Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Gold Coast: A Novel

The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille

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by Nelson DeMille
Grand Central Publishing (1990)

What do you get when two dying breeds—old blueblood money and the mafia—clash in one of America’s great novels?

The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille.

Hey, I’ve read the novel three times but since the publisher captured the story with such clarity I’ll humbly bow to this succinct and spot-on dust jacket summary.

Welcome to the fabled Gold Coast, that stretch on the North Shore of Long Island that once held the greatest concentration of wealth and power in America. Here two men are destined for an explosive collision: John Sutter, Wall Street lawyer, holding fast to a fading aristocratic legacy; and Frank Bellarosa, the Mafia don who seizes his piece of the staid and unprepared Gold Coast like a latter-day barbarian chief and draws Sutter and his regally beautiful wife, Susan, into his violent world. Told from Sutter’s sardonic and often hilarious point of view, and laced with sexual passion and suspense, The Gold Coast is Nelson DeMille’s captivating story of friendship and seduction, love and betrayal. Read More »

Danny Manning

Danny ManningThe Energy Bus by Jon Gordon made a very positive impression on me. No matter what your goals are in life, it is important to attack them with positive energy. This is a book that gets you in the right frame of mind by presenting 10 rules to follow that will help you reach all of your goals.”

The Energy Bus book cover

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Danny Manning, Men’s Head Basketball Coach, Wake Forrest University. Manning was a two-time All-America while at the University of Kansas, named Big Eight Player of the Decade at UK, then drafted as the NBA’s first overall pick in 1988. He enjoyed 15 distinguished seasons in the NBA.

Ragtime: A Novel

by E.L. Doctorow

Ragtime book cover

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Ragtime is a form of jazz, a musical genre written for the piano that enjoyed great popularity between the late 1800s to the early 1920s.

So, one might assume that E.L. Doctorow chose to tell Ragtime, his most compelling turn of the century story of America, in a jaunty, syncopated or jazzy rhythm. His third-person prose clearly have a poet’s touch, written in an experimental lyrical style the likes of which readers had never quite experienced, at least not until the publication of this 1974 winner of The National Book Critics Circle Award.

Now, having rounded up a few of Doctorow’s post-publication interviews regarding the work, I’m not sure that–style-wise–he saw the book quite that way. What I think the author might lay claim to is simply being a storyteller, something that’s been going on since the painting of ancient hieroglyphics and perhaps more significantly the birth of the Bible.

That said, what Doctorow does in Ragtime is take the liberty of any good storyteller (again, the Bible exemplifies this) by making up words and thoughts that actual people never said. This is commonplace in fiction today, but as Doctorow said in one of those aforementioned interviews, “(it) opened the gates!” Read More »