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Tom Winton

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Member Since: Feb, 2011

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Beyond Nostalgia
by Tom Winton   

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Books by Tom Winton
· The Last American Martyr
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Category: 

Action/Thriller

Publisher:  Tom Winton ISBN-10:  B00650O686 Type: 
Pages: 

222

Copyright:  Nov 10, 2011 ISBN-13:  1460920937
Fiction

Born with blue in his collar instead of his veins, best-selling author Dean Cassidy chronicles his soul-scarring rise from New York's darkest alleys to a place high atop the literary world.

Unlikely and difficult as such a climb is, there's yet another force working against Dean. Itís the powerful, undeniable human emotion we call nostalgia. Heís forever haunted by treasured memories of Theresa Wayman, his long-estranged teenage soul-mate. Theresa! Theresa! Theresa! She just won't go away!

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Born with blue in his collar instead of his veins, best-selling author Dean Cassidy chronicles his soul-scarring rise from New York's darkest alleys to a place high atop the literary world. 

 

Unlikely and difficult as such a climb is, there's yet another force working against Dean.  It’s the powerful, undeniable human emotion we call nostalgia.  He’s forever haunted by treasured memories of Theresa Wayman, his long-estranged teenage soul-mate.  Theresa!  Theresa! Theresa!  She just won't go away!   

 

Dean's loving recollections of Theresa continually taint his twenty-year marriage to Maddy Frances--a woman so forgiving she should be canonized a living saint.  Theresa, not his wife, is the one Dean feels standing at his side every time he loses a job.  She’s alongside him when he actually goes postal on one.  She shares all his fury and desperation as he forever tries to fight back the inevitable corporate takeover of his family.  She's center-stage in Dean's mind and far too deep in his heart the day Maddy Frances finds him unconscious at a botched suicide attempt--a time-faded photograph of Theresa clenched in his hands. 

 

In spite of it all, Maddy’s love never wavers.  Thanks to her undying allegiance, Dean’s ship eventually comes to port.  He gets a novel published, and defying all odds, the book commandeers every Bestseller List in the country.  But, just when it seems their money problems are over, the test of all tests comes along.  On the last night of a twelve-city book tour, Dean looks up at the next person in a long line of autograph seekers, and there, standing before him, is Theresa Wayman. 

 

Later that night, alone with Theresa in his Atlanta motel room, Dean Cassidy finally finds that elusive, peaceful haven that lies beyond nostalgia.  But wait.  It may not be where you think.

 


Excerpt

I once believed soft, warm, beautiful things could never flourish in an environment of hard concrete and cold, dark bricks. In a tough, paycheck-to-paycheck, hard-luck place with a name like Flushing, lifeís finer things appeared only in dreams. I thought on the rare occasions when good things did happen in neighborhoods such as mine, to people like me, they had no place there and were always short lived. I thought the phrase Iíd penned on the cover of my loose leaf notebook senior year was quite ingenious for a kid with such a humble background and education.
In large block letters it shouted ELATION IS ELUSIVE Ė HARD LUCK ENDURING. Just beneath that Iíd borrowed a line from Bob Dylan, ďWHEN YOU GOT NUTHINí, YOU GOT NUTHINí TO LOSEĒ.
My negative philosophy was deeply entrenched not only in my mind but also my soul. Iíd been thinking that way all my young life, but you canít blame me. I clearly saw what was happening all around me. I could read the writing on the walls, when there wasnít graffiti obscuring it. But one night during my eighteenth spring all that changed in a New York second. My perception of life, love, hope, and pain would never be the same.
For that was the night I met Theresa Wayman.



Professional Reviews

Nicholas Boving
Itís very difficult to write what is called a literary novel without coming across as wordy or plain rambling. I find Faulkner and Joyce and Lawrence, among others, all too fond of the sound of their own words and unable to ďget on with itĒ. There is no merit in words for their own sake in a novel: the object is to tell a story and take the readerís imagination and keep it. Youíve done that brilliantly. All the usual trite approvals with regard to voice, scene setting and dialogue apply, so I wonít insult you by adding to them.


Mark Williams International
Gerry McCullough is back with us again with yet another review of one of the MWiDP authorsí books. This time itís the turn of Tom Winton, who featured here on MWi way back in the spring with his debut novel Beyond Nostalgia, which went on to achieve great success.

Iím going to come back to Beyond Nostalgia in the near future, simply because itís one of the best books Iíve ever read. But today is about his second novel, The Last American Martyr.

Tom is one of the great romantic writers of the twenty-first century, and Iím happy to commit to writing that I believe Beyond Nostalgia will become a classic down the years, and while a slowburner, as romance novels so often are, this book will still be selling long after upstart thriller-writers like ourselves have been forgotten.

But Tom is a writer who wears his heart on his sleeve, and it shows in his work. Tom is someone who cares deeply about social injustice, and that shows in his work too.

His latest novel, The Last American Martyr is about Ö Well, Iíll leave that to Gerry. Letís just say Tom has blended two distinct genres Ė thrillers and romance Ė to produce what I canít but describe as a romantic thriller.

If anyone reading this has been supporting, or was in any way sympathetic to, the recent (and continuing) Wall Street protests then this book is perfect for you.

Hereís Gerry:


Have you heard of Tom Winton?

If not, this is where you do, and afterwards are properly grateful to me for the introduction, Iím quite sure.

I first Ďmetí Tom on Authonomy where he, like me, was slogging it out in the long battle which was supposed to lead to a publishing deal with Harper Collins. Of all the thousands (yes, literally) of books of which I read the first part on that site, Tomís Beyond Nostalgia stood out among a tiny handful of books which were ones any publisher with any sense should have grabbed. (And he was kind enough to say something similar about my own Belfast Girls.)

Tom, unlike me, didnít feel obliged to stick it out until the end, a disappointing review which, in my case, said nice things but definitely didnít offer a publishing deal unless I rewrote the book as either a romance or a thriller. Instead, he pulled out, and went on to achieve great success on YouWriteOn. Meanwhile, he found that Tim Roux of Night Publishing was only too happy to publish Beyond Nostalgia; and the sales in the USA have been in the thousands.

Beyond Nostalgia starts by going back to the sixties, when the main character, Dean, was a teenager, in New York, and to the love affair which he remembered even through the happy but poverty-stricken marriage of his adult years with Maddy. I donít intend to spoil the story for you, but although this book has mainly been pushed as a romance it is much, much more. The slummy background of New York years ago is beautifully presented and springs to life from the beginning. The financial struggle of Dean and Maddy to live is realistically detailed. The characters, especially the narrator, are immediate, real, vivid. The social background, the poverty and its effect on the characters, is of major importance, and the relationship between this man and his wife is delicately and poetically drawn. The twist in the plot is gripping and page-turning.

Itís no surprise that so many have wanted to read this book.

But now Tom Winton has surpassed himself. In his new book, just out, The Last American Martyr, Tom has taken his writing Ďto infinity and beyond.í This book has all the detail, the gritty reality, the living characters, of the first, but in its theme Tom Winton plunges yet deeper again.

The main character, another Tom, has won a Nobel prize for his first and only book, which exposes the corruption and greed of the worldís economy, and moves millions all over the world to rise up in protest to bring about change. But this has put Tom in fear of his life, so that he has been forced to hide out, after some horrific experiences, from his enemies in Big Business.

The brutal truth, the up close reality, of Tom Wintonís writing on this very important subject, should make his book as equally influential and successful worldwide as that of his character, if thereís any justice.

One thinks of books like Salingerís Catcher in the Rye or Steinbeckís The Grapes of Wrath, and itís instinctive to place The Last American Martyr beside them, as one which will impact a generation.

This may seem an extreme thing to say. But to me, Tom Winton stands out as a writer to be remembered.

Already Iím looking forward eagerly to see what this amazing man will have for us next.


Thanks Gerry.

Now you may be thinking Gerry has got a bit carried away there suggesting Tom Winton is on par with Salinger or Steinbeck. Thatís a huge call to make.

So let me repeat it. Tom Winton is on par with Salinger and Steinbeck.

Tomís debut Beyond Nostalgia is comparable in social sweep, emotional depth and social significance to Gone With The Wind. It will make a great film one day.

The Last American Martyr is a very different product, and the comparison made by Gerry to The Grapes of Wrath perfectly sums up those differences.

Both books are fantastic reads.

Yes, we now handle the UK distribution for Tom, but thatís only in the past month. Iíve been saying these things about Tomís work since April, when I first came across him.

Tom and I have discussed the possibility of co-writing a future novel with Saffi, and while that has yet to get beyond discussion because of other commitments, if it ever does come to fruition it will be one of the true highlights of my career.

***

Tomís latest book The Last American Martyr is available on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk, along with his debut novel Beyond Nostalgia (amazon.com here, amazon.co.uk here)



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