Click Here To Purchase Golden State

Author: David Prybil :

Publisher: iUniverse

ISBN: 978-1-4502-7304-6 (Hardcover): ISBN: 978-1-4502-7303-9 (PB): ISBN: 978-1-4502-7302-2

Intersecting paths to surprising destinations will keep readers breathless.

This is a book format I like: parallel stories connected to an historical event, where the reader is taken from one individual’s identity crisis into another’s masterminded plan for success; from an tanning salon to an upscale kitchen to a striptease joint in Sacramento and even to Russia (for love).

At about the middle of this tightly and colorfully written novel Arnold Schwarzenegger gets elected Governor of California, and each major character has a stake in this. After all, Arnold’s the action man, and the people desperately need his powers.

Will Missy Carver, the rags-to-riches Realtor who so badly wants to sell Arnold and Maria a house get to know them? Will Todd Tisdale, the lonely tuxedo salesman make a fortune furnishing eveningwear to luminaries in the new Governor’s circle of friends? Will journalist Spencer Brine, lover of literature, but stuck writing obituaries, stab himself in his brain with his own pen before he gets a feature assignment? Will 30-year- old Rowena Pickett, who breaks away from a dead-end job to find a career path, be held back by needing to care for a mother with dementia?

By these questions, the reader is drawn into a narrative that races toward the election and Inauguration of the Governor of California (2003) at a breathtaking pace, studded with comic situations and touching self-revelations. Picture ambitious Missy Carver after a setback, holed up in her house and bulimic, until, on Halloween night, hearing her father is dying at a hospital emergency room, waits for the outcome, surrounded by mummies and vampires. And that’s the beginning of her recovery.

The author’s genius is getting inside the heads of such common people who, critics might say, appear to represent “types.” I’d say they represent dreams. These dreams happen not to be unique, because we all respond to the siren songs of places that are seats of government, commerce or the arts — magnets for people needing a fresh start. Specific geography and history aside, this work is not about place so much as our human inability to see around corners.

I was reminded of crime novelist Jonathan Miller, who exposes the underbelly of “The Enchanted Land,” New Mexico. After reading his rattlesnake lawyer novels the name Santa Fe no longer conjures up images of turquoise jewelry and Pueblo Indians, but rather the grim prison beyond the hills, and lap dancers as reliable sources of information. Likewise, hearing the name “California,” we think incredible surf, Hollywood movies, and Bel Air mansions. GOLDEN STATE shows us the real people, whose day-to-day decisions are made from shabby shop fronts and crumbling bungalows with glimmers of hope, warm hearts, and fear and failure dogging their heels.

As the PR on the book proclaims: Arnold Schwarzenegger has been in the scandal sheets recently, so the novel is called “timely.” I wondered at first about its shelf life if the man goes down. Now having read the story, I care less about the political backdrop than I do about the social issues, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, eating disorders, low wages, and poor choices in mates. Call GOLDEN STATE a time capsule (2003-2006) of heartbreaks and errant ways. It could encourage the next generation. They also can survive.

I had one problem with this book, and that is that I, too, have a life, and had to put GOLDEN STATE down from time to time; I found it difficult to recall what happened a few chapters ago to the character on stage when I picked the book up again. Therefore, suggest you buy the book on a weekend without any other obligations and just keep reading to the end.

This book is much better than I expected it to be, the author deeper and wiser than his topic and characters originally suggested. He’s a great craftsman. It will be interesting to discover how or if David Prybil will follow up on this debut novel, because he doesn’t really have to; he’s been a producer/writer of films for 15 years. We look forward to another novel, but need more writers of films, too, who show that they care about the rest of us.

Click Here To Purchase Golden State