Melikian earned a Master’s in International Relations from American University, Washington, D.C. He also studied mathematics at Harvard and elsewhere. However, he eventually abandoned both politics and mathematics in favor of literature and dedicated his life to writing. Melikian lives in Los Angeles.To date, awards and honors earned by Melikian’s debut novel, Journey to Virginland, include the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Best Fiction. The novel was selected by the Next Generation Indie Book Awards as one of the year’s top five books in Humor/Comedy, and received the only Honorable Mention in the Literary Fiction category at ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards. These awards were based on a limited prepublication copy of the book that was made available by the publisher before its release. Check out Melikians website to read more. Synopsis: The protagonist, a loutish and uber-cerebral antihero known simply as Dog, navigates the perilous paradigm shifts of our age, determined to find his proper place under the sun. Is he doomed to failure? Or will he pull it off by heeding his own irreducible voice, given the ebb of the old certainties?Dog pursues the answer unrelentingly, through an impassioned quest for identity and meaning. He revisits his relationships with women, family, literature, and homeland, in the process illuminating his journey with commentaries on history, religion, politics, and culture that unravel our very fabric.Marked by biting satire and tappings into lushest scholarship, Dog’s naked critique touches on some of the most pressing issues facing humanity: the arrogance of empire and organized religion, the persistence of bigotry, xenophobia, and social Darwinism, the double standards of sexual politics, the bankrupt rationale behind patriotism and state propaganda, and hypercapitalism and consumerism, among others.An ocean of struggles and epiphanies takes Dog to a spiritual ground zero called Virginland, where the story unfolds. It is also in Virginland that Dog unearths an ancient calendar based on a cosmic worldview. His discovery reveals the mythological underpinnings of the Zodiac, subverting the current conventional wisdom about the subject.What emerges from the protagonist’s odyssey is not only a cogent depiction of what makes us tick, but, as day follows night, a dazzling new vista for social and spiritual transformation.
With its vibrant style, thematic breadth, and, ultimately, unfettered sense of humanity, Journey to Virginland establishes itself as a groundbreaking literary enterprise and a true original.
This fictional account of the character Dog took me on a physiological journey to places, ideas, metaphors, and wonders that I could only dream about. Dog is on a journey to find the implications of life and self discovery. He is a very deep and unrefined character that invades our own ideas and understandings concerning topics of religion, politics, sexuality, men, women, and leadership. I read every book with a completely open mind and allow the author through their characters interact with me and draw me into the story. I believe that in order to find the humor of Dog this is very important to read the sarcasm of Dog and allow the humor to unfold in your mind. Dog is a character that will take these subjects and dissect them like a frog in high school biology glass. The reader will walk away from the book feeling like maybe something is still left clinging to their body that will not wash off. I will admit that I had to go back and read several of the pages over the second time to be completely engulfed by the wit and humor of the subject.
The writing is raw, descriptive, and poetic at times, and just flowed beautifully. The subject matter will invade your sense of moral absolutes and twist and turn your inner thoughts like a Kansas twister. I highly recommend this book to readers that are willing to read this novel with a open mind and savor the humor as Dog invades your understanding of life.
I am giving this novel a 5 rating out of 5.
In accordance with new FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers I am disclosing the following: I was given a copy of this book by the author and I am being paid to review this book. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” [Rating:5 /5]