Archives for posts with tag: Hans Hirschi

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Hi all:

Today I’m taking part in a blog tour for the new novel of an author whose work I’ve shared a few times before (and have always enjoyed), Hans Hirschi. His new novel, Spanish Bay is now available, and I could not resist but share it with all. Ah, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Spanish Bay by Hans Hirschi

Spanish Bay by Hans Hirschi

Synopsis

Spanish Bay is a feel-good novel about two young men who, despite having the odds stacked against them, never give up, always see the silver lining, work hard, and are committed to their families, come what may.

Chris, a Texan native who recently moved to Carmel, rescues wheelchair-bound Neil from bullies. Neither question the love that develops between them, although their life together is not without challenges. When Chris’s parents die in a car accident, their young love faces the ultimate test. Will they be able to cope with the additional responsibility of raising Chris’s baby brother Frank, who is also confined to a wheelchair?

Spanish Bay is about love, overcoming obstacles, and finding happiness, wherever you are.

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AUTHOR SHOP/BEATEN TRACK SHOP/AMAZON

KOBO/INDIGO/iBOOKS/GOODREADS

Oct 12th Happy Geek Media Tour launch & Excerpt

Oct 13th Bike Book Reviews Review & Unique Excerpt

Oct 13th Alina Oswald Unique Excerpt

Oct 13th Spectra Unique Excerpt

Oct 14th Unconventional – Expressions of Reality Review & Music Playlist 

Oct 15th Michaela Writes Unique Excerpt

Oct 16th Muffy Wilson Literotica Guest Post, Playlist, Author Q&A

Oct 19th Art, AIDS, & Others Author Q&A

Oct 20th DP’s Cafe Unique Excerpt

Oct 21st Photography, Poetry and Indie Authors Music Playlist

Oct 22nd De-Blog Review

Oct 23rd Blak Rayne’s Blog Unique Excerpt, guest post, Q&A

Oct 26th For the Love of Men Unique Excerpt

Oct 27th E-Book Builders Excerpt & Playlist

Oct 28th The Story of Being Dark Spotlight Special

Oct 29th Kelly S. Gamble Guest Post & Playlist

Nov 2nd Caddy Rowland: Slice of Life Guest Post

Nov 3rd Wake Up Your Wild Side Guest Post

Nov 4th The Gar Spot Unique Excerpt

Nov 5th Sarah Bell Reviews Review, Playlist

Nov 6th KP’s Cafe Review & Recipe

Nov 9th Kryssie Fortune Spotlight Feature

Nov 10th Nic Starr Guest Post & Music Playlist

Nov 11th Rainbow Gold Reviews Review

Nov 11th Just Olga Review, Unique Excerpt, Guest Post

Nov 11th GayListBookReviews Review

Nov 13th Happy Geek Media Review & Closing Special

 

Video Trailer

Just in case you can’t access the embedded version, here is the You Tube link:

https://youtu.be/uwzgjRMdUSM 

And an excerpt.  I had plenty to choose from and I found it hard, but here it goes… This is a conversation between Neil’s mother (Sarah) and her own mother, his grandmother (the fabulous Sue).

Excerpt From: Hans M Hirschi. “Spanish Bay.” iBooks.
“Sarah scowled at her mother. “That’s not the point, Mother, and you know it.”
“Then what is, dear? You keep fighting this, even though I know you think they are perfect for each other.”
Sarah broke out in tears. “I know, Mom. I’m just scared to lose my baby. Ever since he ended up in that chair, I’ve been so afraid of something bad happening to him, and look at him now. All grown up, responsible, and a father. It’s all happened so quickly.”
Sue got up and walked over to her daughter to hug her. “I know, baby. I know. But look at the two of us. You’re my only child, and you still come over here for dinner once a week. The harder you hold on to them, the more they’ll pull away. After all, I tried to let go, but you stayed. Maybe that’s the ticket?”

Spanish-Bay_about-author

Author-Hans-Hirschi

Hans M Hirschi (b. 1967) has been writing stories ever since he was a child. Adulthood and the demands of corporate life efficiently put an end to his fictional writing for over twenty years. A global executive in training and channel development, Hans has traveled the world and had previously published non-fictional titles.   The birth of his son and the subsequent parental leave provided him with the opportunity to unleash his creative writing once again. With little influence over his brain’s creative workings, he indulges it, going with the flow.   A deeply rooted passion for, faith in a better world, in love, tolerance and diversity are a red thread throughout both his creative and non-fictional work. His novels might best be described as “literary romance, engaging characters and relevant stories that won’t leave you untouched, but hopeful.”   Hans is a proud member of the Swedish Writers’ Union and the Writers’ Center in Sweden.

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The giveaway for Spanish Bay has 11 randomly chosen winners; 1 will receive a $50 Amazon gift card and 10 will receive a $10 gift code to the author’s shop,

http://giveawaytools2.com/share.php?giveaway=88346493105

Here, my review:

Spanish Bay by Hans Hirshi. The Queen of Unconventional Happy Endings Does it Again.

I obtained an ARC copy of his book in exchange for an honest review as part of the launch blog tour of the novel.

This is the fourth book I have read by Hans Hirschi. I also read his blog regularly and I’m aware that another author bestowed upon him the title of ‘Queen of Unconventional Endings’ and he has taken proud ownership of the same. And in this book the author lives up to the title.

Spanish Bay is a young adult love story between two young men, Neil and Chris, who meet in very special circumstances. Neil is disabled due to a rare muscular disease and he has to mobilise using a wheelchair. He is being bullied in front of Sally’s, the café where Chris works, and he comes to his rescue. It is love at first sight. Neil is still in school, due to the time he had to spend in hospital (he is already nineteen) and both he and Chris are outsiders. Chris was thrown out of the ranch where he lived with his family when they discovered he was gay. Neil feels invisible, as people see his chair instead of him, and although he knows he is attracted to men, he’s never had the confidence to explore it any further. He worries that nobody will see past his chair.

Chris and Neil, despite their different origins (Chris’s parents are a bit of a disaster, whilst Neil’s are enlightened and supportive most of the time, if a bit overprotective, understandably), are made for each other, and they are both aware of it from the very beginning. Their love story encounters many complications and hurdles to overcome, but there are no misunderstandings, jealousy, or difficulties within the couple. All the problems come from outside, mostly through life and their families, or rather, Chris’s family. Every time things seem settled, something new comes up. The beauty of the novel (and it is a pretty short one), that made me think of a fairy tale, is that together, they are strong, they complement each other beautifully, and they conquer everything that life throws in their way. Chris has a huge heart, and Neil is mature and determined beyond his years, and they are better for being together.

There are characters that act like fairy godmothers (or godfathers), like Sue (Neil’s fabulous pot-smoking grandma), Sally (the owner of the coffee shop), Junior (Chris’s oldest brother), and Old Mr Murphy (Steve). There are some characters that do bad things, like Alexandra, but they aren’t true villains, more victims of circumstances and misguided. Everybody roots for the young couple, and not only are they happy, but they irradiate happiness around, and help create strengthen both their families.

Spanish Bay is a book that will make you feel at peace with the universe, and you’ll wish you could move and live in Carmel with the characters. If you’re looking for gritty realism and deep psychological studies full of angst-ridden characters, this is not it. But if you want a heart-warming read that will put a smile on your face while touching on matters like family relationships, disability, diversity and choice, you’ve come to the right place.

Thanks so much to Hans Hirschi for sharing his new book with me, thanks to Amberr Meadows for organising the blog tour, and thanks to you all for reading. And  you know… please, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Hi all:

First, a word of warning. I’ve been having all kinds of computer trouble (I’ll tell you about it later) and I hope to be able to get it fixed during the week, but if you don’t see me replying to the comments straight away, that could be the reason. (I try and programme a few posts in advance to keep things going in case of unexpected things happening. Oh, and doesn’t life love randomness!)

As you know I was away from the internet for a while and I used the time to read. I’ll try and catch up with the reviews in the next few weeks (and might do a roundup for Christmas).

Today I bring you a review of a book by Hans Hirschi I’ve read two of his books before and participated in blog tours for some of his books (and have another one coming up next month). So I knew I was in for a treat.

The Opera House by Hans Hirschi

The Opera House by Hans Hirschi

The Opera House by Hans Hirschi. Creating the Family You Deserve.

This novel deals with some serious and important themes we all come across at some point in our lives, some more directly than others: grief, homelessness, family relationships, love, spiritual and religious beliefs, prejudice (sexual, social…), paedophilia, young runaways…but it is not an issue novel where the characters are just mouthpieces for different points of view or an attempt at indoctrinating the reader. It is a novel where the reader gets inside the skin of a series of complex characters and experiences strong emotions with them . We might share their points of view or not and the world they live in might be far from our daily existence but the author manages to get us completely enthralled by the events life keeps throwing at the protagonists and we can’t help but feel for them.

Raphael experiences the loss of his teenage son to a cruel illness, and full of guilt for not being able to reassure him about the afterlife, he lets his life sink, falling into depression and losing his partner, his job and his voice in the company he created, and his earthly possessions. He meets a boy slightly older than his son at the cemetery, Brian, who is homeless like him and whose life is a disaster waiting to happen. Through him, he meets Michael, a children’s social worker. There is hope and Raphael works hard to rebuild his life and create a new family but there are also many difficulties on the way, and the happy moments are interspersed with disappointments and drawbacks. The lives of all the characters in the story are touched by their interactions with each other, and in this drama, nobody is truly evil (with the exception of one of Brian’s johns) and most are trying to do their best. The third person narration that follows the different characters and allows the reader to see things from their point of view works well; it avoids becoming too intrusive whilst offering insight into the motivations and emotions of the main players.

I was very intrigued by the character of Angela, the nurse, who plays the part of the fairy godmother/guardian angel, always appearing at the most difficult moments, with vital information, support and advice. I’d be curious to know what other readers thought about her.

The title of the novel comes from Raphael’s job as an architect, and the impact his experience of homelessness has on his creativity and his design of the next big project for the city, the opera house, that serves as backdrop to the action. Although I don’t know how well the practicalities of the design of the opera house proposed in the novel would work, I admit to loving the concept and the idea.

As a word of warning, there are some erotic scenes (not the most explicit I’ve read by far, and fairly brief, one with violence towards a minor). Ah, and emotions ride high. I’d advise readers to be prepared, especially if they tend to get emotional when reading, and have tissues at hand.

If you like novels about relationships that explore serious issues, with complex characters you’ll get to care about, I recommend it. This is the third novel I’ve read by Hans Hirschi and it won’t be the last one.

Links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B014JYNF9U/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014JYNF9U/

Don’t forget to sign on to my mailing list. I have some surprises on store!

http://eepurl.com/bAUc0v

Thanks to Hans Hirschi for his novel, thanks to you all for reading, and you know, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Hi all:

Today I’m really pleased to be taking part in the Blog Tour for the new novel by Hans Hirschi. If you remember I already brought you another one of his books ‘The Fallen Angels of Karnataka‘ and I jumped at the chance of bringing you his newest novel. We have a character profile (a truly enlightened character. If only our politicians were like him) and I’ve had the pleasure of reading it too, so I leave you the review as well. And don’t miss the fabulous giveaway.

And now:
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Willem of the Tafel by Hans M. Hirschi

Willem of the Tafel by

Hans M. Hirschi

Published by

Beaten Track Publishing

Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, LGBT, Post-Dystopian, Young Adult

194 pages

Release Date:  May 28, 2015

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The world we know is gone, destroyed by greed and ignorance. On a post-apocalyptic Earth, centuries into the future, few have survived the Great War. Some have taken refuge deep inside a mountain. One of them, Willem, is exiled to the surface… Alone and struggling to survive, Willem embarks on an epic journey, making a discovery that could once again alter the future of humanity. Willem of the Tafel is an epic tale of survival, second chances, hope and undying love.

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Check out the trailer for Willem of the Tafel

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AUTHOR SHOP/BEATEN TRACK SHOP/AMAZON/B&N/KOBO/INDIGO/ALIBRIS/iBOOKS/GOODREADS

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Follow the Willem of the Tafel Virtual book tour here

Willem-of-the-tafel-about-author
author-hans-hirschi

Hans M Hirschi (b. 1967) has been writing stories ever since he was a child. Adulthood and the demands of corporate life efficiently put an end to his fictional writing for over twenty years.
A global executive in training and channel development, Hans has traveled the world and had previously published non-fictional titles.

The birth of his son and the subsequent parental leave provided him with the opportunity to unleash his creative writing once again. With little influence over his brain’s creative workings, he indulges it, going with the flow.

A deeply rooted passion for, faith in a better world, in love, tolerance and diversity are a red thread throughout both his creative and non-fictional work. His novels might best be described as “literary romance, engaging characters and relevant stories that won’t leave you untouched, but hopeful.”

Hans is a proud member of the Swedish Writers’ Union and the Writers’ Center in Sweden.

Willem-of-the-tafel-social-media-links

Willem-of-the-tafel-giveaway

The giveaway for Willem of the Tafel has 11 randomly chosen winners; 10 will receive $15 Gift codes to the author’s shop, but the grand prize winner will receive a free ticket to GayRomLit retreat 2015, in San Diego, CA, happening October 15-18th, 2015. Ticket value is $175, but if you win the grand prize, you’re responsible for travel and accommodations. Please notify the author in advance should you win and be unable to attend, so we can choose another recipient to enjoy the prize! 

Character Profile from Willem of the Tafel 

Adrianjaka, Chief of Madagascar

Gender: Male

Age: late forties when we first meet him

Occupation: Chief of Madagascar and one of the four leaders of the world

Adrianjaka is an interesting man. Born into a powerful family with royal roots, he is used to being in charge, making decisions. He is the elected leader of the Malagasy people in the 26th century when the story begins. He was mated to a white woman of Kiwi descent, whom he lost to cancer, one of the many diseases plaguing a world that has no modern technology. His daughter, mother to one of the main characters, Hery, dies giving birth to Hery, which leaves Adrianjaka devastated, as he was very close to her, and it strains the relationship to his grandson for years. Hery eventually attends a school in the north of the island, a school dedicated to kids with disabilities (Hery is deaf) and meets the fisherman Stephane on who’s boat he begins to work as a sailor, further alienating him from his grandfather who had different plans for him.

However, the stubbornness and dedication of Hery slowly wear down the old man and when they meet at a crucial point in the story, Adrianjaka realizes that the path Hery has taken has prepared him for the future.

Adrianjaka is a crucial secondary character in the book. He is wise, he is powerful, but he’s not blinded by it, unlike his counterpart in South Africa, Mavuto.

I, personally, love Adrianjaka, because he’s not perfect but has a good heart and is able to recognise his mistakes, move on and accept. And he has the well-being of his people as his main interest. As I said at the beginning, if only…

Here, my review:

Willem of the Tafel is not an easy book to classify. The main protagonist, Willem, is quite young at the beginning of the action, and the novel follows his journey towards independence and adulthood, so it has elements of a Young Adult story. It portrays a future post-nuclear catastrophe, where environment takes its toll and pays humanity back, with most of the population being wiped-out and the few survivors taking some radical decisions. It’s a dystopia/utopia (depending on each person’s viewpoint) whereby whilst some groups of humans have decided to abandon technology to avoid further catastrophes, others depend on it for their basic survival. So it could be a science-fiction novel. It’s a novel with a strong pro-environmental message, and it reflects upon the human condition (fear, power struggles, and race relations). It is also a beautiful love story between two extraordinary young men, as different from each other as they could be, but as compatible and similar in their outlook as would be possible.

The author uses third person alternating point of view to make the reader share in the feelings of those characters that, although initially might appear completely alien to us once we move past their circumstances, they are not that different from all of us. Both of the post-apocalyptic societies that are shown have their problems. The people living on the surface who have renounced technology see their lives shortened but their lack of science and experiment hardship without any relief in sight, although they live a much simpler life and enjoy human contact. The society of the Tafel has developed a model of life where the main goal is survival and nothing that does not increase its likelihood is considered worthy of pursuit. Reproduction has become mechanised, society divided and dying due to lack of new blood and light, and each individual is only a cog in a machine. And there are huge division and differences according to race. Neither model is shown as perfect although the Tafel seems, by far, the sadder of the two (and perhaps the closer to where we are going).

Willem is and extraordinary character. An individual part of a system who is wonderfully unlike anybody else and whose punishment for an accidental death becomes his (and humanity’s) salvation. Willem brought to my mind Herman Melville’s character ‘Billy Budd’, the beautiful and innocent sailor who kills another sailor (unintentionally) and pays dearly for it, not only for his crime, but because he represents what the captain can’t be or have. Thankfully, in the case of Willem, this young man goes on to become the link between the two societies and a symbol of hope.

A joyful and optimistic read that affirms the human spirit. Suitable for all ages. A character and a novel I won’t forget.

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Willem of the Tafel Tour brought to you by…

Happy-Geek-Media

Happy Geek Media

Thanks to Amberr for organising the tour, thanks to Hans Hirschi for another fabulous book, and thanks to you all for reading. And don’t forget to like, share, comment, participate in the giveaway, and of course, CLICK!

I must explain the background to this post. I saw that author Hans Hirschi (whom I had met through Twitter and Triberr) was seeking blogs for a blog tour just around Christmas time last year. Having heard about the book and being keen on reading it, I thought the tour would give me the perfect excuse (if I needed one). I signed in (the process was via a Google form. I must confess I don’t like them very much as I’m never sure they’ve gone. With the majority of blog tours I get an e-mail with the possible blog tours, I reply and I receive an answer directly from the organiser. That allows me to contact back if I haven’t heard anything in a while, but with the forms you have nobody to contact. End of my rant about Google forms.). I did tell the writer that I had signed for the tour, but never received anything from the tour organiser and assumed they must have had too many offers. When later the author told me he hadn’t seen my post I explained that I never received the book for review or the information. I suspect I must have entered the wrong e-mail address but…So, better late than never I decided to read the book and have included the rest of the material in the original tour in this post. (Thanks Hans and sorry again).

First, the post as it was meant to be:

 

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Enjoy Happy Geek Media’s debut virtual tour of The Fallen Angels of Karnataka

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The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-2The Fallen Angels of Karnataka by:

Hans M. Hirschi

Published by:

Yaree AB

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, LGBT, Social Awareness, Literary, Travel

264 pages

Release Date: September 15, 2014

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In an isolated mountain town in Norway, Haakon dreams of traveling the world, pursuing adventure, seeing great cities, finding love. His very first trip to London with friends from university offers much promise, yet soon after tragedy strikes. Still young, and mourning the loss of his lover, Haakon is not ready to give up on his dream, so when a rich Englishman offers him the chance to join him on a tour of the world, Haakon takes it, daring to believe that his dream is finally coming true…but at what price?

The Fallen Angels of Karnataka is a novel filled with adventure, life’s hard-learned lessons, loss, despicable evil, and finally, love and redemption. See what others are saying about The Fallen Angels of Karnataka on the author’s media page here.

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AMAZON/NOOK/ADLIBRIS/ELIB/BOKUS/YAREE

The Fallen Angels of Karnataka is discounted to $5.99 right now, so grab a copy. The novel will not disappoint!

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author-hans-hirschi

Author Hans M. Hirschi

Hans M Hirschi (b. 1967) has been writing stories ever since he was a child. Adulthood and the demands of corporate life efficiently put an end to his fictional writing for over twenty years.

A global executive in training and channel development, Hans has traveled the world and had previously published non-fictional titles.

The birth of his son and the subsequent parental leave provided him with the opportunity to unleash his creative writing once again. With little influence over his brain’s creative workings, he indulges it, going with the flow.

A deeply rooted passion for, faith in a better world, in love, tolerance and diversity are a red thread throughout both his creative and non-fictional work. His novels might best be described as “literary romance, engaging characters and relevant stories that won’t leave you untouched, but hopeful.”

Hans is a proud member of the Swedish Writers’ Union, the Writers’ Center in Sweden and serves as chair of the Swedish Federation of Self- & Independent Publishers.

The-Fallen-Angels-of-Karnataka-Tour

 

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I have removed the links to the giveaway and the tour as those are not live any longer. Sorry again about that!

Now, my review:

The Fallen Angels of Karnataka by Hans M. Hirschi. A dark fairy-tale treating a terrifying but all too real and difficult subject.

The Fallen Angels of Karnataka is a novel that reminded me of a variety of genres. It’s a bildungsroman. Haakon, the protagonist, is a young man from a small Norwegian farm, naïve and not knowledgeable in the ways of life. The book shows us the process of his sexual awakening, how he discovers he is gay, his first experiences, his first rejection and heartbreak, his first love, and his first loss.

At a time when he’s lost everything and he’s been given what he thinks is a death sentence, an Englishman steps in, Charles, and makes him an offer that seems too good to be true. (Yes, we know all about it, but…) Haakon has always dreamt of travelling, and Charles offers him a dream contract to be his travelling companion, acting as a fairy godmother (or godfather) of sorts. He solves all the problems (including finding him medication for his newly diagnosed HIV infection) and does not seem to want anything back other than company and organisational skills. Of course, things aren’t quite as they seem, and the fairy tale turns much seedier and darker later in the book.

We follow Haakon and Charles in their travels, and the book could have become a travelogue. But although the novel provides beautiful vignettes and interesting observations and reflections about the places visited, their travel is described more in terms of an emotional and spiritual experience than a guide book. The journey our hero embarks on allows the readers to follow how the character grows, loses his —at times terribly annoying, at least to me— naïveté and manages to find not only a partner (gorgeous, good and who has suffered too, one of the fallen angels of the title), but also a worthy mission.

Hans Hirschi tackles a difficult subject in this book. One of the most difficult subjects. Paedophilia. The fallen angels of the book title are not really fallen, but rather dragged down by adults who either aid and abate others or are themselves abusers. The author shines a light on some of the least tasteful aspects of an already difficult to deal with topic, by highlighting the plight of children who are abused because they are seen as dispensable. We’ve all heard of sexual tourism and this is an extreme example of it. Although the topic is distasteful and something that plenty of readers would much rather not read about, the author manages to build credible characters that do not completely lose their humanity, even though some of their behaviours might be abhorrent. Haakon acts, in a way, as a foil and reflects the attitude of most readers, who would find it difficult to reconcile how somebody who seems so kind, educated, sophisticated and helpful could also abuse children. It is also a cautionary tale that reminds us appearances can be very deceptive.

The ending is positive, in keeping with the fairy-tale aspect of it, and although not perfect, the hero’s journey shares on universal themes and shows character development and a well-constructed plot and structure. We can’t help but hope that in real life all these kids will find a place and there will be no more fallen angels.

The book is beautifully written and the omniscient narrator allows us to see and understand things from different characters’ point of view (mainly Haakon’s but not exclusively). That helps up share in his experiences but at times puts us in a very uncomfortable position, being party to thoughts or desires and impulses of deeply flawed characters.

I would recommend this book to readers who dare to explore darker subjects. It will be quite a ride but the rewards will be plenty. I don’t know if the writer has thought about revisiting any of the characters again, but I for one would love to hear more of Mahender’s story (hard as it would be). And I will put other works by the author in my list of future reads.

Thanks to the author for kindly allowing me to take part, even if well past the date, on the tour, thanks to all of you for reading, and please, like, share, comment and CLICK!

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