Author Archives: Joel D. Hirst

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).

My Greatest Creation

It’s impossible to force yourself on others. That’s the trick, isn’t it? The only way, is through control of the levers of government – which is why the fight for those cavemen’s clubs is so vicious, the better to beat … Continue reading

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Agent Sonya – A Book Review

Its easy to think of Europe as we know it today. Boring and dull. Sticky cheese and over-priced wine; but oh so comfortable. Old and nostalgic. Its that way on purpose, because the first half of the 20th century was … Continue reading

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Why Not A Jubilee?

There’s nothing that highlights the coming financial debacle like the news I read this morning: Costa Rica is considering open-pit gold mining and deep sea fracking to cover the epic, yawning, gaping hole in their finances. Um, say what??? Now, … Continue reading

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Towards the end of his life, and after more than 25 years of silence, Leo Tolstoy returned. He had something, one last thing perhaps to say. “Resurrection” was Tolstoy’s reflections upon a long life in Tsarist Russia. The book is … Continue reading

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Apples of Immortality

For those who love medieval literature – Chaucer or the Brothers Grim – for those who love faerie tales from Ireland – you will love Apples of Immortality. Stories that come from the olden Armenian traditions, handed down from father … Continue reading

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The Gift of Empathy

Literally, in fact. For Christmas this year, marked by really quite a bit of hate and bitterness, give the gift of empathy. “It is Charles that is speaking in the first person. This I found to be an important distinction. … Continue reading

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A Short Story Worth Dying For

Sometimes you stumble across something that is majestic. That’s what happened with “Farewell Aylis”, by Azeri novelist Akram Aylisli. Specifically, of this “Non-Traditional Novel”, the second short story – Stone Dreams. Stone Dreams is a story of an Azeri man … Continue reading

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3 Books To Change The Way You Think

One of the things about a pandemic, of which I hope you are taking advantage (as I am) is the ‘free time’ to read. Without our long commutes, with workloads somewhat reduced (so much of my job is meetings and … Continue reading

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“Apocalypse Never” – A Must Read

Does the sight of a dolphin make you sad? Does the gentle lapping of the sea only make you think of the plastic water-bottle in your hand? Does a sunset fill you with fear and panic? Do you look at … Continue reading

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To Be Burned Twice

“For, to be burned twice in one’s lifetime, is, after all, a rare distinction.” I recently finished reading Arthur Koestler’s two-part auto-biography, P1 “Arrow in the Blue” and P2 “The Invisible Writing”. Finished when he was only thirty-five years old … Continue reading

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