Cold Comfort in a Warm Climate

Rated 5.00/5 based on 2 reviews
Two old friends in their sixties, one an architectural historian dying of cancer, tour Egypt with unpleasant results for all concerned.

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About Julian Silva

I was born in San Lorenzo, CA, (fictionalized in my novel as San Oriel) in 1927 of Portuguese-American parents. All of my grandparents and one great-grandmother were born in the Bay Area, their ancestors in the Azores. My father taught history at St. Mary’s College for twelve years, then moved for the remainder of his professional life, to San Francisco City College. I attended San Lorenzo Grammar School (there were seven of us in my mid-year graduation class, so San Lorenzo was not exactly a teeming metropolis at the time). I then attended St. Joseph’s in Alameda, leaving in 1944 without a diploma, since I was accepted by St. Mary’s College on a scholarship without one. I attended St. Mary’s for the 1944/45 academic year and in May of 1945, enlisted in the medical corps of the U.S. Naval Reserve. In January of 1947 I finished my lower division work in one semester at SFCC, moved on to USF, from which I graduated in 1949. After graduation I spent six months traveling in Europe and upon returning did a year of graduate work at U. C. Berkeley.

My first publication was a short story in Cosmopolitan Magazine, 1964, a study for one of the main characters in THE GUNNYSACK CASTLE. The University of Colorado’s WRITERS FORUM has published seven of my stories over the years, one of which, “The Minimalist” has been anthologized in HIGHER ELEVATIONS: Stories from the West, by Swallow Press, 1993. Stories have also been published in KANSAS QUARTERLY and the San Francisco Chronicle (March 3, 1985).
THE GUNNYSACK CASTLE was published by Ohio University Press in 1983 (after the original publisher in Colorado went bankrupt). DISTANT MUSIC: TWO NOVELS (The Gunnysack Castle and The Death of Mae Ramos) was published by the Tagus Press at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, (2007) and MOVE OVER, SCOPES AND OTHER WRITINGS, was also published by Tagus Press, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (2011)

Also by This Author


Review by: charmaine parsons on Sep. 15, 2012 :
The author manages to elicit our sympathy and understanding despite his hero’s unforgiving contempt for his fellow travellers/human beings, turning up the heat and tension on their cramped cruise up/down (?) the Nile. Rodneys intense anguish, brought about by his imminent demise coupled with his unrestrained intolerance for trivia, is lovingly drawn by his friend, the author. Whilst we shudder with embarrassment as he dismisses all those around him in this claustrophobic novella Mr Silva manages to evoke our empathy despite the dark pervasive presence of Rodney. Why did Rodney agree to such an uncomfortable trip so far from home? This lugubrious and erudite character was intent on screwing everyone’s holiday but (and perhaps I shouldn’t say this) I rather liked him. We’ve all known someone like Rodney (and possibly behaved as he did, on occasion) where our patience is tested to its limit. Not so much about death more about friendship and fear. Egypt is their omnipresent and beautiful companion; I would like to have seen more of her.
(reviewed 9 months after purchase)
Review by: Claudia Silva-Doo on Jan. 21, 2012 :
This book gave me the feeling of being part of the group touring Egypt. I kept hoping Rodney's behavior would improve, and he would have some sort of an epiphany before he dies. Needless to say he is truly unlikeable through the whole book. Loved the final line!
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)
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