Four American Tales is available free as an ebook: follow the link.
Nadine stole a white Plymouth Roadrunner early Friday evening. She took it from an airport parking lot, which bought her the weekend before it was missed – a couple of weeks if she was lucky. Earle had shown her how and when to take an automobile. ‘Stay calm and act natural. Once they’re on the plane, there’s nothing they can do. You’re the new owner. Remember that.’
Four English Tales is available free as an ebook: follow the link.
Four Engish Tales is a slim volume of evocative and ghostly short stories written to send a tiny shiver down your spine. Long Distance is about a marriage regretted; Dead Letter is a deepening nightmare; After the Trouble Came looks at the end days; The Appointment concerns a chance encounter with an injured man. Life can be very strange, as you will discover.
‘All at once, Lucy remembered Trevor and began to weep. He would never grow old as she had grown old. His youthful face remained unchanged and unwearied, preserved forever in her faithful memory. She did not love him – did not know if she had ever loved him – yet there he was. Was he still alive? She tried to think of Gerald, dead Gerald, dull, oblivious, bullying Gerald, but his face had turned bland and bloated with the years, like a blurred photograph of an undistinguished stranger.’ ‘Long Distance’, a free short story
‘This is an intelligently and thoughtfully written story about how the choices we make affect our lives. Stephen, the main character, is a university lecturer and a literary man. It is, therefore, no coincidence that the novel is strewn with literary allusions. Some of these I noted and I am fairly certain there were some I missed. However, I would happily go back and read this book again to seek them out. After the first few pages, I was confident that Jack Messenger was going to deliver a good novel. This enabled me to relax and allow the drama to unfold. There were some things left unsaid in this book and the reader was allowed to wonder what might have been. This plot was skilfully executed and added to a very satisfying story line.’ (Readers Favorite)
‘What a treat – hard on the heels of Jack Messenger’s Farewell Olympus comes Take the Late Train, a quite different but no less engrossing read. Weaving between the present day and a vivid, in some ways AS present, past, the story is a deliberation on choices made, including what to know and what to be complicit in ‘unknowing’, and action over inaction. The book’s considerable cast of characters is deftly drawn, and even those with walk-on parts tend to trigger a degree of identification or empathy in the reader. The author inhabits the thoughts of central character, middle-aged academic Stephen, but is equally convincing in his portrayals of a teenage daughter and elderly mother. The sets of couples who variously reveal themselves to be anything but, are juxtaposed with more isolated figures (and indeed, isolation occurs devastatingly within couples). While melancholy – and for some characters, tragedy – is a motif, so too is love. Stephen’s own story includes no small degree of hope, and is ultimately a celebration of free will. With overt and less obvious allusions to Shakespeare and other writers, and prose which blends precision with poetry – elderly, frequently drunk Audrey is ‘dishevelled bedevilled’ and two greyhounds are perfectly evoked by their ‘clipping’ in and out of rooms – this is a work to be savoured on many levels. Highly recommended.’ (Amazon UK review)
Another Excellent Goodreads Review for Farewell Olympus
‘Farewell Olympusis an enjoyable and elegantly constructed romp around fraternal rivalry, family dynamics, literary aspiration, self-definition and the stories we tell ourselves and others. Someone should snap up the film rights.’ See the complete review atGoodreads Review
I loved reading Farewell Olympus. It was a page-turner with humor and insight, the characters were complicated and fun, and the story started simply and played out in a more complicated way with Paris as the setting. But Paris as a place to live and work and not the romanticized faux version of baguettes or berets. Although easy to read, I had to look up several words which were seamlessly woven into the narrative but were new to me. Amazon US review