"Down the Rabbit Hole"
Volume I



This is my first major work written at a gallop, so to speak, over a number of years in-between the everyday humdrum of life. The novel and simultaneously the 1st volume of 2 is called: "Down the Rabbit Hole"

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'What is my destiny?' Asked Alice, and picked a card.

'Your destiny…' Gibbered the creatures spinning on the Wheel, 'Is destiny.'
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Friends won’t do anything for you; they just say that they would.

Life is not unfair; it is just a way to keep you subdued.

There are speed limits on the roads; but your car can surpass ten times that speed.

Sex is evil; and everybody does it.

And people may ask quite academically: what is it like to be an immigrant? To which at that point we could hastily answer: Like squeezing a fat arse into a pair of Petite jeans!
 So this is what fame felt like for the little people in Hollywood! Everybody loves you! But, as the tragedy unfolds, everybody loves you only as long as you fulfill their fantasies; only as long as you sin like they would like to, fuck like they would like to, make money like they would like to and look like they would like to!

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'Have you seen the White Rabbit?' Asked Alice.

'Have you?' Answered the Cheshire Cat.
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May 2011 23:00
via Facebook
Mi-a placut la nebunie cartea ta. Am avut impresia ca m-ai tinut de mana si m-ai purtat prin toate ungherele existentei tale.
Ioana C
Entrepreneur - Romania

March 2011
via Facebook
It is different
, and I love the way you have organised your narrative.
Andy D
- United Kingdom

November 2010 12:51

I found the novel to be quite astonishing, very different from what I’ve read in the past, putting together many aspects of life into one piece: immigration, philosophy, family, love and sex. The book portrays the journey of a teenager maturing during the process of adapting to society. After immigrating to South Africa, she finds an incompatibility between society and herself; moreover she finds comfort in her escapades. Personal thoughts and events are revealed therefore I can say that the novel really captured my attention from the beginning to the end. Apart from this, what grew my attention even more is the fact that I could relate to some of the events presented. Moving back to her home country (Romania) along with her partner was a big step for her. She continues to come across unpleasant obstacles yet in the final round manages to find a balance in her life. Overall, I truly think that one can learn something from this novel.

Diana Matei
Student of the Faculty of Geography - Romania & South Africa

August 2010 16:30
This was a surprisingly interesting book to read for me and I found reading it an unusual experience. The book has actually three main story environments: short moments from the author's childhood, memories from communist Romania, her teenage and university years in South Africa, the dialog with an imaginary character  - the reader can make his own guess on who the character might be - though the style and atmosphere in this passages intentionally remind us Alice in Wonderland.
I found really remarkable that the author could seamlessly pass from one environment to the other and the reader has the feeling that this passages between different story environments make a certain sense and are not randomly inserted. Especially the imaginary character dialogues, contribute to creating a more or less poetic / somehow philosophic  atmosphere in the book and they are inserted at the right moments to interrupt the story flow and suggest the author's intention to make this book something beyond a sum of autobiographic recalls and impressions. We can consider the imaginary dialogues a way in which Irina expresses her impressions on life and the contradictory discussions sound sometimes like an inner monologue of a teenager trying to consolidate his/her conflicting impressions on life in general.
As far as the  -probably only up to a certain point - biographical parts of the book, they are a sum of different life episodes from different time and they express Irina's attitude on life, relationships, living as an immigrant in a foreign country, student life etc. Most of them are very well written. The childhood memories part have a certain mystery note to them and each story has some kind of idea attached to it - they suggest how small childhood events can influence people's lives (I really liked the childhood moment story with the disappearing rabbit for example).
The youth and student time memories suggests a somehow rebellious teen, preoccupied with theater, goth music and Japanese cartoons, ready to experiment all life has to offer and unhappy with the boring day to day student life. It is remarkable that we can understand part of the reasons behind this rebellion from the imaginary dialogues from each chapter, so everything makes some sense, even in the more "extreme" parts. There might be some excessive passages or language once in a while - at least for my taste - but, again, the writing style is very good overall, it's hard not to enjoy reading this book - it's a mix of humor, sarcasm, mystery and life philosophy well put together. 
Of course, the book's fate is in the author's decision, but I personally consider this book could be published and have more readers - it is really worth it. If, in the English speaking countries, publishing would be more difficult, I think a translation into Romanian could raise the Romanian reader's (and editor's)interest and could get the book published. Anyway, I found this book definitely worth reading and surprising in its own way :)
Ciprian Chiru
Graduate of the Faculty of Foreign Languages (Arabic and Dutch)
P&G Team Coordinator - Iberia and Benelux - Romania

May 2010 01:31

Down the Rabbit Hole is a turbulent ride through the psyche and and misadventures of a young Romanian immigrant growing up in South Africa. The narrow nature of that brief sentence conceals the broad nature of the text, as it speaks to anyone who's ever felt that maybe they didn't belong, or as though others disapproved of their happiness.

At it's heart this is a story about duality - or, more accurately, duplicity. The world the characters inhabit is filled with hypocrisy. There's no way the flawed, imperfect characters can live up to something as perfect as their ideals, however tainted these ideals may appear to anyone who doesn't share them. Billboards splash sex where everyone can see, but the act itself is unspoken and happens behind closed doors. You can break any rule, even your own, but heaven forbid you should get caught doing it. 

Our protagonist reflects this duality/duplicity wonderfully as she's torn between the needs to be her idealised self and to find somewhere she can belong. As she delves further and further down the rabbit hole the pressures of the two lives she leads and of the two people she feels herself becoming threaten to tear both her perfect worlds apart. She demands someone she can be honest with and justifies the hurt she causes through honesty, yet plays games with all those who get close to her. Fiercely uncompromising and independent, she yet finds herself compromising to others far too often, whether to protect them or herself.

The harsh reality is off-set by fantasy. Every character we encounter is clearly trying to escape to their own Wonderland, but not all of them know how, and many give up because the rabbit hole is the wrong size and they haven't yet found the bottle labelled 'drink me'. They touch the life of the protagonist, and through their successes and failings she finds the balance she needs between reality and fantasy, the duality we all need to reach to survive our own duplicity.

To call the book gripping would be an understatement. Prepare for a sleepless night (if it takes you longer than that, call in sick at work). The characters are well-rounded and intriguing, the style is fluid and engaging, the themes are apparent without losing their subtlety and the plot keeps you wondering what's going to happen next.

Having said that, the novel is very raw (intentionally so) and I have one or two criticisms. Most of these are entirely within the realm of opinion, or with a mind to making it more accessible to a wider audience. The dream sequences and present-day conversations with the OMNISCIENT VOICE (most probably God, but the question is never answered, so this could be Death, the Muse, a self-indulgent Super-Ego or another personality of the protagonist's) seem far too self-indulgent and often overlong. They are the staging ground for discussing the novel's themes in-depth. Although interesting, the core themes and ideas could perhaps be stronger if dealt with more subtlety, rather than through a diary of dreams or dialogue with the omniscient voice. This is also perhaps where the border is crossed into narcissism; everywhere else it could be forgiven.

Personal criticisms aside, I abandoned everything else I was doing from page one. I've never read anything approximating this level from an unpublished writer, and would heartily recommend this to anyone with the free time (and many without). WARNING: may cause philosophical thought.
Zane Marc Gentis
Trainee Consultant - South Africa
BA Honours in International Studies
B Accounting

April 2010
mailed-by personal mail
This would make a very good underground book!
J. Andrews
Retail Manager - South Africa
Student of the Faculty of Information Technology

March 2010 01:31
mailed-by personal mail


Draga mea Irina, Stiu ca pare o scrisoare, dar daca ai avea acces la jurnalul meu, ai intelege de ce incep asa… ;) Am terminat cartea ta si mi-ai spus sa iti scriu ceva la sfarsit, fie el acel ceva un simplu cuvant, sau orice altceva… Ei bine, nu vreau sa intru in foarte multe detalii referitoare la tine ca si prietena mea si la tine ca si persoana care si-a scris propriul roman, dar trebuie macar sa spun ca fiind prima oara cand citesc ceva scris de cineva pe care il si cunosc destul de indeaproape, ei bine, a fost un sentiment nou si foarte placut. Singurul lucru pe care il regret acum cu adevarat este ca nu ti-ai publicat cartea pana acum pentru a o putea citi orisicand, nu numai cand aveam putin timp liber, ci si la metrou, ci si atunci cand vroiam sa stau in pat si sa ma relaxez… As fi terminat-o cu muuult mai repede. Este o carte pasionanta, intriganta, personala (si, daca imi permiti, mult prea personala poate- dar in definitiv, daca stau bine si ma gandesc cred ca ne ajung atatea generalitati fara nici un scop si care isi rateaza efectiv tinta pentru ca oamenii sunt prea slabi sa inteleaga ceva si chiar si atunci cand inteleg, nu pot sa se tina si sa duca pana la capat invataturile luate de undeva), si sincer mi-a placut foarte mult. Nu sunt un critic, si ca atare nu am de gand sa ma arunc in chestii de genul: aici ar fi trebuit sa faci asa, acolo de ce ai scris astfel, etc, etc, ci o sa-ti raspund in propriul meu fel.

Maria Negrescu
Graduate of the Faculty of Economic Studies - Romania
Post-graduate student of the Faculty of Philosophy

August 2009 21:53
Anyway for now I am really enjoying the dark reminiscence of the potential that is viewed through the imagination of youth, especially as it provides an overemphasized parallel to reality, making it more hypnotic and enticing and thus ultimately more unputdownable by the reader.
Gemma Norkett
English Teacher - United Kingdom & China
University Psychology Studies

July 2009 01:31

Down the Rabbit Hole - a bitter blue pill, that stares you into submission to take a hit and forget your mainstream values. It plunges you down the drainpipe of a mind and into the depths of the self. A quick read, you will either love it or ...never read it. Were there more books like this little enigma - bookshops would sell less diluted, seen-it-all-before, over marketed filth. Down The Rabbit Hole keeps the pace of our lives - read it on the go! - Ian, (Romania) -
Ian Du Plessis
Analyst - South Africa & Romania
Website Administrator 
BA (Political Science)

June 2009 16:34

The attractively dark protagonist, who lurks behind her apparent normalcy, is a lost little girl in a strange world. Like Alice in Wonderland trapped in a surreal nightmare, she falls down the rabbit hole, at the mercy of circumstances she cannot control, these circumstances are simply known as life. She is both intrigued and anxious about the games she plays with certain men who cross her path, recognizing they subtly challenge her proclaimed superior talents and intelligence. She is flawed, contradicts herself and the philosophies of others around her, yet shows personal growth as her life continues down a twisted path, moving ever closer to a safe, normal existence.

Mark M
Green/Eco-friendly Agriculture Researcher - South Africa
Website Administrator
MSc (Microbiology)

June 2009 15:39

A Perfect Circle pas nogal goed by jou boek

Dawid Botes
Law graduate and Environmentalist - South Africa & Japan

It is probably the first book you will read that involves no middle-man.
It is self everything (with a little help from my soulmate and some friends)
Its status as an independent novel has certain downsides though:
  1. It doesn't look all glossy and pretty and expensive like all the other dependent novels. More like a book less like an "Ad".
  2. It is not finely edited in order to iron out all that makes it original.
  3. It is not mass produced and you'll have to wait a bit to get it in hand - So! No instant gratification there!
It's 100% real and 100% unadultarated.
On print:

Colour front and back cover
Black and white illustrations.
A5 size - Total 299 pages.
ISBN 978-973-0-05805-5

Please contact me for any extra details.

A4 Size Sample
For any questions/comments/reviews:
Or take a trip to Belgium, and meet me in person.
Subpages (1): BOOK LAUNCH 2010