A grieving psychiatrist's life and career are jeopardized when a suicidal patient and mysterious pet therapist come to the psych ward.
A grieving psychiatrist's life and career are jeopardized when a suicidal patient and mysterious pet therapist come to the psych ward.
A Mysterious Traveler. A Sentient Canine. A Psychotic Patient...
Grieving psychiatrist Ben Banks can’t find a way to heal from loss. But when a mystifying, miraculous and mind-bending trio arrive at the psych ward, the Doctor is forced to confront his deepest fears and beliefs about the nature of consciousness and reality - even death. With his marriage, career and life hanging by a thread, he faces demons both real and imagined, all the while being transformed forever in this inspiring story of hope, healing and renewal.
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Synopsis: In author Donald Altman's metaphysical novel, "Travelers", we are introduced to a mysterious traveler, a sentient canine, a psychotic patient, and a grieving psychiatrist. Psychiatrist Ben Banks can't find a way to heal from loss. But when a mystifying, miraculous and mind-bending trio arrive at the psych ward, Ben is forced to confront his deepest fears and beliefs about the nature of consciousness and reality -- even death. With his marriage, career and life hanging by a thread, he faces demons both real and imagined, all the while being transformed forever in an inspiring story of hope, healing and renewal. Critique: An original, expertly crafted, surreal and memorable novel, "Travelers" by Donald Altman will have a special resonance with readers interest in magical realism, metaphysics, and psychology drama. While highly recommended for community library Contemporary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Travelers" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49). Editorial Note: Donald Altman (https://mindfulpractices.com) is a psychotherapist, international mindfulness expert, and award-winning author of over 15 books translated worldwide. Featured as an expert in The Mindfulness Movie and profiled in the Living Spiritual Teachers Project, he currently writes Psychology Today's Practical Mindfulness Blog. ~ Midwest Book Review, James Cox, Editor-in-Chief
As a nation, we continue to deal with this truth; how are we moving from personal and community contention to ‘united’? This unsettling aspect is at the core of Donald Altman’s searing novel, “Travelers.” Framing personal stories within a corporate agenda, that folds inside a deeper Indigenous heritage, Altman’s three tracks are in constant motion. When collision seems the only recourse, it is the deftness of timing that brings us to plausible resolutions. As a braiding of personal confession, crime detection and cultural insights, “Travlers” operates on multiple realities and ways of knowing. We’re in the company of the knowing, seeing eye amidst the blind-sighted, traveling through the day-after-day routine until…and that’s when you can’t put the book down even when it’s past bedtime and tomorrow is supposed to be a get up and at it day. So be forewarned; prepare meals beforehand, start reading in the morning, and indulge yourself in one of those immersive reading straight through days. We’re in an Oregon State Hospital, providing patient-centered, psychiatric treatment for adults who need hospital-level care. The narrator, a board-certified psychiatrist, is in his own stage-of-crisis, but he convinces himself he’s pushing past that, until the push comes to shove and he’s inside a vortex of compassion for a newly arrived patient, collegiality with an aspiring head of command and threatened by a pushy community leader. If that’s not enough for a full plate, enter a woman with a dog nestled around her neck and a knapsack on her back. What’s transpiring is the path to wisdom if he can make it through the traps. Mindfulness is at the core. “You may not think that psychiatrists are scientists,” admonishes the narrator on page one, “but we undergo intense medical training, learn best practices, and use a combination of neuroleptics and other meds with proven talk therapy approaches to help patients.” Uh-hu, I say, already bleary-eyed from the arrogance; what about humanity, I mumble. o.k., maybe this isn’t a make-a-wide-berth-around-him guy after all because the next sentence offers a disclaimer: “I only mention that because what I’m about to share in these pages may seem to be “out there,” in the sense that it lacks rationality and science-based evidence.” I’m fully invested. Time and space tumble me into their own realities as if I’m a raw pebble. In the processing, I am becoming a far more polished observer of life, earth up—and under. Published by John Hunt Publishing-Roundfire Books, “Travelers” is a 2023 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Winner: General Fiction & First Novel. ~ Rita Kohn, reviewer , Nuvo.net arts and entertainment site
It’s not often that works of fiction appear in these pages, but, just sometimes, they do, and this is such a case. This deeply affecting and touching work concerns a mysterious traveller, a sentient canine and a psychotic patient. Grieving psychiatrist Ben Banks can’t find a way to heal from loss. But when a mysterious, miraculous, and mind-bending trio arrives at the psych ward, the doctor is forced to confront his deepest fears and beliefs about the nature of consciousness, especially reality - even death. With his marriage, career and life hanging by a thread, he faces real and imagined demons, all the while being transformed forever in this inspiring story of hope, healing and renewal. This book deserves to be read because it can have a beneficial, deep and lasting effect on the reader. ~ Phenomena Magazine, Review
If you’re fascinated by auras, out-of-body experiences and the world beyond human perception, this book will provide much to ponder. Author Donald Altman is a psychotherapist, a former Buddhist monk and a leading proponent of everyday mindfulness. Travelers is an intriguing exploration of otherworldly awareness and the strength of the human spirit. Aurealis Issue 161 ~ Aurealis Issue 161, Review
In this well-contrived storyline, the subjects of mental health, spirituality, healing and understanding are woven together to create a fascinating journey to a world of alternatives, which, while at times could be considered as confrontational, also carefully offers much for consideration on how we as people live or choose to live, our lives. ~ Bluewolf Reviews, Review
In what is a thoroughly engrossing book, from start to finish a written prose that builds into something, sooner than later, that quickly draws you in and never lets you go. A fascinatingly beautiful read, Travelers is a quite wondrous adventure, moreover, a journey that unfolds page by page to reveal an uncharted world of shamanic visions, paranormal states and new dimensions of consciousness. But don’t think for one minute that there are no genuine, real-life, experienced roots here within the prose, for author Donald Altman draws on his extensive experiences as a psychotherapist, former monk and spiritual seeker to bring us these delightful and veritably compelling twists and turns. ~ Exclusive Magazine, Review
This is a novel about trust, hope, survival, understanding, the healing of the heart, mind and soul and opening yourself up to a new way of looking at life. Take the journeys with Mason and Ben into new realms, and different worlds and enter the mind and hearts of the TRAVELERS. With hope in his heart, the help of some that would never have trusted him before, the friendship of one man and the determination to bounce back author Donald Altman teaches us many life lessons, many ways of looking at our lives and the world as you too might want to become one of the TRAVELERS. Fran Lewis: Just reviews ~ Just Reviews, Review
This an interesting story about our reality and how we understand our world. This story raises many questions about self-awareness, our place in the world and how what happens around us affects us. It is about a psychiatrist, Ben Banks, who himself suffers from a great trauma and struggles to fight it. Until, one day a new patient, Mason, comes to his office and their relationship will affect Ben and determine the way he understands how this world works. It is a unique story, very interesting and different than any other I have read. It made me think deeper and wonder a lot. If you like that kind of stories then I recommend this one. ~ Elina Katswni (Reviewer), NetGalley
An incredible and fascinating read! ~ The Paranormal Chronicles, Review
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This is a beautiful novel about discovering another layer of reality, which is based on reality. If only this sort of thing was understood in the world of psychiatry, then true healing could be done far more widely. ~ Graisi O'Hara (Media/Journalist) , NetGalley
Donald Altman’s Travelers is a gripping mystical journey through Time and Space, rooted in the reality of a Psychiatric Hospital. A Psychiatrist journeys into his young patient’s universe and together they fight his inner demons which turn out to be both real and imagined. The outer demons make this book a real thriller in the unique microcosm of the Hospital which reverberates and expands to illuminate the forces unleashed in our world today. Both chilling and moving. ~ Lyle Kessler, Tony nominated playwright and screenwriter of Orphans and The Saint of Fort Washington
The mutual reciprocity between Professional CareGiver and UnderCaredFor unfolds in various surprising and meaningful ways in this fascinating novel, and reminds me of K-Pax; of Ken Kesey’s hero’s Herculean labors to free the prisoners of Nurse Ratchet and her over-institutionalized mental health system; as well as initiatory and cosmic healing journeys of all kinds, outer and inner and beyond, physical, mental, spiritual, emotional - during which the shadows in the fearsome heart of darkness are revealed as nothing less than the light of spiritual love itself. It is insights like Dr. Banks’ profound pith instruction, “Just remember no one is either all bad or all good,” that makes Travelers worth reading and savoring in the heart of awakened awareness during these tumultuous, confused and stressful times. ~ Lama Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Within
Travelers is a powerful and touching novel of loss, grief and healing. In the tradition of Herman Hesse, this thought-provoking story carries you into new realms of the psyche as it follows the main character in his search for authenticity, self-knowledge, and spirituality. Its timeless message is how love is given, not taken. ~ John Arden, PhD, psychologist and author of Mind-Brain-Gene
Travelers is a thrilling adventure and journey into the uncharted world of shamanic visions, paranormal states and new dimensions of consciousness. A clinical psychiatrist's theories, personal life, and medical career are jeopardized through his chance encounter with a mysterious “traveler” at the psych hospital. Donald Altman draws on his extensive experiences as a psychotherapist, former monk and spiritual seeker to weave a narrative full of twists and turns, as compelling as it is inspiring. ~ David Nez, author of Tree of Visions: Visionary Traditions of the Western World
Travelers is a marvelous book that shows how we all have our little mental boxes, and for psychiatrist Dr. Ben Banks, his have become a prison cell. Then, a new patient, young Mason Delabrey, with his mind-blowing experiences, comes for help. And the boy’s therapy quickly becomes a two-way street that broadens the doctor’s limited perception of himself and his possibilities - even those that exist after death. Something we all need. Highly recommended. ~ John Nelson, visionary author of I, Human and Matrix of the Gods
Travelers promises a spiritual journey of significance and Altman’s book delivers. While it reads like a true story written by a therapist, the story carries you along on a mystical journey of initiation into another reality. This novel challenges what you assume to be true and how your beliefs can limit you. The story reveals the deeper truth of how those who unexpectedly show up in your life can open your heart and help you consider possibilities beyond the known. The grieving protagonist experiences a deep transformation, and the reader is invited to a deeper understanding of self as well. ~ —Julie Tallard Johnson, LCSW, author of The Clue of the Red Thread and Wheel of Initiation
Read this book to open your doors of perception! This story casts a quantum spell, triggering 'spooky action at a distance' within you. Like the works of Carlos Castaneda, Travelers takes you on a journey beyond the limits of rationality and science that will have you questioning reality. Travelers is sure to leave an enduring echo of hope reverberating in your heart and spirit long after the words recede into memory. A deeply soul satisfying and meaningful work for our times. ~ —Randall Fitzgerald, author and former Roving Editor of Reader's Digest
Travelers is a beautifully crafted story of the journey of Dr. Banks, a trained psychiatrist coping with his own inner pains and demons along with those of his patients. The author’s professional knowledge of the inner workings of a psychiatric hospital create such vivid reality that the reader wonders if the story is biography, fiction or science fiction. The reader is drawn effortlessly into the town and hospital and home of Dr. Banks, and accepts the strange and wondrous visitors and visions that come to ease his personal pain. The very human struggle for finding truth and healing adds a veracity to a well-drawn and compelling story that allows the reader to ponder their own attitudes toward the spiritual unknown with greater insight. Travelers is a quick read but contains depths of knowledge that teach and enlighten and ends with a positive appreciation of the individual potential that exists inside of us all. Highly Recommended. ~ —Doug Lowell, author of Soulmate
Donald Altman's Travelers is a brilliant and beautiful journey into the mystical realms of mind, body, and spirit healing. It is so well written that it immediately draws you into the story of a psychiatrist's spiritual initiation. It is written from the perspective of someone who has spent countless hours working with patients, studying mindfulness and exploring the vast realms of the interiority. Travelers is an odyssey of hope, healing and the holistic integration of our fragmented selves. ~ Michael Stone, trauma facilitator and author of Living a Shamanic Way of Life