Review: “The Epictetus Club”
Trayler, Jeff (2004). The Epictetus Club. Papillion Press, OH November 11, 09.
Based on real events, this novel is set in the old Ohio Penitentiary. The metaphors of the institution are realistic. The inmate characters and the names of staff have been changed in this novel. The story begins by tagging a group of inmates who meet weekly under the tutelage of a lifer named Zeno in a group called the Epictetus Club. The inmates try to learn something from the teaching of this Greek philosopher. The inmates meet the daily confronts of their lives with the help of his ancient perception. The club members show how to think beyond our own self-imposed limitations and comfort zones, as they start to learn to think outside the limits of their own literal walls as they resist to convert themselves. The author Jeff Traylor, M.A., L.P.C., wrote this novel as he was inspired by an inmate he had worked with. He was a professional counselor who had worked at the Ohio Penitentiary and Marion Correctional Institution, and taught a cognitive skills course at a community-based correctional facility and here in this novel he is trying to persuade people to become productive and responsible members of society by showing a glimpse into a maximum security prison. The primary purpose for writing this novel was to provide a refresher for the men who have completed a course in cognitive skills that the author taught in a community-based correctional facility. And, to provide the concepts and ideas to probationers or inmates at other correctional facilities who do not have access to these kinds of groups. Third purpose would be to provide some ideas for the general reader who is interested in personal growth and change. Also, this book is dedicated to improve the mankind with the ideas and the principles of Epictetus, who is an ancient Roman philosopher. The whole book goes with the relation between the writer himself and the inmate Zeno. The author also...
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