||Aug 7, 2011
After an unemployed doorman wins the Nobel Prize for literature he must run for his life with the corporate-elite hot on his trail.
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It doesn’t happen often, but every now and then one small soul rises from the crowded depths of obscurity and causes the earth to wobble on its axis. This last happened in 2008 when an unemployed doorman, in a secondhand Goodwill suit, stepped onto the worldwide stage in Stockholm and accepted The Nobel Prize for Literature.
In this me-me twenty-first century, Thomas Soles may very well be the last American martyr. This self-described “simple man” writes a simple book that resuscitates the all-but-dead international labor movement. The response to his thoughts and perceptions are astounding. All around the globe, from pole to pole, from America to Zimbabwe, the marching footsteps of workers, young and old, tremor the earth. But not everyone is pleased. There’s a tight-knit, elitist clique that is absolutely livid over the thoughts and ideals that fill the pages of his book. And the moment Tom and his wife, Elaina, return home from Sweden, they realize just how angry this profit-hungry mob really is.
Mortified by the horrid scene that awaits them inside their New York tenement, the Soles’ have no choice but to flee their longtime home. Hoping to find anonymity, they bounce all over America in an RV. But they don’t find peace. Instead they become moving targets. Everywhere they go they're followed by a succession of life-threatening events.
What Tom Soles said next, he said very slowly. I could tell he was weighing every word, trying them out inside his head before choosing just the right ones. Gently smoothing the tawny fur on Solaceís back, he said, ďJake, itís been a long time since Iíve been able to confide in anybody other than my publisher, and as rarely as I speak to her, itís always on the telephone. Iím sixty-one years old now, and I donít know how much time I have left. Iíve been on the run for a year and a half nowóon the lam, if you will. Iíve had very few meaningful, face-to-face conversations in all that time.
He paused for a sip, and probably to get his next words right. I wasnít sure I wanted to hear what he was preparing to tell me. I had a wife and two sons. I didnít want to get involved in anything I shouldnít. Heíd been on the run for a year and a half! From what? What could this possibly be leading to? I had no answers, yet something kept me from bowing out of the conversation. And it continued.
When I reviewed the authors first book "Beyond Nostalgia" I said that `Tom Winton writes with a pen dipped in his soul'. I wasn't wrong or overtly throwing compliments away; I meant it.
This his second book only serves to enhance that point in my opinion.
Tom Winton's writing is a delicious, complex, parcel of ordinary folks in extraordinary situations.
You are teased into smiling at the insights into his characters motivations, horrified by the lengths that others will go to relieve him of his freedom; and warmed by his ability to care enough about his fellow man to have expressed his remarkable insights so well.
Author Tom Winton has created such a marvelous character in Thomas Soles. A simple man an everyman, a man who wrote a book that motivated and activated an enormous response from the buying public.
A book that garnered him the Nobel Prize for literature.
A book that turned his life upside down and his heart inside out.
The character of Thomas Soles reminds me of another character I came to treasure...Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's wonderful `To Kill A Mockingbird".
Tom Winton writes in a way that invites you in to the warmth of his fire, then holds you a willing captive to the comfort you find there, along the way you experience the wrenching pain of watching the fire die.
I am moved by this book. I am in awe of the authors marvelous insights into our strengths, our weaknesses and our ability to survive.
I now have two books by this Author sitting proudly on my shelf. I have made space for all those that will follow.
When I first read Beyond Nostalgia, I knew I'd found not only a great book but an excellent, outstanding writer who deserved to be up there at the top. The success of Beyond Nostalgia confirmed my belief - Tom Winton's book rocketed up the rankings on Amazon.com Kindle sales, and stayed there. So when I heard that his second book, The Last American Martyr, was out, I rushed to buy it. Sometimes a second book disappoints by not being quite up to the high standard of the first. But with Tom Winton, the opposite is true. I've been gripped, excited, and enlightened by this book. Tom Soles' views on the greedy American (and world-wide) economy, which fictionally stirred millions to respond, are so exactly true that one wonders if this book will have a similar effect to its fictional counterpart - and wouldn't that be great?
I'm particularly interested in this subject because my husband Raymond McCullough has just published a non-fiction book on some of the same ideas, The Whore and her Mother (also on Amazon.)
Tom Winton's book provides us with striking characters, page-turning action, and a twisting turning plot, just as we might expect from this author; but he also goes deep into the reality of our current world, and for this he is especially to be praised.
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