyone would do the same, the world might be a much better place.

If you could leave me with one piece of advice about life, what would it be?

Strive always to be the best person possible. Most importantly, be yourself, not what others want you to be.