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Michael Harris grew up in Dunsmuir, Calif., served with the 1st Air Cavalry Division in Vietnam, has a B.A. in English from the University of Oregon, an M.A.T. from Harvard and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and worked as a reporter and editor for several West Coast newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. He and his family live in Long Beach.
He is the author of "The Chieu Hoi Saloon" (PM Press, 2010) and "Canyon: Two Dunsmuir Stories," both available on Amazon.
on Feb. 09, 2014 :
Mike Harris knows how to write. I know because I read Romantic History, and this story will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you want to throw it at the wall in frustration.
Paul Siebert is a man with a life, a reporter at several newspapers living on the beautiful west coast. He could be going somewhere with his life, yet he throws it all away on a mind boggling obsession with Maggie, a troubled girl he meets at a halfway house. They have a fling, and by the looks of things - notably her indfference to him - that should be the end of it. Instead, Paul can't stop thinking about her, and as the years drop away, the precious years of his life, his obsession becomes increasingly self-destructive until the final, inevitable, climatic moment decades later.
I'm not going to lie to you, this read depressed me, how could it otherwise? Still, it is an apt and unrelenting commentary on the human condition, a condition that many never see, except in the lost souls we ALL see shuffling the streets in rags or sleeping under bridges. Life made tragic, and we wonder what happened. What seemed romantic in the beginning - a life free of encumbrances - becomes instead it's burden.
Romantic History is a merciless expose, raw pain, the sunburn of modern life, a reality that millions quietly endure everyday. Read with a good tether to hope.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)