Tag Archives: poverty

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Was Calcutta Poverty Really That Bad?

WAS CALCUTTA POVERTY REALLY THAT BAD?

The main characters in Soul of the Beast travel to Calcutta, India and experience the extreme poverty that still exists today. When someone says  the poor of America are rich compared with Calcutta, Americans often scoff.  But Mother Theresa knew this was true and spent her life giving comfort to the poor of Calcutta. Below are excerpts from an online article on the subject by Backpacking Tips Asia:

India is an amazing country to travel in …But unfortunately, the poverty [ in India is overwhelming.] Poverty can roughly be divided into absolute poverty, [what we see in India] or relative poverty [what we see in the United States].

calcutta5Absolute poverty is what you see on television … when they show skinny children from… Africa…the absolute poverty line is $1.25 per day.In other words, if a person is living on $1.25 or less per day, that person is living in absolute poverty. Continue reading

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Background: John Sexton, His Curse, His Mates

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John Sexton is a central character of Soul of the Beast and the person who tells the story. He was born into an aristocratic British family and grew up with all the benefits of wealth and social status. His life was perfect until the Curse began.

The Curse. One by one, the adult men of the Sexton family die mysteriously. After the last Sexton adult man dies, the sons die on the first day of their eighteenth year.  John Sexton is the next to turn eighteen. With his doom just months away, John attempts to escape his fate by sailing to South Africa and hiding among the gold fields.sob-goldmines

David is John’s mate and the son of a poor South African farmer. He has a claim in the gold fields near John’s. When miners attempt to kill John, David fights them off and saves John’s life. The two become mates and work their claims together. When John sails to Australia, David goes along to protect him.  sob-thuggees

Mick Kelly is another of John’s mates. He is the son of an Irish convict sentenced to ten years of forced labor in Australia.  Mick’s mother and father both die, and he is forced to live on the streets of Derby. Mick teaches himself to read and, with his street smarts, becomes a reporter for the local newspaper. Mick says, “A good reporter knows where the bodies are buried.”

Want to know more background to Soul of the Beast? Post your questions and comments below.  I’m ready to answer any questions you have about the book.

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Were Starving Irishmen Convicted For Stealing Food?

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 Soul of the Beast takes place in 1886 during the time of the British Empire. At the time, starving Irishmen  were convicted  for stealing food to feed their starving families. They were sent to the penal colony in Australia. Below are excerpts from an online article by Independent Australia. You can read the article by clicking on the link.

In the early [1800's], …Australia became the first [British] colony to build a society [based] on the labour of convicted felons…Between 1787 and 1852, more than 150,000 convicts were transported to eastern Australia with around 50,000 prisoners being of Irish origin… SOB convicts on Shipminor thefts [like stealing food to survive] predominated [as the reasons for Irish convictions]… Continue reading

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Are Thugs Real?

Thugs were very real.thuggee3 They were an Indian assassin cult. Their real name for themselves was Thuggee, but the British called them Thugs. Here is what the Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained says about Thugs:

No organized cult of killers has ever murdered as many people as the Thuggee. In the 1830s this Indian secret society strangled upward of 30,000 native people and travelers as a sacrifice to their goddess Kali…  Continue reading

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RIVER BLINDNESS

 

SOB Blindness 2In Soul Of The Beast, John and Mick meet a blind beggar without legs and with completely white eyes. Why were his eyes white? A likely cause is RIVER BLINDNESS. Below are excerpts from an online article about River Blindness from infoplease.com . To read the  article click the link: http://bit.ly/PlnyPb.

River blindness is caused by a parasitic worm [that enters the human body through the bite of a black fly. The fly lives in fertile areas near rivers. Each adult worm produces millions of larvae that [migrate] throughout the body… When the worm enters the eyes, it causes … blindness… The disease shows symptoms one to three years after the [bite.]

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BEGGARS

BEGGARS

In Soul of the Beast, John encounters beggars in Calcutta, India. Below is a discussion about beggars with quotes from Wikipedia .

SOBbeggar_4Beggars and Begging “have existed in human society since before the dawn of recorded history.” Begging is still common in nearly every society today although the prevalence and exact form varies.

 Beggars are typically people who are unable to work because of personal problems such as handicaps, injuries and mental illness or because of a lack of jobs. They beg to obtain the basics of life: food and money. 

In the past,  governments helped beggars by forcing them into workhouses, “a state-operated institution where those unable to obtain other employment were forced to work in often grim conditions in exchange for a small amount of food. The welfare state of the 20th century [has] greatly reduced the number of beggars by directly providing for the basic necessities of the poor from state funds.”

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Mother Teresa and the Poverty of Calcutta

Mother Teresa was one of the greatest humanitarians of all time. She gave her life to comfort the people suffering from the horrific poverty of Calcutta. Below are excerpts from the online biography by Bio.TRUE STORY.

Synopsis

SOBMother-Teresa12Baptized on August 27, 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia, Mother Teresa taught in India for 17 years before she experienced her [call to care] for the sick and poor. Her order established a hospice; centers for the blind, aged, and disabled; and a leper colony. [In 1979 she] received the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work.

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WHY I WROTE SOUL OF THE BEAST

 

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The Soul of the Beast there is an ancient myth hidden in the Himalayan Mountains. For centuries, men have searched for the Soul believing that it will give them powers and eternal life to its possessor. John Sexton’s grandfather finds the key to finding the Soul. He gives the key to John to keep it from an assassin cult. The assassins murder the grandfather and pursue John and his mates to kill them and take the key and the Soul’s powers for themselves. John and his mates are in a race for their lives that takes them across continents. Neither John nor the assassins realize their every move is controlled and part of a war between unseen forces.

 

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I wrote SOUL OF THE BEAST because of the high numbers of teens, and adults, who can’t read or read poorly. That has always bothered me. Then came the day when I walked through the Young Adult section of a bookstore. The main shelves were filled with comics in paperback form with meaningless stories and quick art meant for mass production.  Solid fiction like Treasure Island, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter was relegated to side shelves where it was harder to see and find.
horse3 That’s when I decided to write an adventure thriller to grab the attention of poor and non readers and keep them reading.

If Soul of the Beast  is something you’re interested in reading or giving as a gift, you can buy it online in both paperback and ebook. Simply click Amazon.com . 

 

Still not sure you’d like it? You can read the first chapter for free. Simply go to my website, wesphelan.com, Click on Soul of the Beast Excerpt . (It’s below  the main banner with the dragon at the top of the page.) Read the first ten pages. If that doesn’t capture your interest, then thanks for looking. I’m betting you’ll want more.

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Welcome to the Home of the Beasts!

SOB Monk HimalayasWelcome to my book blog and the website for my novel Soul Of The Beast . I’m Wes Phelan, the author.

Soul Of The Beast was first published by Clemson University Digital press. You can purchase the book through  them by clicking the following link:  www.clemson.edu/cedp/cudp/pubs/phelan/index.html.

Soul Of The Beast has  also been published by Amazon.com in both paper back and ebook. To purchase Soul Of The Beast, click the link below: http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Beast-Wes-Phelan-ebook/dp/B00FT4PYOE/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1382412928&sr=8-10&keywords=soul+of+the+beast

himalayas2Blogs about the book and related topics are published weekly at this website. http://wes.phelan.com

Awakening The Beast, the sequel to Soul Of The Beast and the second part of the saga, is d currently in the editing phase. I expect it to be published in the spring of 2015. The sequel will address many of the mysteries left unexplained in Soul Of The Beast, and reveal more mysteries that will make ATB another fascinating read.

In the more distant future, I intend to dust off and publish my first novel, Medicus Studentus: Chronicles Of Underwoood.TibetanMonk5 This is a totally different story about the real and not-so-real life of a reluctant medical student.

If you enjoyed Soul Of The Beast, please tell your friends. Let them know they can read the first chapter of the book for FREE on this website! Simply click SOUL OF THE BEAST EXCERPT in the bar beneath the red banner.

Zhong rules! Go Tigers!

Himalayan TigerIf you have any comments or questions, you can post them below.  I’d like to hear from you!