Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Friday, September 21, 2012

Book Review: The Day I Left … Take a Knee … TK’s Locks of the Week … Gampa Charlie!

In Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov plans and botches the murder of a miserly money-lender, killing her half-sister as well. By the time he meets the police detective, Porfiry, he’s haunted by guilt and is quickly going mad; hell hath no fury like manic guilt. From immediately after the murder to his ultimate confession, Raskolnikov has to live with a feverish paranoia that ultimately wears him down.

Roskolnikov’s fever born of paranoia is what I thought often of while reading Jason Korolenko’s fine debut novel, The Day I Left. Unlike Dostoyevsky’s dulusional (he believes special people are entitled to murder) protagonist, Jarrod Nelson isn’t plotting murder for the sake of the greater good. If anything, he’s living with guilt and insecurity we can all relate to. He’s left his home in Arizona to study abroad in Paris. He’s also left his girlfriend and an ailing father. And since he’s fallen in love with a woman he’s met in Paris, his French teacher’s sister, Jarrod is far from homesick. This is the background to a page turner that will keep you engaged from start to finish. When Jarrod’s teacher’s sister asks him to spend some time with her brother, the trouble that ensues quickly turns into a whirlwind, somehow leaving someone dead. Or does it? Jarrod is called home when he’s told his father fell from a ladder ... while home he learns his ex-girlfriend is pregnant. He returns to Paris against the wishes of the woman he loves ... but things aren’t always what they seem to be in this novel, and it is upon meeting the detective investigating the murder victim (no spoilers here) when the Raskolnikov-like mania comes to mind; the mania Jarrod experiences reveals a little bit more with each passing scene. What is it that happened that night? Why did it happen? How could it have happened?

The Day I Left is page turner that will keep you rooting for Jarrod to find love, a way out, then himself. A fine debut by a writer with international flare (most of the novel takes place in Paris) and solid insight into the mania we each, every one of us, carry somewhere within our tortured souls.

Here he is doing a “safety dance” ... featured on Huffington Post and at several other joints ...

From the conservative website where I wax Plutonian poetic and the discussions sometimes get heated and are equal parts informative and frustrating, a fellow lefty there (Todd) posted this a few days ago:

My favorite “Quote of the Day,” dedicated to Charlie!!

In other political news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a four-year high recently, making President Obama the crappiest socialist in history.

Obama a socialist? Is the GOP still trying to sell that horse shit?  Really? He’s been a lot closer to Bush on steroids thus far to this captain cannoli ... and I often suspect that Romney’s real angst has to do with Obama having been the President Romney only wishes he could be (and probably would’ve tried to be, had he not grabbed his ankles for the sake of the extreme right).

Taking a knee ... Coach Schiano said the right thing regarding the now infamous “taking a knee” debacle; he “coaches his players to play the game until they (refs) tell them it’s over.” Sounds good and certainly makes sense. The problem, of course, is the brass balls it took to spout that line of shit one week after his offense took a knee!

Frankly, I can ONLY see taking a knee within the following formula: a game is point-wise “out of reach” versus the time remaining on the clock. The Moonachie Blue Team had 5 seconds left to play, so Schiano was perfectly within his rights to have his defense try and jar the ball lose and/or hope the QB-center exchange went awry—it’s not like it doesn’t happen (just ask the Moonachie Blue Team—miracle in the Moonachie Meadowlands Part I). Had the game been a two score deficit, then no, it wouldn’t make sense to fire off the line of scrimmage. The problem, for me, wasn’t what happened on the field against the Moonachie Blue Team. I see nothing wrong with playing the full 60 minutes and trying to win the game. The problem was Schiano’s bullshit press conference after the game where he claimed he coaches his team to play until they’re told the game is over. Really? So what happened at the end of week 1?

The best way for this stuff to end is with an edict from on high; Goodell needs to tell all teams to play the full sixty minutes, no half-speed kneeling. Take all the knees you want, but expect both lines to fire out and at least fake the effort they’re paid to make.

Or do what the assholes in MLB baseball suggest from time to time. Instead of throwing 4 balls to walk a better, have the pitcher say, “We’re walking him.” The losing football coach can say, “Okay, that’s enough. We quit.”

Oy vey ... but at least that discussion leads to this one (the one you’ve all been waiting for) ... the kiss of death prognostication that has bankrupted almost as many people as Wall Street, the Bush & Obama administrations combined ...

Knucks’ NFL picks of the week!

Knucks Locks of the Week ... Last night … we went against all the football minds and took the Moonachie Blue team to win (not crush) the Pantherless of Carolina (maybe they should stick to making rice) … Big Blue looked in mid-season form … and seem to get better with each week.

Buckets vs. Cowgirls … crybaby Schiano will catch the wrath of the girls after the ass-whooping bestowed on them by the Sea Pigeons last week. Romo fakes taking a knee and tosses a long TD to cap the romp …

Jags vs. Andrew Luck … what it pretty much comes down to … until Maurice Jones-Drew is up to speed, this one goes to the Rookie in a shootout …

My beloved New York State Buffalo Bills vs. the Brownettes of Cleveland … another dose of whoop-ass, compliments of Super Mario’s breakout game. Bills big.

Moonachie Green vs. the Dolphinations … the circus tent begins to fold as the Fish have some fun at Rex Ryan’s expense.

Chefs vs. the Aints … aint no contest this week … the stat-machine Brees has become finally gets a break, but it’ll be much close than most expect.

Bengalis vs. RG III … great game and the one I expect to be flipping channels to during the Bills game … not sure who prevails but it should be fun.

Rams vs. Cutlerettes … “look out” blocks galore, that’s all I have to say … and all the Bears offensive line should be saying to that piece of shit QB behind them … Cutler yelling at his offensive lineman was friggin’ comical by the end of the game last week. Could he have thrown better passes to the defense? Highly unlikely … frig him already. Go Rams, big!

49’ers vs. Vikingless … forgetaboutit … no contest. My super bowl pick (49’ers) in an easy one.

Lionesses vs. Tennessee Tuxedos … Lions in a cakewalk.

Falcons vs. Chargerless … forgetaboutit … Philip Rivers returns to form and the Falcon DB’s feast on him.

Dog Killers vs. Cardinalis … Go Cards! How lucky can the dog killers get? The Cards were pretty lucky last week themselves … one of them has to run out sooner or later.

Steelers vs. Raiderettes … healthy or not, no contest. The Raiders are going backwards again.

Texans vs. Broncettes … if Payton is half as bad as he was last week, this will be a blowout. I don’t expect that, but the Texas Two-Steppers are the better team (and my other super bowl pick).

Choking Cheatriots vs. the Wes Cravens … this one may put the Bills atop the AFC East alongside the Fish … Go Cravens!

Packers vs. Sea Pigeons … I actually look forward to this one … who wins is anybody’s guess.

And for the really important news … guess who’s going to be a Gampa! Charles and Leslie Stella are pregnant … so am I, but I won’t be giving birth. The little Stella is due mid-March and the sonogram has already shown a Bills tattoo on “its” cute little ass …

That’s what I’m talking about!


Tristan and Isolde Prelude ...