Book Review: Full Circle for Mick

9781742845623_Cover_11072015Title: Full Circle for Mick
Author: Michael Kramer
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

                In 2013, Carolyn and Michael Georg Kaspar Friedrich Lampman applied for passports at the Albury Post Office and while hers went through immediately, (she is Australian born), his application resulted in a phone call being made to Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and that department refusing him a passport on the grounds that his Australian Naturalisation Certificate “Did not say if his gender was male or female.” It did however; state that “Michael Georg Kaspar Friedrich Lampman presented himself before me at the Millicent Council Chambers on …. To swear allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors. This makes one wonder if the clerks at DIAC are conversant enough in the English language to know that “Himself” can only mean a male.

                Michael’s reason for wanting his passport was to return to Vietnam and to fulfil his promise to a Buddhist Monk to return as a qualified engineer to help to rebuild the country that he had helped to destroy as a young Australian soldier in the Vietnam War during 1968 and 1969.

                At a later date, DIAC cancelled his citizenship and papers, (he was a naturalised Australian Citizen, originating from Germany) even threatening to send him to jail for two years, for “Falsifying an Official Document,” resulting in him then using “Engineering Problem Solving Techniques” to rectify the situation as he was now also driving illegally on the grounds that in NSW it is not legal for someone to hold a driver’s licence unless that person has either “Approved Residency Status” or Australian Citizenship.

                This is the story of a man’s battle and final victory against rampant bureaucracy, racism and PTSD. It deals with the first symptoms of PTSD, its diagnosis and its treatment and self-help strategies.

Good grief. Full Circle for Mick is the story of bureaucracy gone totally overboard, of one man’s fight against the system, while dealing with PTSD at the same time. On the one hand, it dealt a lot with what he went through after returning from the Vietnam war, and how this affected him and his day to day life.

And as if that’s not enough, on top of that he gets denied a passport for what can only be called racist reasons, and gets stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare of epic proportions.

The book did have a lot of descriptions of things that didn’t matter that much for the plot, but that didn’t take away from this inspiring story about an underdog who didn’t stop fighting. An enjoyable story but at times frustrating because I could relate to the protagonist and his struggles, and frustrations over that. I practically felt that frustration along with the main character.

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