Thursday, April 30, 2015

"For Whom the Book Tells (Four Fathers, Volume One)" by George Pritchard Harris


For Whom the Book Tells
(Four Fathers, Volume One)
by George Pritchard Harris

For Whom the Book Tells is the first book in the Four Fathers series by George Pritchard Harris. Also available: Huckleberry Friend (Book 2), Lad on a Softened Stoop (Book 3), and Inside a Pair of Dice (Book 4). 

Four lifelong buddies ramble on. Barrington, Illinois, accedes to the Eastern Seaboard, then back to Chicago. Finally, the compass points north by northwest.
You could say Four Fathers, in each of its volumes, is about "sex, and drugs, and rock and roll". Or you could say it's about the older virtues, "wine, women, and song". Anyway you want it, you will end up humming the same happy tune.
Four Fathers is everyone's tale even as it is unique to its characters. The bygone past is traveled without benefit of GPS. "Four Gigs" has an entirely different meaning in what is now virtual antiquity. The four fellow travelers stumble upon the raw and the cooked. The pages of the book of life form their dreams as their dreams form them. Missteps mark the way; but, after all, that is what the ride is all about.
Joe Cebellum, Fred Etheridge, Tommy Wanderby, and Sam Thorn step into the tumult to find the sybaritic and the kinesthetic. Confusion finds comfort from the storm disproving the notion you can't find your way home.
Volume One traces the early influences of nature and nurture. Exploration and wonder are the watchwords. This volume leaves the four lifelong friends upon a precipice of the turmoil of the times.

There was a brief time when Wanderby found the squalid shroud of guilt truly lifted from his soul. Wanderby, on leave from battle, languished on one of the Rock Islands that form part of the archipelago emanating from the Pacific island of Palau. He had fought in the bloody and crucial battles both on Palau and on Mariana. On Palau, he witnessed thousands of Japanese- soldiers and civilians alike, men, women, and children, throw themselves off a cliff rather than fall into the hands of what they all knew, unequivocally, to be the vilified, inhuman American savages.
Before going into battle again, Wanderby spent four weeks with a native girl whom even Marlon Brando would have coveted.  When Wanderby first met Salaia, she offered to him some local shellfish. Her gesture to join her was accompanied by a large, big-toothed smile. Wanderby was struck, and stricken, by the beauty of her caramel brown skin and by the depth and sparkle of her dark eyes. While sharing the shellfish with her, he could not refrain from longing for her voluptuous large lips as the moisture of the meal glistened and dripped to her chin. In his mind, to use his vernacular, the deal was cinched. As he moved closer to her, Salaia moved closer to him and placed his right hand on her left breast. Her breasts were taut but unfettered by any garment.  She leaned in to kiss him. They were on the beach in the moments just past dusk.  As the night proceeded, a plethora of bright stars dripped approvingly down from the dark omnipresent sky. The stars seemed so close as to be within reach.

This is the first book in the trilogy which I found witty, thought provoking and entertaining. The spot on descriptions and the crystal clear prose are humorous and at the same time brilliant. There are only so many authors that I consider brilliant but there you have it! This author is brilliant!
I couldn't help but chuckle out loud even though I was in a room that was as quiet as a library full of people. For Whom the Book Tells is a light hearted story that is written like poetry. The writing is so smart that I had to scribble down some of the clever lines in my notepad for safe keeping.
This author articulates like no other. His language is rich and sophisticated even when he is talking about something of the most whimsical nature. He can make the most mundane function seem almost scientific. He has a keen use of the English language and at the same time he likes to have fun with his readers.... Or more accurately his "audience" since his story has a theatrical feel to it.

About the Author
The Four Fathers octology project was conceived in a hammock in Costa Rica in 2011. The Princeton Alumnus and retired trial lawyer has finished the first three books in the series. Author Harris remains quizzical, studied, and metaphysical while trying to adhere to his meek conception of fiction in the literary tradition. Four lifelong friends prance and stumble amidst a backdrop where Mance Lipscomb, Marcel Proust, Bull Durham, Bob Dylan, Heraclitus, and Jean Harlow all swirl in some fanciful mélange.
George has three amazingly beautiful daughters and the most beautiful granddaughter in the history of the world.