For an author, nothing keeps the ball rolling, the sales coming in, like good reviews. And when those reviews come from literary giants, well, it’s humbling, to say the least.
My novel, Profile, will be released on Monday, July 21. But a few old friends got early release copies and put in their two cents.
Jack Kerouac took some time out from his quest to find meaning in our meaningless existence to read Profile. Always one to spontaneously relate his unfiltered opinion, but not one to take a breath very often, he had this to say:
Profile is a blaze of glory in a brown paper bag, an inconspicuous thing that makes you laugh, and makes you shudder, makes you want to be Arden Chase, and really live, the kind of life that’s bright and fabulous and glorious, but has a hard, cold darkness at its center, and you bite down on it and you go “Damn, that hurt,” but you’re glad you did it.
When pressed about whether that meant he liked it or not, he said, “Yeah, it was great. That Evelyn was a real piece of work, though.”
Ray Bradbury, beloved science fiction/fantasy author, was a little less direct.
A couple of weeks in Colorado, not quite winter, but it’s cold. The yellow sun, nearing its farthest distance from earth, took its warmth from the planet. It left behind a bitterness, heard in the words of Arden Chase, a not quite remarkable man, nor an admirable one, but a likable one nevertheless.
Jane Austen, when asked of her thoughts of the book, lent her effusive prose to a description of her impressions:
How I have misjudged this work! I, who have glorified books and valued the author’s craft! who have spent many a blissful hour steeped in the prose dripping from his pen! How embarrassed I am at this mournful discovery, for having once cautiously dipped my toe in Mr. Cheek’s composition, I became enamoured with his hero, Arden Chase, and though I cannot, in good conscience, recommend nor condone his choices and actions, I can indeed sympathise with them. For his wife was of such a wretched and contemptible nature that I fear that I myself, if placed in his position, sadly might have taken that woeful course as well.
My predisposition of disdain toward Profile was, I fear, woefully premature, and having now reveled in Mr. Chase’s adventures, I must now endeavour to exclaim, without fear of censure or criticism, that I adore this book!
Papa Hemingway was gallivanting around the world, shooting stuff. But that didn’t mean he didn’t have time to relax and catch up on his reading. Profile was the first book he read from his TBR stack, and he had this to say:
Arden Chase is a likable guy and a man’s man. He wants to be decent and good but he is driven by forces on the outside to surrender to the forces on the inside. The book is short and the storytelling is compelling and concise. Read it.
Good advice! Check it out. More next week.