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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Historical / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:120
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667891149


An American Story

by William Blair

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Paul is an extraordinary novella that transports the reader to a place and time in America that has all but faded from our memory. The story is an uplifting account of redemption that offers hope to even the most marginalized among us. And, in doing so, it lends a compassionate point of view to some of our current day issues, including the homeless problem and PTSD, as well as a condemnation of the never-ending greed of Men at War. The author's voice is simple and to the point, and the scenes are organized such that this could very well be a stage production. Its messages are timeless, and the story has been described as one hell-of-a page-turner.
"Paul: An American Story" is a compelling novella based on the author's recollections of family stories about his Great Uncle, Paul, who "rode the rails" during the Great Depression and eventually migrated to California, the Land of Milk and Honey. Both historical and deeply personal, this book is a fictitious retelling of family history and stands as a reminder that good things can emerge from despair. The story begins with a Prodigal Son, Paul, returning to his hometown after nearly five years as a wandering hobo "riding the rails." As the story unfolds, Paul is first beaten near death, resurrected, and ultimately reunited with his community and family. In Paul's story, readers are introduced to a fascinating array of characters who Paul encountered during his years of self-imposed exile as an American Hobo. Depression-Era rural Kansas provides the story's backdrop, illustrating a very different America than we know today. In addition to telling Paul's story, we are introduced to Dr. Thomas Browne, a modest small-town rural physician. But don't let his modest façade mislead you. Doc Browne learned much of his craft as a field surgeon in the trenches of France in WWI, the "War to end all Wars." Doc's "Shell Shock," or PTSD as it is known today, rears its head throughout the story and mirrors Paul's own PTSD, offering insight into not only the horrors of war but the problems many of us face when life's events spin out of our control. Paul's parents, Maude and L.A. Thompson, and a cast of characters complement this sometimes violent, sometimes nostalgic, and often mystical story. This story emits emotion and draws its readers into the events and conditions that were definitive of rural America during the Great Depression. Despite the darkness of the era, this tale's conclusion will leave its readers with a feeling of hope and redemption. As Paul is quoted as, "Sometimes you need to get knocked out before you can wake up."
About the author
William is a 70-year-old 2nd generation Californian who is married and has two adult children. His entire career has been in the building and construction industry, as he's always had a passion for building things. Additionally, he has enjoyed writing for more than four decades. Now, moving forward, William says he is more focused on the fine art of storytelling. Paul, his debut novella, is intended to fill in the blanks in the family history, putting experience to the many family names and dates… a fictitious connecting of the dots. William is quoted, "It is my desire that having read Paul, my readers will be inspired to seek a link to their own family's unexplored pasts, for it has been said that a complete library is lost with the death of every senior citizen. Paul is my contribution to that library."