Review: here. : The Journey to Passion

here. : The Journey to Passionhere. : The Journey to Passion by Jer Johns

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I originally set out to write about how much I hated this book. I was going to rip it to shreds, line by line, page by page. Now that I am here in front of the computer, I have since changed my mind.

In his book “here. : The Journey to Passion” author Jer Johns recounts on a year long journey as a homeless person living in New York City. I read it twice, the first time seeing everything I hated about it, the second time seeing everything I loved. The change in mindset came about because though I did not agree with his motivations and how he told his story I could see that he is in fact genuine in his approach. More importantly, I could see that he has a good heart, and a good heart is something that should never be trampled. Not by anyone, not by haters like me.

The greatest asset to the book are the pictures. Jer clearly has a good eye for the world, and as a Native New Yorker myself I could see that he captured the city with an honest and beautiful lens. If it were strictly a picture book, I think it would sell quite well.

The first time I read it I struggled with the text. It is full of spelling and grammatical mistakes. The word choices are poor and sentence structure is… uninspiring. Chapters, if you can call them that, are not cohesive and sometimes inconclusive. There were areas where I felt like he could have given more information that didn’t prop him up like a hero but instead dug deeper into the experience and the people he was meeting. It felt like a first draft that was in dire need of an editor. Then I saw the beauty in it, there is no editor to life, no order to our thoughts and experiences. Things just jumble together into a giant mess. This was his experience, a giant mess.

Through the year Jer kept an online journal of his experiences which was evidently lost when he could no longer pay the hosting bill. This is a shame as I think there would have been some gold nuggets in those texts.

I don’t think I will ever understand why anyone would choose to be homeless, especially in a place like NYC. Life is hard when you have the things you need, why make it worst? I also didn’t agree with how he defined his “homelessness.” Yes, he slept outdoors and took showers at a public pool, but he also had a paypal account where friends would deposit money, and had an iphone and computer at his disposal. When I first started reading this book I took these facts as an insult. An insult to those who are homeless, to the struggling mothers in NY (and elsewhere) who are trying to raise their families with nothing but lack. This is the one area of his story that I don’t agree with, but it is done and what is past is past.

Jer is currently partaking in a 5 Year Journey travelling the [country/world?] meeting people and seeing where his experiences take him along the way. You can follow his travels on his blog: http://www.5yearjourney.com

He has also released a few picture books which are available free of charge on http://books.noisetrade.com/jerjohns

I wish Jer the best of luck on his journey, and hope that he finds whatever it is he doesn’t yet know he’s looking for.


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Review: here. : The Journey to Passion Review: here. : The Journey to Passion Reviewed by Unknown on 14:09 Rating: 5

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