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, December 12, 2014

158-Pound Marriage … Good cops story (The Watts Bears) … David Rawding … 1994?

158-Pound Marriage, John Irving … I don’t think I’ve ever made that weight class … maybe when I was an infant, but as wrestlers go, it’s considered the light middleweight division. I’m thinking this was one too many too soon John Irving novels … it is fine, don’t get me wrong, but the machinations between couples swapping spouses didn’t hold much interest for me. The background, of course, did hold interest. There’s some World War II history … the Russian occupation of Vienna, etc., there’s even some of Germany and Poland in the mix, and I had to smile when I recognized one couple’s daughters’ names (Fiordiligi and Dorabella, right out of a Mozart opera, Cosi Fan Tutte) … there’s more wrestling to read about (from his bio: In 1992, John Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  He was a competitive wrestler for twenty years and a wrestling coach until he was forty-seven.) … the seemingly blissful swaps between the couples eventually turns askew about the time one would expect (I doubt the most hedonistic among us wouldn’t take issue at some point with spouse and/or lover swapping) … It’s about control and whether or not one couple gets more out of the sexual mix and match than the other. Severin Winter and Edith are one couple, Utchka and the nameless narrator are the other couple … there are kids and houses and great jobs, etc. It’s where the book leaves me a bit unsatisfied, I guess; the couples are too successful for me to accept them as a broader metaphor for a typical American marriage.
Utchka’s second birth, from the belly of a cow (you’d have to read the book), helps to explain her bond to a war torn Europe. After many of the children (all the men and boys) in her town were killed (some bayonetted), she found refuge from a Russian officer who provided for her. She remained loyal to the Russian father figure, even after learning of his head mobster reputation. She was the more interesting character amongst the quartet, and I liked what she did at the end of this novel. I also enjoyed the historical backdrops to the characters in the novel much more than the spouse swapping of their later years.
I’ll be reading The Cider House Rules sometime in the New Year … it’s time for a break (for me) from Mr. Irving. As brilliant as his writing is, I suspect I overindulged reading his works this past month or so.

The Watts Bears … I saw this segment on HBO’s Real Sports … it’s about an attempt to improve relations in Los Angeles between the police and the African-American community. When the area targeted went from 77 homicides in one year to ZERO homicides the following year, the program proved successful ... and one has to be impressed. The video below is just a tease. Watch the HBO segment. It’s all about Good people (cops) doing the right thing and making a big difference in how a community perceives the men and women in uniform there to serve and protect.

What Mr. Stewart said on his show last week makes perfect sense. If you can’t agree with it, you don’t want to.

David Rawding … his story, The Climber's Crux is a pushcart award nominee!  Check it out here: 
David is yet another SNHU MFA graduate!  Go team!
My son came up with this picture … me and my boyos and two of their friends from way back in the day (some 20+ years or so), when my hair was still dark … I’m guessing about 1994 or so … 


1994 music … 10,000 Maniacs … Because the night …

Come to my window … Melissa Etheridge …

Elton John … Can you feel the love tonight …