Thursday, 11 August 2011



For our money, largely undiscovered master wordsmith Howard Waldman is the author who justifies the word ‘literary’ in the dubiously titled genre, ‘Literary Fiction’.

His works, touching on other genres like Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Political, and even Comedy, sparkle with the rare and precious genius that colours the pages of the cream of classic novels over the centuries; but all these were first released exclusively by BeWrite Books within the past ten years. Classics in the making..

Now BeWrite Books offers The Complete Works of Howard Waldman in a unique, single and light ebook Omnibus of all four unabridged novels: over 1,300 pages at $9.95, which represents more than 60% off the combined cover price of the quartet of unabridged books included. Each individual title remains on sale everywhere in paperback and in all digital format editions ($5.95 or local equivalent).

Waldman – who spent a working life teaching European Literature at American universities and American Literature at European universities – started to pen his own works only in retirement. The novels in this collection represent his entire full-length output. Because each took so many years to write, he now – in his later and rose-growing years – concentrates on brilliant short stories, a full collection of which BeWrite Books hopes to publish in paperback and all ebook digital formats as soon as sufficient material is gathered. He sadly declared: "No more novels."

Each ebook included here is a stand-alone, completely self-contained novel in its own right. Read in sequence, they are even more fulfilling as star characters in one book play different roles in others to a greater or  lesser degree, the whole weaving together like a finely-spun web.

Included in this BeWrite Books e-omnibus (each introduced with its original cover) are ...

*BACK THERE: Harry Grossman sees his world through the viewfinder of a battered camera. And he photographs it all, from the peeling posters and graffiti on grubby city walls to the most intimate moments of his mysterious French sweetheart.

He becomes a permanent guest at her family's ramshackle country cottage, thirty miles and more than half a century away from modern Paris. Harry, the New York outsider, calls it paradise and photographs the Model T Ford on the roof, the archaic well and scythe, the top-secret wild mushroom spots, and the reluctant Lauriers themselves.

They assume that outsider Harry will soon be a member of the family, but the strange photographer with his growing mountain of prints and negatives and imperfect French is not a man for snap decisions. Aren’t things already perfect in this paradise? Someone once said that the only paradises are lost paradises.

'Back There' is a touching and powerfully nostalgic transatlantic love story, sometimes verging on the comic, sometimes on the tragic. France and the French, too often caricatures of their own special reality, are presented with absolute authenticity.

With soft-focus subtlety, Howard Waldman shows that Europe and America are two continents divided by a perceived common culture of art and love – but that light-years separate Paris and Manhattan and the lives and values of the Lauriers and the Grossmans. NM

*TIME TRAVAIL: Harvey Morgenstern promises a way to beat time, but the cranky genius' time-machine is anything but impressive – a dusty old black-and-white TV in the basement, stuck on one channel and showing a table-leg from the 1930s, the ghostly image of a conversation between two long-dead women, a pair of dogs in ancient and endless copulation.

Harvey promises better things to his penniless assistant, Jerry Weizman: a way to slow down time and project himself back to loved ones ... above all back to Rachel Rosen, dead in mysterious circumstances half a century earlier, and loved by both men in their youth.

Jerry is sucked into Harvey's obsession and visits the past. But how many of their visions are subjective distortions brought on by drugs, alcohol, yearning or growing mental unbalance?

And why has Harvey hired Jerry after decades of estrangement following Rachel's death? Is it to vengefully expose him to the time machine's lethal rays ... the same radiation that is killing its inventor?

*THE SEVENTH CANDIDATE: In an age of plummeting morals and urban chaos verging on civil war, businessman Edmond Lorz makes a precarious living by removing obscene graffiti from underground railway advertising hoardings.

It’s during a recruitment aptitude test for extra porn-purging staff that a terrorist bomb rips through Ideal Posters’ grubby headquarters, leaving Lorz and one candidate – the seventh – fighting for life in hospital.

Lorz recovers completely, but the strikingly handsome young job-seeker wakens from his coma a blank-faced, unspeaking automaton with total amnesia and a blind obsession with his new employer’s clean-up campaign.

Adopted by Lorz and his wildly unpredictable secretary, Dorothea – each driven by pity, love and stark fear – the mysterious Seventh Candidate wages a private and manic war on disorder in a subterranean maze of tunnels beneath a city gone mad.

Howard Waldman’s novel, set against a backdrop of social disintegration that’s almost too close for comfort, swings from lunatic hilarity to heartrending tragedy ... and often the reader may struggle to tell the difference between the two in a story with more twists and turns than a subway map. NM

Howard Waldman
*GOOD AMERICANS GO TO PARIS WHEN THEY DIE: The Kingdom of Heaven has been downsized to a single city. And to save overcrowding, God has a new chosen race and set of entry qualifications. In the modern hereafter only good Americans go to Paris when they die!

But not even a divinely ordered bureaucracy is infallible and five not-so-good Americans find themselves posthumously thrown together and trapped in a surreal limbo:

Randy 1900s marine Louis Forster; Maggie Thompson, an over-sexed 1930s fan dancer; neurotic 1940s New York intellectual Seymour Stein; Helen Ricchi, the mysterious and bookish wallflower suspected of foul play after her husband’s unexplained disappearance in the 1950s; modern-day Las Vegas boor, truck driver Max Pilsudski.

And the ill-assorted desperate departed will stop at nothing in a seemingly impossible quest to return to the land of the living and repair flawed lives and fractured loves.

Heaven and an Orwellian Hell share a fragile frontier in Howard Waldman’s masterfully woven last novel of profound humanity and lethally-honed humor. NM

Each novel is also available individually in paperback and ebook formats from all online stores or on order from your local brick-and-mortar bookshop. And you can read more about Howard Waldman, his books, reviews and free full-chapter extracts of the novels by visiting the BeWrite Books' OUR AUTHORS section. Just scroll down to Howard Waldman’s listing there to find all you need for comfortable and satisfying browsing.

The ebook Omnibus collection is available at all major online ebook stores and in all popular digital formats, also at the BeWrite Books BOOKSTORE as of Friday August 12. It can be read on all electronic reading platforms from PCs and laptops, through the full range of ebook-dedicated devices (including Kindle, Nook, Sony, iPad and Kobo) to all tablets, iPods and smart phones.

Author: Howard Waldman. Editor: Neil Marr. Design and technical preparation of the e-omnibus: Tony Szmuk.

Best Wishes. Neil et al

1 comment:

  1. This is what I call heavy duty value in a lightweight version. It's wonderful that an omnibus has started to represent hours of pleasure to a reader, minus the physical lifting of a huge volume. The opportunity to find new material by experienced writers like Howard is also great. What a grand way to collect!