Author: Gordon Osmond

Publisher: Mainstream Romance

ISBN: 9781618856616

In his debut novel, Slipping on Stardust Gordon Osmond has fashioned a wickedly funny tale or as the French would say, “un vrai délice,” which gets off to a swift start and never loses its momentum. Particularly interesting is its animated and painstakingly crafted dialogue that effectively discloses the characters' personalities, beliefs and prejudices. I could even easily visualize the novel as a prime candidate for a community play.

Osmond has managed to keep far away from the trap that many first-time novelists fall into wherein they use lengthy descriptive passages that do very little in advancing the plot. The essence of real conversations are brilliantly captured as his characters quickly get to the point without boring the reader. No doubt, Osmond's skills as a produced playwright helped him accomplish this feat. In addition, his experiences as a Wall Street lawyer (now retired) enabled him to skillfully insert a variety of machinations that are prevalent in some law firms as back stabbing, homophobia, moral scruples, “sticky fingers” in the escrow accounts and other kinds of “monkey business,” including some unexpected romantic liaisons.

The story is set in Johnson, Ohio in the middle of nowhere where the Benign Albino Theatre, located two blocks off the town's inevitable Main Street will be hosting William Inge's Come Back, Little Sheba. Artistic Director Duncan Shields has managed to engage a washed up over the hill Hollywood actor,  Adrian Conway, to play the lead male role of Doc. As for the lead female role, Lola, this is assigned to Eileen Brockway, who is the wife of Danton Brockway, a graduate of Columbia Law School and the founder of his own law firm, Brockway & Associates, which includes two partners and a rotating gaggle of recent law school graduates. Eileen, Danton and their son Kyle are lifelong Johnsonians and in essence are perceived as a most physical appealing and model family. However, as we all realize and as the story unfolds, no one really knows what goes on in someone else's back yard.

When Eileen hears that Conway will be her lead male actor, she can't hardly wait to jump into the sack with him. As Osmond writes: “The concept of bedding an actual inhabitant of the silver screen had been so exhilarating as to produce in Eileen a degree of carnal enthusiasm, bordering on the athletic, that even she had not expected.” Her hubby Danton finds himself in deep “doodoo” when it is alleged that important evidence had been tampered with, and son Kyle, who prefers ballet dancing to high-school athletics, is not quite sure of his sexual orientation and becomes involved in some confusing situations.

To add a little spice, Osmond peppers his yarn with references to several well-known films which he deftly intertwines into the various themes that are touched upon. In the end we are left with a likeable and highly entertaining novel from an author who is gifted with a lively imagination and an intelligent sense of humor who deserves to be taken seriously.

Gordon Osmond holds a law degree from Columbia College Law School and is a retired Wall Street Lawyer. He is a produced playwright, a published author, an online play and book critic, and a lecturer. His plays have been professionally produced throughout the United States, where they have received rave reviews and many awards including First Prize in the John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Competition sponsored by the New England Theatre Conference. Slipping on Stardust is his first novel. Osmond presently lives in Brazil where he says he is “living with a love of life and language.”

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