ABOUT THE BOOK
Ariel Parisi leads a charmed life. He is young, handsome, and charismatic. And he knows it. He has a cool car, a flashy prestigious job, and lots of women. The only thing larger than his hedonistic lifestyle is his ego…until a lost wallet and an angelic woman change his life.
Ariel does not believe in God. He has no faith in a higher power, no sense of spirituality with the world. It exists for his pleasure. When he finds the wallet, his impulse is to keep the money within, guilt-free. But in a spontaneous act of charity, he turns it in and, as a result, meets a woman he’ll come to know as “Hope.”
Soul Afflicated is not an evangelical Christian “left behind” book. Instead, it postulates a new way of looking at God that draws upon Christian and Buddhist tenets. Laced with subtle religious symbology in the use of names, colors, animals, and images tied to Seven Deadly Sins, this story is a sort of travelogue taking place largely in real places - from Colorado through the American Southwest to Los Angeles and to Hawaii.
Ariel’s state and fate throughout the story is subject to reader’s interpretation, whether afflicted, blessed or insane. In the end, Ariel is special, he is chosen by God. But so is everyone else, their lives and fates intertwined by the tiniest actions of everyone else in the world, present or past.
Ariel’s story was influenced by George’s career experiences and the many places he’s lived. The physical, literal journeys of his life certainly provided a framework for Ariel’s odyssey in the same way that Stephen King based so many of his books in his home state of Maine, or the same way that John Grisham’s books feature lawyers. As a writer, he uses his life-knowledge as his canvas, and lets his creativity flow from there.
“Those impulses, those urges to do right or wrong, have to come from somewhere…right?”
- Ariel Parisi
The story's tagline is, “The signs are everywhere if you look for them.” It has double-meaning. To a pious believer, there are affirmations of faith everywhere in the physical world, and many happy outcomes are attributed to answered prayers. To the skeptic or nonbeliever, the believer can find higher meaning or “signs from God” in almost anything, and they are right. The world is full of people who claim signs and meaning in everyday occurrences to prop up their beliefs and justify their actions. But both the believer’s and nonbeliever’s visions are blurred by their own biases, wants and weaknesses. They too often lack self-awareness to see past themselves, past religion or hatred thereof, to find the world where all lives are linked, all actions intertwined, where the signs are everywhere.