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Book details
  • Genre:DRAMA
  • SubGenre:American / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:408
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098324308


Terror and recompense in a flyover town

by Sebastian Gerard

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High school urban anthropology teacher Marius Greco is doing a doctoral dissertation on the decline of the American smalltown. He is a Los Angeleno, an Army combat veteran, a student of American cinema, and a guy with the secret. Actually two secrets, Secret she would prefer to remain so in a gossipy, conservative small town in upstate New York where he intends to employee participant-observer methodology for his doctorate. All is going well until an angry Muslim student from an Iraqi family commits a mass murder at his school, an incident that thrusts Marius into the role of a hero and it exposes one of his secrets. But it is his other secret that instigates is authorship of a daring plot to save the life of the girl he loves.
High school Anthropology teacher Marius Greco merely wished to spend a couple quiet years in upstate New York researching his doctoral dissertation on the movie It's a Wonderful Life and the decline of the American small town. He certainly did not want to become a local "hero." Greco was just the kind of hero any America small town would be happy to have: son of Italian and Mexican immigrants, an Army combat veteran who has served his country in Iraq, and a teacher who risked his life to single-bare-handedly shut down a heavily-armed student, Khalid Azziz, who had already killed and wounded several students in his school. But the problem was not so much that Marius Greco was a big city liberal from California, or even very much that he had been involved in an incident with Jazmeen, an Arab girl student, that had resulted in his being exiled from his teaching position in Los Angeles. It was not until after the Christian, conservative town of Palatine beside a stretch of the Erie Canal in upstate New York's Mohawk Valley had valorized their hero that they became aware that Marius Greco was even more threatening than a Muslim. He was an Atheist. Had Marius actually killed Khalid, things might have gone much differently. But the terrorist lay in a coma in the local hospital amid a swirl of suspicion about Marius' "heroism," international terrorist conspiracies, alien abduction, and an incriminatory video—all the elements for a movie thriller, or a real-life daring, life-saving, escapade. Foresaken is novel that draws upon classic American motion picture of smalltown life and lore that exposes hypocrisies and delusions in our national character, religious faith, patriotism, and racial assimilation, and the American promise of a "wonderful life."
About the author
Sebastan Gerard is the nom de plume of James A. Clapp, Emeritus Professor of City Planning and Urban Affairs at San Diego State University, He received his Ph.D. in Metropolitan Studies from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University in 1968, his Master of Regional Planning from the SU School of Architecture and BS in Economics from Le Moyne College. He practiced for several years as a public urban planner and planning consultant. He is author of over 100 articles, book chapters, reviews, and technical reports on cities and city planning, and his book, New Towns and Urban Policy (Dunellen, 1971) was the main selection of the Library of Urban Affairs Book Club in 1971. His book, The City: A Dictionary of Quotable Thoughts on Cities and Urban Life (Rutgers, 1984) in print for over a decade, has been expanded and translated into Chinese for publication by the Chinese Architectural and Engineering Press in 2010 and was re-issued in a revised and expanded edition in 2014 by Transaction Publishers. His book (with M. Stofflet), California Cityscapes (Universe Books, 1991) deals with the portrayal of the city in art. A book of his aphorisms, Lifelines, writing as Sebastian Gerard, was published in May 2004, and This Urban Life: Writing About Cities for Multiple Media was published in 2005. The Stranger is Me: Travels and Self-Discoveries, a travel memoir, was published in Spring 2007. The American City in the Cinema was published by Transaction Publishers in 2013. His first full-length work of fiction, For Goodness Sake, A Novel of the Afterlife of Suzie Wong, written as Sebastian Gerard, was published in Hong Kong in 2008 and he has scripted the story for production as a feature motion picture. In 2014 it was published in French by GOPE in France under the title A la Poursuite de Suzie Wong. In Spring 2015 his memoir Mon Cahier de Paris: Café Writings 1989 and 1999 was published as well as his second novel, as Sebastian Gerard, Stumbling Blocks & Stepping Stones. His collection writings on Italy and his travels there over the years, Vademecum Italica, was released in 2016, and The Babo Gospels: Essays and Parables on Faith and Reason in 2018. His most recent published fiction is The River Dragon's Daughters, a novel of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. His completed non-fiction book, The Art of Urbanism: Cities and Urban Life in the History of Painting, is under publisher review. For a complete list and samples of his writing projects consult the publications link in his website, urbismedia-ltc.com.