Thursday, August 02, 2012

Following Tommy: a novel Bob Hartley

Following Tommy
a novel
Bob Hartley
Cervena Bara Press
ISBN 978-0-9831041-8-6
2012   $17.00

“With a crooked scale and a brick stuffed in my pocket,
I weighed 135. still, I played the tough kid with my hair
slicked back and the cuffs of my razor-creased gray
baggies folded...”

In my thinking on dickens and what Dickens would be writing
today, this book by Bob Hartley, satisfies my on going quest
to visit the back streets, the needs, the resolutions from
self discovery, through persons met during needy times; how
a story may transform history into a personal telling:

“How come you care,” I said, forgetting for a second
who I was talking to, taking the chance of getting
smacked. He let out a little laugh, shook his head
and said that he had planned to do his last few months
sitting behind the wheel sucking on cigarettes and
listening to McGovern wisecrack, but then the thing
with Jerome happened and that messed up everything...

Throughout this novel the sentences connect without any glitches,
they run smoothly into each other, chapter after chapter, we
the reader are memorized by the writing as well as the story.
There are so many tucks and turns in the story that the
reader will be carried along without being able to stop
reading until they get to the end. This is a powerful first
novel by an accomplished writer:

“We drove back to the garage. Hippo was passed out
in the back seat, one arm over his eyes, the other at
his side, his head hanging over the end, his mouth
wide open, snoring. Tommy was banging away at
the mailbox with a hammer and chisel...”

Hopefully this novel will evolve into a movie. I'll be on
a front row seat eating popcorn with out any anticipation
of the end. This is a must read.

Irene Koronas
Ibettson Street Press

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