Book Review & Giveaway (closed): Anything is Possible by Thomas Bähler

Through human existence, there have been stories passed on showing perseverance, dedication, kindness, cunning, and every other trait that we come across in our daily lives. Many of these are found within the stories of the Ancient Greek storyteller, Æsop. Famous for his fables where virtues are taught through woven tales of personified animals and their noble, and not so noble actions, Æsop’s life is a true mystery.

The story is a journey of the life of Æsop, born into slavery and his quest to one day be a free man. His mantra, anything is possible, introduced by his mother, is the premise of his entire life, and his memories of her encourage Æsop to strive to reach his goal. Like the fables he is so well known for, Æsop’s life is filled with unexpected twists and turns, that ultimately prove that anything is possible.

Anything is Possible, the debut novel by Thomas Bähler, was thirty years in the making. Literary and poetic license allowed Mr. Bähler the opportunity to share his version of Æsop’s life, combining the few and far between facts with historically accurate people, places and events in Ancient Greece during the time that Æsop was thought to live.

Having spent the past fourteen years teaching history, as well as personally having a strong Greek heritage, I was intrigued as to how Æsop’s life would be portrayed. With so little factual evidence, Mr. Bähler has created an entertaining, as well as historically fascinating tale that makes me wonder what Æsop’s life could truly have been like. The tragedies and triumphs he faces in the pages of Anything is Possible are most definitely romanticized, based on what’s known of the lives of slaves, but it’s Æsop, one of the greatest storytellers the world has ever known, and I will admit that I enjoyed the way his fables were woven into this novel. So, well done, Mr. Bähler, you captivated, and I’m not an easy sell!

 Thomas Bähler an American singer, composer, songwriter, arranger, producer, and author.  He was one of the background voices on The Partidge Family, and has worked with many incredible musicians including Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Barbra Streisand, and Quincy Jones, was an associate producer and arranger for We Are The World and has.  His interest with the life of Æsop has spanned many decades and with the encouragement of family and friends, was finally put into print, proving that Anything is Possible!

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to ask Mr. Bähler a few questions based on his experiences, and how his ideas about  Æsop began as a musical, and shifted into the novel Anything is Possible.

How has the title, Anything is Possible helped your journey in life lead you down the path to writing the novel?

Good question, Erin – the evolution of my journey with Æsop goes back quite a few years and it began as a musical…during which a song came to me one morning – lyrics and all (which happens with me most of the time:) and it was virtually singing in my ears: “Anything Is Possible – Possible” – this is a philosophy that I picked up from my father that he learned from his mother who was both brilliant and a Pollyanna.

When I first wrote the novel, I called it ÆSOP – and now the philosophy of “Anything Is Possible” had become the underlying theme. It was my editor, Sally Arteseros who suggested that we use AIP for the title of the book.

Do you think that someday you’ll return to the idea of a musical based on the life of Aesop?

Yes! Just as the novel presented the opportunity to get my story out in its entirety, at some point, I will move, once again, in the direction of a musical, that is my endgame.

Historically, Aesop is someone who you can find very little factual information on.  Do you think historic fiction allows for poetic license, or that accuracies should remain within stories?

You are right about there being scant information about the life of ÆSOP. I have read virtually every written piece about Æsop since I began this quest in 1980. The only surviving writing about Æsop is by Herodotus and I placed that in the front of the book.  There is a tome entitled, “The Life Of Æsop that was written approx 400BC and is regarded as the first novel by many scholars. I used some of the information in the book that resonated with the Æsop that ‘moved in with me’ so long ago.

There was great leeway for poetic license with this, because of the scant information available. Most of the writings about Æsop seem to contain a great deal of dogma based upon the writers’ religious and political views.

I wrote what came to me while I was doing research for six hours a day for six months…I write my music the same way…my father taught me at an early age that “Creativity is not doing. It is listening.”

That said, I was diligent in making certain that the information about the historical figures and places in which our story is set was accurate and had three separate Ancient Greek History scholars (who are Greeks themselves) go over the book and I made certain adjustments based upon their input.

I do believe that historic fiction should contain factual elements wherever possible. One of my favorites in this genre is “Pompeii” by Robert Harris. His book had a great influence on me. The difference was that my book is story driven and the surrounding events are not necessarily part of the knowledge base or memory of my reader where in Pompeii, it is the weaving in of a human story that makes the events, which are well researched, come to life for me.

I feel that this quote has a bearing here: “Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.”

Joseph Campbell

Do you have a particular fable that you feel speaks to you, and to your journey as an artist?

I would have to say “The Tortoise and The Hare” – for it is a story of persistence and enduring focus.

Æsop became a very important part of my life and has remained with me since 1979. I did not ask for this to happen, it just did and I am grateful for the experience of re-introducing Æsop to the modern world. Sometimes I feel as though this is my reason for being here.

Anything is Possible is available at http://www.amazon.com in paperback for $9.52 and can be downloaded to your Kindle for $0.99.

For more information on Thomas , you can visit his website: http://www.thomasbahler.com/.

– That’s IT So. Florida Mom, Erin

GIVEAWAY:  One (1) That’s IT Mommy reader will receive an autographed copy of Anything is Possible. This giveaway is open to US residents only  (18+). Ends May 20, 2012

REQUIRED MAIN ENTRY:  To enter, tell us If you could do anything, what would you do?  Leave your comment in the reply box below this post. That’s IT!

Remember if this REQUIRED ENTRY is not followed then no other entries will count.

Optional Bonus Entries – All entries MUST BE in a separate comment. All are worth 1 point unless otherwise noted.

  • Like Thomas Bähler on Facebook
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  • Follow us on Networked Blogs
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  • Enter another one of our current giveaways (3 extra – 3 separate comments #1, #2, #3) Feel free to enter any of our giveaways that interest you, but you will receive a maximum of three extra entries only, no matter how many of our other giveaways you enter
  • Leave a comment on any non giveaway post and let us know you did (2 extra – 2 separate comments #1, #2)
  • Tweet about this giveaway (Copy – #Win an autographed copy of Anything is Possible via @thatsitmommy @tbahler http://thatsitmommy.com/?p=23312 #giveaway #book)  come back daily and leave us the link to the tweet (1 extra/day)

*This giveaway will run through midnight on May 20,  2012 (PST). Winner will be chosen using Random.org from all valid entries and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to contact us before another winner is chosen. Giveaway is open to U.S. (18+) residents only.

* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. That’s IT Mommy received Anything Possible from Thomas Bahler/Agent free of charge to facilitate this review. Giveaway item will be provided by sponsor. Sponsor has the right to refuse filling prize for duplicate winners from other blogs. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service.
 The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.

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38 Comments

  • Reply
    Sunnie
    May 7, 2012

    Lets see, maybe be a baker.

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Sunnie
    May 7, 2012

    Iam an email subscriber.

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Sunnie
    May 7, 2012

    I like you on facebook

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Sunnie
    May 7, 2012

    I entered another giveaway

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Sunnie
    May 7, 2012

    I entered another giveaway x2

    [Reply]

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    Sunnie
    May 7, 2012

    I entered another giveaway x3

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Trung Nguyen
    May 7, 2012

    I would want to become an actor

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Trung Nguyen
    May 7, 2012

    I like Thomas Bähler on Facebook (trung nguyen)

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Trung Nguyen
    May 7, 2012

    I like you on Facebook (trung nguyen)

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Trung Nguyen
    May 7, 2012

    I like you on Pinterest (trung nguyen)

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Trung Nguyen
    May 7, 2012

    email subscriber

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Trung Nguyen
    May 7, 2012

    I follow Thomas Bähler on Twitter (cistran)

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Trung Nguyen
    May 7, 2012

    I follow you on Twitter (cistran)

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Trung Nguyen
    May 7, 2012

    Networked Blogs follower

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Trung Nguyen
    May 7, 2012

    GFC follower

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Trung Nguyen
    May 7, 2012

    I entered the Picture IT Friday: “Capture Life” Grace Kaelyn Necklace

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Trung Nguyen
    May 7, 2012

    I entered the Review & Giveaway: Moxie Girlz Magic Swim Mermaids

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Trung Nguyen
    May 7, 2012

    I entered the IT’s Girly: Stuart Weitzman Girls’ Ballet Flats Review & #Giveaway

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    dario moniz
    May 14, 2012

    if i could do anything it would be to have a rewind option to go back and change some decisons

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Charlotte Padgett
    May 14, 2012

    Bring complete peace to all my family members.

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    susan varney
    May 16, 2012
  • Reply
    Valerie Taylor Mabrey
    May 19, 2012

    I would like to work at Walt Disney World!

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Valerie Taylor Mabrey
    May 19, 2012

    Subscribe to our e-newsletter Google reader

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Valerie Taylor Mabrey
    May 19, 2012

    Like You on Facebook
    Valerie Taylor Mabrey
    vmkids3 at msn dot com

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Renee G
    May 19, 2012

    If I could do anything, I would like to make a quilt.
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Renee G
    May 19, 2012

    Like you on Facebook (Renee Grandinetti)
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Renee G
    May 19, 2012

    Like Thomas Bähler on Facebook (Renee Grandinetti)
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Karen
    May 20, 2012

    I would make a living as an artist. Thanks for the giveaway.

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Peter Gladue
    May 20, 2012

    I would like the job of writing the headlines for the NY POST

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Erin Cook
    May 20, 2012

    IF i could do anything I would be a famous writer and have all my stories published and past out to bookstores and schools and libraries

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Erin Cook
    May 20, 2012

    like Thomas Bahler on facebook ERin COok

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Erin Cook
    May 20, 2012

    follow Thomas Bahler on twitter @cooks1978

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Erin Cook
    May 20, 2012

    like you on facebook ERin Cook

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Erin Cook
    May 20, 2012

    follow you on twitter @cooks1978

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Erin Cook
    May 20, 2012

    network blog follower Erin Cook

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    heather c
    May 20, 2012

    I would be a writer…of several very popular books, I do believe!

    [Reply]

  • Reply
    Veronica Garrett
    May 20, 2012

    If I could do anything I would love to heal people.

    [Reply]

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