The pool in "Teddy."

The pool in “Teddy.”

As a way to break the ice, or just FYI: Stories should have meaning. Stories should have importance. Stories should MOVE the reader and, at the very least, make her/him think about an important issue in a new way.

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One thing that I find fascinating is the interplay between stories and their real, definitive impact on peoples’ lives. One example of this is with the story “Teddy” by J.D. Salinger. Listen to the story here:

Or buy “Nine Stories” on Amazon.com “Teddy” is the final, or curtain-closing, story in that fine collection.

I’m specifically thinking about the “debate” part of the story, which is a conversation between the 10-year-old genius, Teddy, and an Ivy League blow-hard named Nicholson. (Nickel Son, Son of Money.) In it, Teddy explains, with religious overtones and imagery, how perceived reality (through the 5 senses) is not reality at all, and how this truth was revealed to him by his spiritual practices.

Okay, interesting and fair enough.

But what makes this even more compelling and intriguing is that recent discoveries in the fields of quantum physics, epigenetics, morphogenetics, and the connection between beliefs and physical “reality” are basically confirming, scientifically, what Teddy was arguing for religiously way back in 1955.

For an in-depth and layman-oriented discussion of these advanced topics, listen to this interview by Joe Rogan with Dr. Amit Gotswami, a nuclear physicist:

It seems to me that this is a prime example of the power and importance of stories–short stories, novels, even movies, and well-done television. Maybe a return to an understanding of this power, to an expectation of it from our author/creator community, is what is needed to help us comprehend the complexities of the world around us. In that kind of comprehension comes a new, bigger context from which we can then operate in our world in a more secure, happy fashion. Confusion on a subconscious level breeds violence and unhappiness, after all, and when people are unhappy, the world becomes a more depressing place in which to live.

Also, perhaps we should re-examine those classic tales–those in the public domain and others–as things that are not just a product of a bygone era, but keys to illuminating the true nature and destiny of humankind.

Or maybe we should forget all this brain-busting mumbo-jumbo and go watch the latest Kardashian “reality” show.

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Grab my novel, ALMOST HOME, at one of these cool e-tailers:

Amazon.com
Amazon – United Kingdom
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords.com
Kobo
Diesel

Here’s the latest review of ALMOST HOME. It was posted on Goodreads and Amazon UK by Goodreads Librarian David King (killie1981):

I started reading “Almost Home” by Frank Marcopolos under the assumption that it would be a very sports centric novel and was therefore surprised to find out that it was actually much more than this. The plot has several twists and turns and explores the overall drama of college life with particular attention being paid to the more seedy aspects.

The novel follows the conflict between two protagonists, Barry Budski and Enzo Prinziatta which occurs from the moment they meet at a Halloween Frat party. Things get worse at the part when a stripper appears to die from a drug overdose and Enzo is thrown out by a few of Barry’s fraternity brothers. Barry, who is president of the Frat house soon realises that he should try and keep his potential enemies closer and therefore joins the same baseball team as Enzo and even invites him to be a honourary fraternity brother. Before long the two of them are more or less working together but there is still a level of conflict that continues to bubble along beneath the surface, enhanced by the involvement of two women named Jenny & Shannon.

I found the book to be cleverly written, fast paced and interesting in the way it explored multiple elements of University life, from the wild parties to life in the dorms. I also appreciated how Marcopolos gives the readers a narrative that alternates between the viewpoints of both Barry and Enzo. This alternating viewpoint ensured that I could attempt to understand the way in which the characters were acting to the point that at times I couldn’t actually decide if I actually liked or disliked them. There really was no good or bad guys in the story, these were meant to be characters with both negative and positive aspects which I enjoyed seeing.

However, I did have some issues with the characters and that was in regards to their maturity. I will admit it was 10 years since I was at University myself and it was based in the UK but I don’t remember myself or my friends acting in such an immature manner. Maybe I am misremembering it as being much more highbrow that it really was or perhaps my friends and I were not the norm but either way it ensured that I struggled to really relate with the characters as much as I wanted to.

Overall, this was an interesting book and I enjoyed seeing characters in both a positive and negative light even if I did feel that they were a little bit immature for University students. Personally, I suspect this book will appeal to people in their mid-teens as that is the age group of people I think who would really relate with the characters and perhaps therefore gain more from reading it.

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(c) 2013, Really Evil Corporation (REC). All rights reserved. “The fat man, he controls everything.”

Posted by Frank Marcopolos

Frank Marcopolos lives in Austin, Texas. Hiding from the ever-present Texas sun because of a well-founded fear of skin cancer, he writes short stories and novels that have been praised by some readers, while others have been, like, "Meh." He also produces free audiobooks of public domain works on his YouTube channel. You can subscribe to that here: http://youtube.com/brooklynfrank