Since leaving America in August 2006, I’ve traveled to twenty-six countries. A great deal has happened. I have written eight full-length novels, the most recent being An Unlikely Truth which appeared this past March 24th, have had over thirty short stories and seven poems published, and even found time to compose a number of songs. And of course I continue to write quirky, sometimes controversial, occasionally satirical essays, as an ongoing commentary on our interesting and often convoluted times. These blogs are located on my Slow Bullets page.
In my travels I have experienced quite a lot and had a few ideas along the way. This site is to share my thoughts, photos, music, writings, travel experiences, and developing political and social commentary with you. I hope you find it interesting and informative.
John Rachel has a B. A. in Philosophy, has traveled extensively, is a songwriter, music producer, novelist, a left-of-left liberal, and has spent his entire life trying to resolve the intrinsic clash between the metaphysical purity of Buddhism and the overwhelming appeal of narcissism. Prompted by the trauma of graduating high school and having to leave his beloved city of Detroit to attend university, the development of his social skills and world view were arrested at age 18. This affliction figures prominently in all of his creative work.
While living in Japan in 2008, he wrote his first novel, From Thailand With Love. Then in November of 2009, he completed his second novel, The Man Who Loved Too Much. It was written over ten months, as he lived in and traveled through Japan, China, Nepal, India and Thailand.
While writing 11-11-11, he lived in Japan and Vietnam. 11-11-11 is the prequel to 12-12-12. The two are linked by characters and location. The clueless and basically powerless citizens of Pulnick, Missouri find it nearly impossible to eke out a meaningful existence in a world plagued by stupidity, superstition, gossip, political manipulation, and paranoid rumors about the end of the world. Does this sound familiar? The lead character for the two novels is Noah Tass, a bright young man in his early twenties, who ultimately is caught up in all of the ongoing insanity as he attempts to escape the bland hopelessness of his dreary life and begin a new, meaningful existence elsewhere. His bizarre journey is one of self-discovery and the kind of enlightenment one only achieves by confronting the weird and unexpected. Sounds serious? Actually there is much more laughing than crying. The events of these two novels are fictional, an alternative reality. But remarkably they ring truer than reality itself.
12-12-12 was completed January 2012 and was published March 18, 2012. While writing this dark satire, chock full unusual twists and biting political humor, the author lived in Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and of course Japan.
John Rachel’s most recent novels include Blinders Keepers (published June 1, 2013), and An Unlikely Truth (planned publication date February 24, 2014). Blinders Keepers sprung from a suggestion made by a movie industry executive. Impressed by 11-11-11 and 12-12-12, this gentleman was convinced they would make a great movie, but would require drastic editing, since filming them in their entirety would amount to about 20 hours of screen time. Author Rachel combined the stories, cut the plot line to the bone, and finished the screenplay Blinders Keepers __ ‘The blind leading the blind and the rest of us directing them to the nearest cliff.’ __ just last autumn. The novelization of that screenplay is the book (for more on this bizarre social-political satire, you can check it out here).
Before starting on the screenplay, the hyperthyroid Rachel had just completed his political drama An Unlikely Truth. Though it contains much of the biting humor which has driven his previous novels, it overall represents a dramatic shift of tone for the author. Set in lovely homespun Dayton Ohio, it’s the story of an underdog Green Party candidate’s unpropitious fourth run for Congress against a slick GOP pretty boy, a sixth-term incumbent, an ex-military guy, totally full of hot air but a walking Kodak moment with a campaign war chest that made him almost unassailable. The story incorporates a unique and powerful strategy for defeating the sort of ubiquitous blowhards which lately have monopolized Washington DC, are owned lock-stock-and-barrel by big corporations and Wall Street bankers, vote their pocketbooks, smugly ignore the needs of the vast majority of citizens, and have mutated contemporary American politics into a play-for-pay game show with legislative votes going to the highest bidder. An Unlikely Truth’s release early in 2014 is shrewdly timed for the mid-term congressional elections in November.
During the writing of these last two works, Rachel traveled extensively in Japan, and went back to America twice. He just recently returned from a nine-nation tour of Europe.
The guy just can’t seem to settle down. His last permanent U.S. residence was Portland, Oregon where he had a state-of-the-art ProTools recording studio, music production house, radio promotion and music publishing company. During his ten years in Portland, he professionally recorded and produced many artists in the Pacific Northwest, releasing and promoting their music on radio across the U. S. of A.
John Rachel has no pets but raises organic vegetables in the fields adjacent to his home. He often refers to his current life as living in a fairy tale, and maintains that his biggest complaint now is that his jaw hurts from smiling so much.
Tsk! Tsk! We should all have problems like this.