Tuesday, August 9, 2016
The essence of my novel, THE DREAM DANCER, is the relationship between a singular man and his God, Koona Manitou or the great spirit.
Coop Rever, the protagonist of THE DREAM DANCER, is an accomplished author and war correspondent living in Paris when he is propelled by signals from “the other world” to pursue a mission he doesn’t want.
Coop’s destiny as the Mythical Dancing Wolf, the prophet and protector of the Okwe native-American band’s way of life, when he used a bayonet to kill a German soldier after the DD Landing.
As the Mythical Dancing Wolf, Coop does some very savage things. Among them, the brutal killing of a young girl, who might appear to be an innocent. So many awful things are done by men in the name of God, as we see in the news almost every day.
Coop’s killing isn’t an act of terrorism, but an attempt to sever the roots of the Kings Family’s hundred years plus campaign to destroy the Okwe.
When he finds himself sentenced to life in a dreadful prison for what white men consider almost unforgivable crimes, Coop violates the Okwe ethos by calling upon the Koona Manitou to rescue him. But as everyone discovers who calls upon God for help whatever answers come are indirect.
And in the novel, there are signals from “the other world,” in the form or allusions to the beaver, Coop’s power spirit, but they aren’t happy ones.
His days, weeks, months and years in prison drag on with intense suffering at times: solitary confinement, loss of an eye, beatings, and attempted humiliations. Only attempted because Coop has the self-confidence of a lifetime of achievements and is in the exalted position of being the Mythical Dancing Wolf (or the Dream Dancer), the chosen savior of his people.
There are moments of relief in his confinement: the decent prison guard and the recognition of his writing by the President of the United States.
Coop’s courage never waivers--although he comes close. Through it all he remains a warrior.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
his is a well written book. The characters are well developed. I saw where the protagonist was headed early in the book. This is a dark story.”
Mr. Short gave THE ABSCONDER five stars.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
BEN CONNOLLY in the PARIS COMMUNE by Kenneth C. Crowe, will be available for free downloads from Kindle for five days this week, from Monday (April 18, 2016) through Friday (April 22, 2016).
The book was inspired by the exploits of war correspondent Januarius MacGahan, during the uprising by the Parisian working class, led by left wing intellectuals, in the spring of 1871.
Gen. Jaroslaw Dombrowski and Louise Michel are major figures in the novel, as in real life.
In the four-star review, a reader offered the highest praise a novel can get: “Unputdownable.”
Please read it, enjoy it, and review it.
Monday, April 11, 2016
With Al Mixon’s long Teamsters career obviously sliding into a sink-hole, the Hoffa-Hall 2016 slate metaphorically stepped on his head to push him down deeper, faster by filing a complaint accusing him of failing to file timely fundraising reports on his campaign for Teamsters international president.
The mystery is why?
Last summer, Mixon seemed destined to be reelected as International Vice President on the Hoffa slate. Then a surprising something happened: on Aug. 10, 2015, he declared himself a candidate for the presidency running against incumbent James P. Hoffa.
The Teamsters’ Election Officer issued a decision on April 1, 2016, affirming that Mixon had not met the required deadline for the filings. The decision also slightly lifted the veil on his demise as a union official noting that he had been found guilty of internal union charges although no details were provided explaining who brought the charges or what they involved.
The guilty verdict resulted in Mixon’s suspension from the Teamsters for six months and stripped him of his many union positions ranging from secretary-treasurer of Cleveland Local 507 to International Vice President.
The Teamsters General Executive Board has rejected Mixon’s appeal of the case against him. He has decided to carry that appeal a step further: to the international convention’s delegates at Las Vegas’ Flamingo Hotel in June.
The prospect of a reversal by the delegates is slim indeed.
Mixon faces a maximum fine of $2,500 for failing to file the required reports. As far as I know that penalty has yet to be imposed.
I am still puzzled by why the Hoffa slate bothered to press the filings case against Mixon whose presidential campaign appears to have gone not much further than his announcement as a candidate.
Addenda: On April 14, 2016, Al Mixon withdrew as a candidate for IBT general president.
Addenda: On April 14, 2016, Al Mixon withdrew as a candidate for IBT general president.
A suggestion: my novel, THE TRUCKERS, has been described as a fun read. It is serious and tragic too. Try it free on Kindle, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, or Apple.
Sunday, January 17, 2016
A line in a story touching on Fred Zuckerman in LEO, Louisville’s alternative weekly, caught my eye as the solution to the problem confronting him of how to put together 200,000 votes to win the 2016 race for the presidency of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The article by Alex Bradshaw and Richard Becker on Sept. 2, 2015 said: “He is not your granddad’s labor leader; he has a vision for the future.”
The key to a victory over James P. Hoffa, the incumbent IBT president, would be Zuckerman’s figuring out how to put his vision in words that would inspire a couple of hundred thousand Teamsters, who didn’t bother to vote in the 2011 election to cast their ballots for him in hopes of creating a better union.
Zuckerman, president of the huge Louisville Teamsters Local 89, has a background to which rank and file Teamsters can relate. A Teamster since 1979, Zuckerman came off a truck to be elected president of his local.
Originally running for an international vice president’s slot, Zuckerman moved up to be the presidential candidate on the Teamsters United ticket after Tim Sylvester lost his bid for reelection as principal officer of New York Teamsters Local 804. Sylvester shfited to the number two slot as the candidate for secretary-treasurer the Teamsters United slate.
A continuation of Hoffa’s downward voting trend in which he recived 137,172 votes in 2011, 40,000 fewer than 2006, of course would be a mighty boost for Zuckerman’s campaign for the presidency.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
I was shocked and distressed when Tim Sylvester lost the presidency of New York Teamsters Local 804 on Dec. 15.
I was elated when I realized this was just the first round in Sylvester’s bid to become the next General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; that he was still in the fight.
In effect incumbent General President James P. Hoffa won the opening round of the 2016 election when a slate obviously aligned with him beat Sylvester by 70 votes.
Sylvester is going into the second round, the final round, with the continued support of Teamsters United and Teamsters for a Democratic Union. The preliminary for the final round will be at the 2016 Teamsters Convention in June at which Sylvester must win enough votes to be on the ballot in the November-December 2016 election--no sure thing when you are opposing an entrenched incumbent.
There are two routes to the presidency for Sylvester:
First: Hoffa stumbling into a scandal so serious he is forced from office;
Second and most likely: Sylvester generating enough support from Teamsters disgusted with the Hoffa administration along with somehow tapping into the vast reservoir of rank and filers (over a million) who haven’t bothered to vote in past IBT elections.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
I found LOS ALAMOS BY Joseph Kanon too wordy at times yet I continued to read in part out of wondering whether the author could achieve the solution to a difficult mystery without a deus ex machina event.
Kanon confronts Mike Connolly, the protagonist, with a seemingly unsolvable crime with virtually no resources available to him other than his own persistence and skills derived from his pre-war career as a reporter.
The novel is set in the closing days of the Manhattan project, which the scientists involved know will create a weapon with the potential to end civilization as we know it, and possibly eradicate the human species altogether.
In that context tracking down a murderer is small potatoes. Kanon deftly ties a seemingly unrelated killing into the past and future politics involved in the creation of the atomic bomb.
LOS ALAMOS is a novel worth the time of a serious reader just for the pleasure of a mystery resolved with some contrivance but logically.
A suggestion: My novel, THE PENCIL ARTIST is available as an e-book on Smashwords, Kindle, and Barnes and Noble; as a paperback on Amazon.