Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
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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, August 22, 2014

Lie Down in Darkness … AFC North … Joe Cocker!


Lie Down in Darkness, William Styron … an amazing novel that at times frustrated me so much, I stopped to read another book when I left my kindle at the office over a weekend. That said, when I returned to the last half of the book, I was surprised at how quickly I was re-hooked and anxious to keep reading. It is close to an epic read, what one has to suspect the author was shooting for (as regards length), but the most amazing thing about this novel was learning the age of the author at the time of publication—William Styron was only 26 years old when Lie Down in Darkness was published. His insights into the human condition at age 26 make this novel all the more impressive.

I could do without much of the page length descriptive narrative and/or some of the introspection, but the characters are so compelling it is difficult to ignore them for more than a few hours. I am still thinking about them, seeing them in my head, two days after finishing the read. The novel revolves around the suicide of Peyton Loftis, daughter to Milton and Helen Loftis, and sister to Maudie. Peyton is the beautiful daughter with the brains and brash. Maudie is the daughter born with a birth defect (one of her legs) and is mentally challenged. She will die an early death (age 20 or so), but she is beloved by her mother and more or less ignored by her father. Peyton, at best, is daddy’s little girl (Milton, an alcoholic, seems to long for much more), but because of Peyton's hold on Daddy, her mother despises her. Dad has a significant other (the dull and shallow Dolly) … Peyton is married to Harry (a Jewish war veteran and artist) but she ruins the marriage in her seemingly heatless search for love and acceptance.

If you can tolerate the wordiness of the manuscript, you’re in for a genuine treat. I remain floored at Styron’s 26 year old insights to drama. It is more than amazing how much he understood at so young an age. This tragic southern story of a dysfunctional family that continues to come apart, even during the course of Peyton’s funeral, is riveting. Especially after there’s Nothing! Nothing! Nothing’s left!

Very Highly Recommended.

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AFC Norse …

Cincinnati Bengaleez … How many more times does this team have to come so close, just to get blown back again? I don’t know. Yous tell me. I say they’re a good team. I’m not as sold on the red rifle as the rest of the world, but they do have talent elsewhere to support him. I see them running away with this division and then we’ll see what the real story is come the playoffs. Prediction: 11-5

Baltimore Wes Cravens … how does one ever bet against the Wes Cravens? With common sense, that’s how! This is a black and blue division and that usually means parity in spades. They have a lot to offer, but nothing will come easy for them this season. Prediction: 9-7 and then one and done.

Cleveland Brownies … you know, I actually enjoyed watching this team the other night in their preseason matchup with the Washingtonians … the goal line stand was wonderful to see … but they’ll still have QB problems too deep into the season to be anything other than a spoiler. Prediction: 6-10

Pittsburgh Steelerettes … Big Ben just doesn’t have what he’ll need to do much better than another dismal season. If you watched them get demolished in the first half last night by the Eaglettes, you know what I mean. Pot smoking, DUI running backs 2 hours before the team travels for a pre-season game? Really? Enough said. It’s a shame to see a team with so much history fall by the wayside, but right now it’s where they belong. I look forward to the Browns ripping them to pieces come opening day. Prediction: 6-10


Joe Cocker … you gotta love Joe! I used to love drumming to his music when I was a kid 2,000 years ago. Recently, a year or so ago, I told my wife that his spastic routine on stage was just that, a routine, and she became very angry. She’d thought Joe was suffering some form of muscular dystrophy. The truth is so did I until I was 30 years old and read an interview with him. I saw him perform with Mad Dogs & Englishman way back in the day … at Madison Square Garden … where I’ll never go again until Glen Sather is long gone … Go Bolts!

Let’s Go Get Stoned …

Feelin’ Alright …

With a Little Help from My Friends …

Whiter Shade of Pale …