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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Satire
  • Language:English
  • Pages:234
  • eBook ISBN:9781617929939

Lennon and Me

by Greg Herriges

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It’s 1964, and thirteen-year-old Catholic school student Jamie Presto pulls off the impossible—he becomes pen-pals with world famous rock and roll idol John Lennon, a relationship that ultimately helps save his young life.
It’s 1964, the height of Beatlemania, and thirteen-year-old Jamie Presto (true to his name) pulls a rabbit out of a hat by striking up a pen-pal friendship with none other than John Lennon! It’s a good thing, too, because Jamie needs a magic trick in his life. He finds his Catholic school education at best downright oppressive. His parents are trapped in a loveless marriage that grows increasingly violent. And Father Alberto, his parish priest, the one authority figure he actually respects, betrays him in one of the worst ways imaginable an adult can do that to an adolescent. But he has that one bright spot—his letters to and from a world-famous Beatle. Or does he? Is Jamie telling us the truth—or is he unreliable, so desperate for a silver lining that he grows delusional, fabricating for us and for himself a relationship that he only wishes could be real? There are ominous times ahead, literal and metaphorical nightmares—for Jamie, his mother, his father, and even for Jamie’s hero and best friend, John Lennon. Life is, at times, hell on earth. But there are saviors, and they tend to make their entrances quietly and inconspicuously. Jamie’s ultimate messiah is an ordinary one, a teacher who achieves extraordinary results in the life of his young student. Written in the tradition of Candide, Lennon and Me is a comic-tragic social satire, presenting a corrupt world as seen through the eyes of an innocent, a showdown between ancient tradition and modernity, between parochialism and pop culture. John Lennon drew the line in the sand in 1966, with his infamous off-handed comment to journalist Maureen Cleave about The Beatles being more popular than Jesus, and in Herriges’s witty, iconoclastic novel, the twain not only meets, it implodes.
About the author
When he decided to turn to fiction writing, Herriges took to the road on a quest to find the writer who most inspired him, to seek his advice—recluse J.D. Salinger. Not only did Salinger greet Herriges at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire, he gave for the first and only time his assurance that more of his stories would be published. That meeting engendered an interview/profile called “Ten Minutes with J.D. Salinger,” published by Hefner’s then Oui Magazine, and later in 2006 Herriges published his full account of the incident in his book JD: A Memoir of a Time and a Journal (Wordcraft of Oregon). He appears as a credited guest on BBC Television’s documentary JD Salinger Doesn’t Want to Talk. Greg Herriges has published five novels: Someplace Safe, Secondary Attachments, The Winter Dance Party Murders, Streethearts, and now the riotous Lennon and Me, available as an ebook. Herriges’s short stories and articles have appeared in Story Quarterly, The Literary Review, The South Carolina Review, The Encyclopedia of Beat Literature, Great Britain’s World Wide Writers and Popular Music and Society. Now a professor of English at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, Herriges’s works have been twice nominated for the Push Cart Prize, and his documentary films TC Boyle: The Art of the Story and Player: A Rock and Roll Dream (a history of Chicago garage bands) have won Platinum and Gold, respectively, at the prestigious Aurora Film Awards in Salt Lake City. They can be viewed at his IMdB page. A new trade paperback collection of his stories, The Bay of Marseilles and Other Stories will be published by Serving House Books.