Beautiful. Seriously beautiful, all I can say. It's like a stream-of-consciousness journey through the skies of imagination and reflection, diving into thoughts of life, existence, all that Mariana Trench-deep, philosophical stuff.
POSTCARDS FROM BEYOND REALITY
Beautiful, thought provoking, and painful all rolled into one.
This is a must read for any fan of poetry. You can feel the writer's pain as he shares his views and experiences, growing up and living in, New York. How he feels comes out with every word on every line, and Bernard compiled them beautifully to make this powerful and emotional book. Bravo, and thank you.
By Christopher Henry Thomas, September 10, 2022, published on Goodreads; September 11, 2022, published on Amazon and BookBub, 5/5
Original and compelling.
Postcards From Beyond Reality: The Selected Poems of Michael Daniels by Bernard Jan is a clever collection of postcard-sized snippets of thought and reverie wrought from the mind of fictional skateboarding teen, Michael Daniels. The thematic elements weave through topics ranging from grief, loss, and heartbreak to beauty, peace, and wistfulness. As Michael perceives and digests New York through the motion of his trusty skateboard, the colors, smells, and sounds seem to filter through every open window and carry on the breeze. Though he is disturbed from the tragedy and malice that has been forced upon him, the peace he feels on that board comes through in each earnest verse. Melancholic is the timbre of iN rEUNION. “You reach for me… to touch my soul. Melting bitterness of rainy days to come.” In fAITH, he comes to an optimistic realization. “The man believes in what he wants to believe. I want to believe that Love exists.” Though Michael’s childhood was no walk in the park, his fanciful whimsy manages to shine through the haze of darkness. Although, the darkness can’t help but make an appearance. It is this balance between hope and hopelessness that gives even more insight into Michael’s character.
By creating poetry from the perspective of a fictional character, Bernard Jan is free to push boundaries when exploring Michael’s psyche. Complementing the dynamic novel Cruel Summer, Postcards From Beyond Reality is an innovative instrument that further develops this spirited character. Michael’s concern for those he loves and for the environment is a constant worry, and is a source of both the joy and anguish that permeates the pages of this original and compelling collection. It’s impossible not to feel closer to this troubled teen as his innermost feelings are unmasked through melodic, fast-moving poetry. Silky on the outside, but gritty within, Postcards From Beyond Reality is a forward-thinking collection of New York flavored poetry, and is an essential companion piece for fans of Cruel Summer.
By Nicky Flowers, April 27, 2022, published on Indies Today, 5/5
Affirmations to Expressions, poetry that speaks to you
“Postcards from beyond reality” —truly a collection that you will find a candid connection with. Expressive poetry with introspection is always a combination I have seeked and this was one such.
Some of the literary usages are wonderful and carry depth. I took a while to read this because I didn't want to wind up in one sitting. And it was worth it. Thanks Ben!
By Anusha Sridharan, April 17, 2022, published on Amazon India and Goodreads, 5/5
A postcard worth reading!
Eye-opening and engaging, award-winning author Bernard Jan was done an extraordinary job curating this impressive collection of modern poetry that you won’t forget.
By Mario Dhingsa, April 12, 2022, published on Goodreads, 5/5
A Voice from a different space
Other voices can be troubling, but in the case of ‘Postcards From Beyond Reality: The Selected Poems of Michael Daniels’, it is quite a captivatingly surreal experience. Bernard Jan expands his ‘Cruel Summer’ universe with poems from the mind and mouth of skater and life liver Michael. I was drawn to the religious themed and allegorical poems, but there is plenty here to dive into and taste a bit of alternative existence. Human behaviour, time, moral and ethical stand points as well as a poetic grasp to life are eloquently tackled and composed; highlighting Jan’s technique to write engrossing and entertaining works. A good accompaniment to ‘Cruel summer’, ‘Postcards’ does however hold up on its own and gives the reader an enjoyable and possible existential reading experience.
By Mark Ryan, March 29, 2022, published on Amazon UK and Goodreads, 5/5
I love new and different ways of writing so I was totally intrigued with Jan’s newest book of poetry. I really liked his last book Cruel Summer and his main character Michael Daniels. How cool is it that Jan has written this book as his character, Michael Daniels? Talk about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes! Jan does a beautiful job of delving into the emotional state of the NYC teen whose Mother died and whose Father was beyond worthless.
Jan releases the inner darkness, loneliness, and fear that comes from the depth of abuse by a parent and the desire to be loved and accepted. He includes in the poems a teenage love of the adventure and thrill found in extreme sports. Poems include “Knife”, with verses that make the little hairs on your neck stand up, and “Death Can Dance” which reach into your soul seemingly taking the very words out of your heart. Jan has done a great job of merging himself with Michae Daniels. I encourage the reading of this book for all, but what a perfect gift for the teenage male that is searching for a place in the world!
By Julia Walker, March 25, 2022, published on Goodreads and Julia Picks 1, 4/5
great book of poetry and companion to cruel summer
Postcards From Beyond Reality: The Selected Poems of Michael Daniels is exactly what the title says it is, a book of poetry written from the perspective of the main character, Michael Daniels, from the book Cruel Summer. his poetry is very vivid. you can almost envision yourself watching and taking in some of the moments and scenes he describes in certain poems. a lot of it is also very dark and emotional, but knowing what Michael went through in Cruel Summer with grieving from the death of his mother, physical and mental abuse, and relationship issues, it does make sense. some of the poems are hopeful and about lighter things like skateboarding, which was one of Michael's passions. while it is not absolutely necessary to have read Cruel Summer to read this poetry book, being that it is a companion book to it and also definitely worth reading, i would recommend reading that before this to get a better understanding of Michael and what the poems are about as opposed to going in blindly. and if for anyone who did already read and enjoyed it, this is a nice extension of it.
By Robin, March 24, 2022, published on Amazon and Goodreads, 4/5
Postcards From Beyond Reality: The Selected Poems of Michael Daniels by Bernard Jan is a compilation of original poetry that revolves around the poet's varied states of despondency. Michael Daniels is the author and Bernard Jan is an extension. Each piece is independent of the next, and Daniels even goes so far as to switch the formatting within the freeform style. This means that there are pieces that take on shapes, from the typeset indents of Providence until the final line, to the severe angling of A Cacophony of Words. There is a brilliantly creative twist that comes as a real surprise - an entirely blank page that Daniels has titled A View into the Future.
My wife grew up in San Francisco and lived for several years in Seattle, so it is no wonder when she saw a book of poetry with a skateboarder on it she told me that I should read it. Postcards From Beyond Reality made it to the top of my roster. Michael Daniels is prolific in his writing and this is obvious by the number of poems selected by Bernard Jan. The first thing that strikes a reader is the profound honesty in them, and that makes connecting on several different levels easy to achieve. This is a book for the serious-minded reader and melancholy runs throughout, but it is raw and beautiful in its own way. There are sparks of hope and this is why The Last Part of the Stumbled Trilogy is my favorite. I can relate to the last line of the poem... “Fantastic!”
By Asher Syed, March 22, 2022, published on Readers' Favorite, 5/5
An awesome, heart-felt addition to ‘Cruel Summer’ by Bernard Jan!
From Bernard Jan, the author of ‘Cruel Summer’, now comes a very ‘touching’, heart-felt book of poetry reflecting the life views, feelings, and thoughts of the novels main character, Michael Daniels. The ups, the downs, the sadness of loss, as well as the closeness that friends can provide when the life you looked forward to, somehow doesn’t turn out to be what you expected. A book of poetry I feel, at some point in our lives, we can all take something from as well as identify with.
Having read ‘Cruel Summer’, I found myself wanting a closer understanding of what Michael Daniels was feeling, experiencing, yearning for, and painstakingly missing and ‘Postcards From Beyond Reality: The Selected Poems of Michael Daniels’ has provided that.
Bernard Jan puts his ‘all’ into his latest novel, as well as this uniquely written poetry book. Please take the time to experience both. As a reader, you won’t regret the experience!
By Starjustin, March 22, 2022, published on Amazon and Goodreads, 5/5
I recommended it to lovers of the written word in the verse
"Postcards From Beyond Reality: The Selected Poems of Michael Daniels" by Bernard Jan is an excellent collection of poetry of the writer's alter ego dominated by skateboard-related poetry. As in any poetry collection, you can find all the feelings that disturb the poetic soul and make it write poetry. So in the book, the writer has poems about love, city, sadness, self-examination, happiness, and all other feelings that permeate the human being in his understanding of the world. As in any poetry collection, you can find all the emotions that disturb the poetic soul and make it write poetry. Writer Bernard Jan has moved in a positive direction with this collection of poetry, showing that he is not only a good writer of novels, but also has the poetic soul of a poet.
The poems in the collection that I liked a bit more are:
and many more.
I enjoyed this poetry collection and recommended it to lovers of the written word in the verse.
By Stjepan Varesevac Cobets, March 21, 2022, published on Amazon and Goodreads, 5/5
'Postcards Beyond Reality: The Selected Poems of Michael Daniels' is a poetry book written by Bernard Jan. This book talks about Michael Daniels, the main character in the author's Cruel Summer book. In this book, 'Postcards Beyond Reality: The Selected Poems by Michael Daniels', we can read how Michael feels and experiences some things that have happened to him during his life.
"If I send you a postcard
will you thank me for it?"
I was genuinely bewitched by the author's writing. I found it fascinating, so descriptive and so symbolic. (This book is filled with symbolism 一clouds, New York, the Sun, wings, sea一.). It is a book of textures and feelings, colors and shades. The author captures the very emotion that lies behind every thought and feeling of the character so perfectly illustrated in the shape of words and verses. As I said before, I loved the writing, and I consider that the way the author describes emotions is one of the best I have ever read, personally speaking.
The poems talk about Michael's weaknesses, desires, hopes, personal experiences, and his mental estate of mind. Michael Daniels is a skateboarder, and talks about his experiences with sports, his life in the city, the darkness and light in his life, the relationships he has/had, his memories,...
The poems are written with elegance and sentiment.
Although I have not read Cruel Summer, and because of this I do not know well enough Michael, the protagonist, I have known him a bit through the words that filled the pages of this book 'Postcards Beyond Reality: The Selected Poems of Michael Daniels'. After reading it, I do recommend you to read the book before you start this one (but you can read this one independently if you wish, you'll love it).
This book talks about many themes: darkness, light, pain, hope, desires, love, faith, life, death.
I highly recommend you to read this book. If you love poetry as much as I do (I am a huge fan of poetry, and I do write a bit), I'm pretty sure you'll love this book. Also, and I've said before, I do recommend you to read Cruel Summer too if you wish to know more about Michael before you start reading 'Postcards Beyond Reality: The Selected Poems of Michael Daniels'.
By Nerea Blackthorn, March 20, 2022, published on Goodreads, Amazon Spain and Words of Coffee; March 22, 2022, published on Instagram. 4/5
A Perfect Companion to Cruel Summer
Honestly, I do not read a lot of poetry, but I found Postcards from Beyond Reality to be a perfect companion piece to Cruel Summer, sharing a deep connective tissue to its characters. This poetry book is a fantastic piece of world-building by Bernard Jan.
Poems that stuck out to me were 1IFE, kNIFE, iN sEARCH OF THE sUN (brought on memories of Rimbaud), bOREDOM, dEATH cAN dANCE, a vIEW INTO THE fUTURE, mASTODON, and the melancholy bIRDHOUSE. And my favorite one that feels classic is tHE uMBRIAN sEA.
Poetry is subjective and those were the ones that spoke to me on my first reading. I will read this again to see what new feelings it invokes.
By David Sharp, March 20, 2022, published on Amazon; March 22, 2022, published on Goodreads, 5/5
A beautiful addition to the »Cruel Summer« novel
Skateboarding poetry! What an exceptional idea! I believe it is the first time I got to read the poems written by the main character from a novel. The author lets us learn more about Michael, his life, mind, and inner turmoil. This time, Michael continues to tell us his story through his poems. In “Cruel summer,” we glimpse Michael’s poetry when he reads it to Victor’s grandmother. But now we can feel him, his pain, happiness, and tears even more.
Sadness, loneliness, despair, a cry for help, anguish, misery, resentment, hopefulness, and love are some of the emotions I have felt through Michael’s verses.
Here’s a lovely excerpt for the poem “Self Portrait”:
‘The world is here and the world is mine
welcomed with arms wide open
accepted captured trapped
in the whirlwind of laughter
of playful skateboards.
I’m happy today! This is my paradise!’
This collection of »postcards« is a lovely extension to readers of Cruel Summer or maybe a motivation for the readers to read the story that stays behind this collection of poetry.
By Nico J. Genes, March 20, 2022, published on Amazon UK and Goodreads, 5/5
Brilliantly written. Evokes spirit of Michael Daniels. Best read after Cruel Summer by this author.
This is another great book by this author. The way it brings Michael Daniels is brought back to life in this spin-off of Cruel Summer is nearly eery. The author has cleverly evoked Michael’s spirit in this book.
Where Cruel Summer told the story of skateboarding loving Michael emotionally, this collection of poems shows us Michael’s inner thoughts. I highly recommend this book but suggest Cruel Summer is read first.
What I liked about the book:
Bernard Jan has a great style of writing and I couldn’t put the book down.
What I didn’t like about the book:
I really loved the book. Even the dark nature of the poems did not distract from the great story. Indeed, they were an integral part of it.
My favourite bits in the book:
The way the poems made me feel like having a front seat to Michael’s inner thoughts.
My least favourite bits in the book:
There were none.
Any further books in the series? Any more planned by this author?
This author has written a few other books, which are also very much worth a read. I enjoyed them all.
What books could this be compared to and why?
This is a great book unlike any other I’ve read. It is the perfect follow-up to Cruel Summer.
By Joni Martins, March 20, 2022, published on Amazon UK, Goodreads, Goodreads Blog, Joni Martins Author Blog, BookBub, LinkedIn, Google, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook Readers Talk Books, Facebook Joni Martins Books, Facebook Joni Martin Book Reviews, and Twitter, 5/5
Normally, I'm not huge on poetry but I read Cruel Summer. These poems are based on that particular novel, which I enjoyed. I read all of the poems and see that Bernard has a deep train of thought. Some of the poems made me laugh. However, there were three that made me think deeper. These were unfinished poem, Michael's confession, and self portrait.
I enjoyed this poetry collection and even got a copy on Amazon. If you're into poetry, you should give this one a read!
By Angel Ramon Medina, March 19, 2022, published on Goodreads, 5/5
Wow, what a wonderful collection of poems.
The selection of poems takes the reader through a sequence of thought processes, emotions and aspirations of teenager, Michael Daniels,’ from Bernard Jan’s, ‘Cruel Summer,’ novel.
From birth to adolescent. The longing, sadness, and the struggle for happiness.
I was absorbed in each poem, beautifully told, and each with their own powerful meaning.
‘Wait for me, Mother,’
Was particularly poignant to me.
‘In the milky shine of the stars
And the silence of the moon while it disappears behind a cloud’
Poetic, rhythmical, dreamy, moody, and harsh. But most of all a yearning desire for a better world for everyone.
My sentiments exactly.
Poetry at its best, written by the master of storytelling, the talented, Bernard Jan.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading them.
By Jane H. Wood, March 18, 2022, published on Goodreads; March 20, 2022, published on Amazon UK, 5/5
‘Cries of a heart longing to be understood’
Postcards From Beyond Reality: The Selected Poems of Michael Daniels by Bernard Jan is a collection of sixty poems written as an extension book to his YA cross-genre novel Cruel Summer, from the perspective of its main character, Michael Daniels.
The book description deepens the meaning of the poetry further: ‘His life has been a cocktail of melancholy, sorrow, and desire. When a skateboarder dips his pen into poetry, what will his passion create? After a lifetime of abuse and the tragic loss of his mother, NYC teen Michael Daniels needed an outlet. Despite his cheerful nature, his inner mind was teeming with the stark contrast of darkness and light. So, in this volume full of images and symbolism, his underground rhymes reflect days full of extreme sports, failed relationships, and nostalgic memories.’
If you are looking for the poet inside the poem, look for the undercurrent he has left, the continuous hint of feeling can be found everywhere throughout this work. It’s powerful and strong, yet delicate and descriptive His pictures of emotional moods are painted beautifully. He has essentially captured the essence of what a poet is.
Bernard Jan will make you fall in love with literature again. If you've never liked poetry, you'll love Postcards From Beyond Reality. If you haven't read much poetry, this is an excellent place to start. A highly recommended read and a well-deserved five stars.
By Píaras Ó Cíonnaoíth, March 16, 2022, published on Goodreads, BookBub, and Emerald Book Reviews; March 20, 2020, published on Amazon and Amazon UK, 5/5
A tapestry of raw emotions: a collection of poems
Not having read Bernard Jan’s previous novel, “Cruel Summer,” I did not need an introduction to the evocatively beautiful and melancholy poetry collection of “Postcards From Beyond Reality.”
I was immediately drawn to the exquisite prose on every page as a poetry lover. Jan’s detailed, assured eye creates a devastatingly stunning portrait of abuse, tragedy, romance, and longing like a painter to his canvas.
In “sPRING,” Jan questions the existence of human behavior: “We kill each other/slowly/driving ourselves crazy/and stealing precious hours/What happened to remorse!?”
Timely, seamless, and elaborately realized, there is a raw tenderness and a heavy sense of sorrow in this complex and multifaceted compilation of poems.
You do not have to read “Cruel Summer” to understand the context of each poem.
“Postcards From Beyond Reality” is a terrific excursion, a mosaic of words, and Jan’s best work to date.
By Thomas Grant Bruso, March 13, 2022, published on Goodreads,; March 20, 2022, published on Amazon, 5/5
A strong and memorable collection of poems inspires you to do many things: consider a different way of thinking, take a chance on a new path, open your mind to an unfamiliar world. Bernard Jan's newest release, Postcards From Beyond Reality, is a wonderful example of these sentiments. Considered a companion book to his publication from last year, Cruel Summer, this book offers selected poems from the main character, Michael Daniels. While not at all essential, I think it's best to read Cruel Summer first so that you understand the character as much as possible... then again, some might find themselves enthralled and captivated by Michael's voice in this book and rush out to read his longer, more developed story.
We all have a yearning or zest for life; sometimes it's buried beneath the surface where troubling thoughts and blurred lines wander. That is Michael's voice... he is trapped but meant to be so much more. As he shares thoughts, some good and some bad, readers will undoubtedly find elements of themselves in his cathartic pain and unexplored opportunities. Life can be cruel, but it can also vacillate between highs and lows. Poetry is meant to show us that, and through varied symbolic verses and nostalgic phrases, Michael comes alive in different ways; much credit to the author for this happening.
I believe that poetry awakens our minds to thoughts we haven't been focusing on, top of mind. Jan's approach to these poems helps us all learn more about his main character and about ourselves. And to think it was written in Jan's native tongue, then translated is even more powerful. I look forward to reading more from this complex and poignant author.
By James J. Cudney, March 11, 2022, published on Goodreads; March 13, 2022, published on BookBub; March 20, 2022, published on Amazon and This Is My Truth Now, 5/5
A cocktail of melancholy
This is a cocktail of melancholy, sorrow and desire written by the author in character with his hero from his novel “Cruel Summer”, which tells a gripping story of Michaels Daniels an abused teenager and poet in Manhattan. Taken from Michael’s book of poetry, selected poems are shared with us.
These literary postcards dive into the mind of a teenage writing about his dreams, longings and passions. They are very sad, touching and nostalgic, even suicidal. I was much moved by his thoughts. The rhymes reflect failed relationships and sad memories and his words smoothly pull us into a very sad world.
At the end of the book we have a wonderful explanation where the inspiration for this book came from. I would suggest reading “Cruel Summer” first. You would enjoy the poetry book much more.
Poetry is not my favourite genre and by far but when Mr. Jan offered his latest to read I simply couldn’t refuse knowing how I enjoyed his other books. Taking a chance he did and good for him. Not that I love poetry more but reading “Postcards from Beyond Reality” was a very good experience and a great introduction. Thank you Bernard you opened my eyes to something deferent.
By Toni Osborne, March 11, 2022, published on Goodreads; March 20, 2022 published on Amazon, and Amazon UK, and Amazon Canada, 4/5
Beautiful reminiscent poetry
Beautiful. Seriously beautiful, all I can say. It's like a stream-of-consciousness journey through the skies of imagination and reflection, diving into thoughts of life, existence, all that Mariana Trench-deep, philosophical stuff. It's formatted into almost like a diary of short poems, bringing you into the mind and emotion of our main character, Michael (from the urban skateboarding coming of age novel Cruel Summer), but despite being personal thoughts, you'll find them to be strangely familiar. Basically, highly recommend.
By J.C. Gallo, March 9, 2022, published on Goodreads; April 5, 2022, published on Amazon, 5/5
I will admit that, when I was first offered a review copy of Postcards From Beyond Reality, I wasn't sure how well the project would work out. I knew how convincingly Bernard Jan had managed to inhabit Michael Daniel's personality within the novel Cruel Summer, but to repeat the feat for a whole poetry collection did seem ambitious to say the least. I should have had more faith!
I loved being given deeper insights into Michael's character through his poetry. It often felt as though I was surreptitiously reading his journal or diary instead. The work is so personal yet also addresses universal themes, particularly those that are important to young people. On remembering how the events of Cruel Summer affected Michael, I could see echoes within the poems however I don't think it is necessary to have already read the novel in order to appreciate Postcards From Beyond Reality. The two works are very much companions rather than a series so I can imagine that it would be just as rewarding to experience Michael's poetry before learning more about his life.
P.S. It's not often that I'm up on reading trends, but I spotted, on the day after Bernard Jan announced Postcards From Beyond Reality was available for pre-order, that it was already the #1 New Release in Amazon.com's Teen & Young Adult Poetry eBooks category!
By Stephanie Jane, March 8, 2022, published on Goodreads, 4/5
I’d recommend this book!
Postcards from Beyond Reality follows Michael Daniels from Cruel Summer. The seventeen-year-old writes poetry about his time in New York. It’s a cool extension to have a character write their own book and expand the story a bit more.
The poems aren’t set off into any various sections, but they all feel connected. Even though I haven’t read Cruel Summer, I still feel like I got a sense of the character and what he’s going through. If you’ve read Cruel Summer and enjoyed it, you will love this book.
The longer poems that dived more into his thoughts stood out the most to me. My favorites were “lIFE,” “iN sEARCH OF THE sUN,” and “dEATH cAN dANCE.” The character made some cool connections and thought-provoking images with his words.
My main critique is that some of the poems were not as strong and didn’t bring as much to the collection as others did. Those were usually the shorter ones.
Overall, I loved the concept of this collection, and I enjoyed reading it.
By Robin LeeAnn, March 7, 2022, published on Goodreads; April 8, 2022, published on Amazon, Robin LeeAnn and BookBub, 4/5
Very intense poetry that takes us into the mind of Michael Daniels. His words dance across our minds as he skateboards, dreams, and fights in the streets of New York City. We are drawn to Michael’s survival through trials that no one should have to endure. These poems take us to a place where we can feel and understand every aspect of Michael’s thoughts. Michael takes us into his world, and we live it through his words.
By Robert Stowe, March 7, 2022, published on Goodreads; March 20, published on Amazon, 5/5
pretty much morbid and that is coming from Cruel Summer which is pretty good.
By Aaron Polish, March 7, 2022, published Goodreads, 5/5