Monday, June 13, 2016

Press Release: Off the Fairway - A Lesson in the Woods

For Immediate Release

Nashville author, Art Pellett, writing as A.H. Pellett, is pleased to announce the publication of his second novel, Off the Fairway – A Lesson in the Woods. It is a comedic coming-of-age story that may remind some readers of the laugh-out-loud golf movies of the 1980’s. Others may appreciate it for its tender treatment of the serious subject of war induced post-traumatic stress.

John Russell is a decorated veteran of World War II. Awarded medals of heroism for saving the lives of two men during a ferocious battle. He is home and happily running a classic golf course dedicated in his honor. John’s son, Bart, a bright and fun-loving teenager with dreams of running the operation himself one day, works there too.

But dreams don’t always come true and some memories are worse than others. John begins to suffer disabling recollections of the battle and his “friends” begin to notice. Financial disaster, complete with lawsuits and likely bankruptcy soon follow.

His own dreams shattered and his father in ruins, Bart faces his own crisis. Meanwhile, something deep is a work, both pushing and pulling him, and it is more important than his life goals and bigger than his dreams could ever imagine.
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Set among the beautiful rolling hills of a Pennsylvania country club, Off the Fairway – A Lesson in the Woods follows the development of a care-free teen as he plays, cries, fights and grows into a man of integrity, learns the truth about power and discovers what character, honor and respect really mean.

Title: Off the Fairway – A Lesson in the Woods
by A.H. Pellett
Genre: General Fiction
Copyright Arthur H. Pellett 2016
Cover Design - HCF Enhancement, LLC
547 pages
Available in trade paperback and ebook formats
Audiobook available Summer 2016

Other works by A.H. Pellett:
Sleeping in Snow with Bears – the Making of a Legend (novel)
The Ghosts of Belmont (short story)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Audible version of Sleeping in Snow with Bears now available

After numerous requests, I'm pleased to announce that the audio version of my 2012 novel, Sleeping in Snow with Bears, is now available.

The text is spoken in the author's voice (that's me ... so please be kind). It can be found on several of the major audio-book web sites.

Here's a three-minute audio sample.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Has the Literary World Changed in 100 Years? - This Side of Paradise, A Book Review

I only mention this because it is my understanding that "This Side of Paradise" was a big hit in its day. Was that why? Naivity?

Spoiler Alert - This post contains spoilers regarding the novel, This Side of Paradise.

Having finished Tender is the Night, I decided to read another F. Scott Fitzgerald novel before I at least temporarily stepped back to more contemporary fare. I chose This Side of Paradise, first published in 1920.

The novel is a coming of age story, following a young American boy from a life of mid-west privilege, through college and his introduction to the real world with all the stuff life throws at you in the first years out.

While the the first two-thirds of the novel - about life at prep school and Princeton - were well told and enjoyable, I was disappointed as the story stretched beyond those years. Following this period, the narrator goes off to war and then barely gives the time overseas or the tragedy of WWI a paragraph's mention (it is implied that he is a platoon leader of some sort - kind of important don't you think?). After the conflict is over, he comes home to a changing world, his mentor dies and he finds himself disappointed with his future prospects for love and a creative career. Instead of noting the connection and giving it any sort of introspection, the reader is given a treatise on leftist ideology with a literal diatribe against the capitalistic system. The novel closes at that.

I guess it's understandable that this pro-communistic outlook was popular among elitist American thinkers of the early twentieth century; since the horrors of the system weren't well known yet and the dream of equality for all may have seemed economically plausible. Sadly, so many have forgotten the results that ugly social experiment had on the world stage and seem to have some of the same ignorant sentiments today.

But I digress. I only mention this because it is my understanding that "This Side of Paradise" was a big hit in its day. Was that why? Naivety? The novel came out five years' prior to "The Great Gatsby" and helped establish FSF in the literary world.

When "Tender is the Night" came out in 1934, a novel I consider to be a superior to Paradise, it met quite a bit of scorn (See my review of TITN on this blog).

A key difference is that TITN didn't preach.

For the uninformed, TITN's acceptance was a disappointment to FSF. In need of additional income to sustain the lifestyle people expected of his stature, FSF went moved on to Hollywood script writing (little gems like Gone with the Wind) and drank himself to death before reaching his fifth decade.

One tends to notice it in today's publishing and academic world, but must one have always pandered to popular ideas to get noticed in the literary world? Hmmm.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Last Century's Downton Abby - F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Tender is the Night" - A Book Review

The sentences, like in Gatsby, read like a patty of butter on a warm skillet ...

* * * * *

Like many classics readers, I truly enjoyed the F. Scott Fitzgerald's jewel, "The Great Gatsby", and after twenty years, two readings of that text (a decade apart) and seeing the 1970's and the 2014 versions on DVD and at the movie theater, I thought I owed it to the author to investigate some of his other work. A few weeks ago, I finished reading one of his other well known novels.

Not being too up on FSF, I chose to read, "Tender is the Night." I'm embarrassed to say I picked it chiefly because I had heard of it before--probably because it too had been made into a movie, though I'd never seen it.

I enjoyed the book immensely. It follows one of my favorite styles, the circular plot which spins off after the first lap into an unexpected tangent. The sentences, like in Gatsby, read like a patty of butter on a warm skillet i.e. smooth. Since I (like most of us) have heard bits about FSF's background, it was enjoyable seeing his characters develop on the page. They are the types of people he obviously had become familiar with over the course of his life (the psychologically frail - his wife; psychiatrists - her doctors; the ridiculously well-off by both birth, luck and hard work - his life in and after the Ivy Leagues; Hollywood personalities - his job, etc.). Similarly settings match what I can only suspect match his own travels to places like the south of Europe, the mountains north of there and the hotels catering to the visitors of the same. There is some action but the story is primarily a study of human character. Still, if you are patient you may find yourself caring about them as I did. One surprise to me is that the protagonist turned out not to be who I thought. Still I was not left disappointed.

While as I say, I enjoyed the book, what floored me was that it was not received well, despite FSF pouring more into it than any other novel in his career (nine years!). It was published in 1934, some years after "This Side of Paradise" and "Gatsby" came out. While it probably sold well, it didn't meet (or surpass) the critical expectations of those two works and thus it was dismissed by many. I for one do not share that critical sentiment at all (though I have yet to read "This Side of Paradise" ) and instead found it to be well worthy of my time. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys classics. The casual Downton Abbey fan may enjoy it as well as there are many parallels (in the luxurious lives of the well-to-do of days gone by and all their scandal).

I plan to read "This Side of Paradise" next. Since it was considered (at the time) the better novel, I'm looking forward to many more hours of this master class.