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American Zen [Kindle Edition]

Robert Crawford
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $3.00 (38%)

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Book Description

What is redemption worth and what are you willing to risk for it? Five friends, three decades, one band and a set list of rock and roll songs that had defined their unique dynamic and generation, American Zen is an alternately tragic and hilarious week in the lives of four friends in search of the fifth who broke up their band. Hunting for their ex-front man Dave, their odyssey becomes a wider and deeper search for salvation and meaning. During their road trip throughout the eastern seaboard, their amities are put to the test while realizing how much they can and can’t afford to risk. What unfolds is a story of undying friendship driving home the point that even salvation and redemption can come at a high price. Rob the conflicted Zen master, Billy the suicidal ex-SEAL, the ailing Jo Jo, his husband Jeremy and Mike Flannigan our narrator learn how cruel the last three decades have been to them. As they reluctantly seek the truth behind their breakup, the reunion garners for them more infamy and notoriety than they’d ever had as a group. Yet on their road to redemption, they give the best and most soul-defining performances of their lives even in the midst of scandal, gang violence and sudden death. American Zen offers a snapshot of a nation in painful transition. As Barack Obama is about to take the reins as President, Mike is virtually the only political journalist currently not writing about the incoming administration. As America looks forward to change, Mike struggles with that in his and his friends’ lives, realizing that, while the game too changes, the rules remain the same.
This is American life and death. This is American rock and roll. This… is American Zen.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Crawford is a published poet and independent author who lives with his fiancee and surly cat in central Massachusetts.

Product Details

  • File Size: 846 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00MUEK860
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,914,524 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightenment in dark times February 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I enjoyed American Zen thoroughly. It triggered thousand-year-old memories of another lifetime when we were, if not completely innocent, young, clueless and fearless. And it reminded me of what I saw as a hospice volunteer: death is inconvenient. Having a terminal diagnosis is both definitive and weirdly vague. Friends and family struggle to "be there" for the loved one, but employers aren't fond of open-ended absences. "How long is this going to take?" isn't the right question, but life doesn't wind itself down and provide an interlude for final farewells and reconciliations. You'd think impending death would have more sway. In fiction and the movies, death is the denouement. Always timely. In life, rarely so.
American Zen, the movie, would have a great soundtrack. The Immortals play good stuff. And fueled by a potent mix of youthful invincibility and subversive defiance, they play like they've found the Escape Hatch, the Explanation, the Truth. Disillusionment, of course, arrives soon enough and we know its heartless calculus. Our young heroes are no match for the predators, let alone their own internal combustion. They clearly are a danger to themselves and each other. There's plenty of comedy served up with the tragedy here. No less when they manage, barely, to come together again some 30 years later, wounded survivors with enough stupid and crazy left in them to remember who they were and what they had, and eventually, enough wisdom to find reconciliation with what might have been.
In a time when the American Dream has been revealed as a setup, and even the young are seasoned cynics, Robert Crawford chronicles the relentless slide through each character's story. Letting Mike Flanagan, a journalist, narrate provides the social, political context of American Zen.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Road trip or time travel? June 30, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Dude, we're getting the band back together!"
Or are we? American Zen takes us on a road trip to do just that, but a lot of time has passed, hopes crushed and new lives and dreams started between the last time the band was together and, well, now.
the complications of getting the band back together after 30 years, from geographical separations to grudges held (or feared) to changes in the lives of the original band kept me turning pages, along with getting to know the band members and their families and friends.
The feelings and events touched on and delved into throughout the tour brought back a lot of my feelings from Oh so long ago - and yet I am oh so glad I purchased this book.
This one is staying in my library, and I look forward to reading more by Robert Crawford.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read April 16, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm very impressed with both the subject matter and the character development. The characters in this book come across as real people, with their own strengths and failings, and they face real issues that many people face in our current society. Most are likeable, some are sometimes not (just like real people...). The main issue that the characters face is the sort of thing that we all face as we grow older, especially if we try to go back home again; the "why not" in the old saw "You can't go home again." A very thought provoking book, that required quite a bit of self-analysis before I was prepared to comment. Thank you, Mr. Crawford, for a top notch read.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Know this writer February 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I knew I wouldn't be disappointed, and I was right. I read a lot and have a huge pile of books next to my bed, but put Rob's book ahead of my list because of my respect for him as a blogger. I have loved his writing style for several years now, and when I heard he had not one, but two novels available, I was thrilled. The fact that the characters are basically our contemporaries made it even better. I was glued to it, and read it in two days, and my husband is reading it now (and he's barely half the reader I am). I highly, highly recommend this to everyone. One of the undiscovered gems in the publishing world. Read on!
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another top value indie book December 2, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As I've said in other reviews writing them is not one of my talents. I wish I could just give books a star rating without writing anything.

Anyway, I wasn't sure I would like this book but after telling the author his original price ($9.99) was too high for me, I came back one day and found it reduced to $4.99 (I'm not taking the credit for the price reduction, just saying ...). Anyway, after that I felt I had an obligation to buy it.

And am I glad I did! I loved the book, read it in two sittings, and was really sorry when it ended. As a middle-aged man, the book rang a lot of bells for me.

Once again I've found another indie ebook author who has given me exceptional value for my money. I hope the book does really well for Mr Crawford.
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More About the Author

I began writing with wooden blocks. I haven't stopped since. There are two types of writers. Those who like to write and those who need to. I'm in the latter category. Back in the summer of 2011, was banned for life from commenting, writing messages or reviews by Amazon after right wing concern trolls complained about permalinks to my product pages on forums they apparently think they own (and publicizing legitimate books is certainly not a TOS violation). Appeals to Customer Disservice result in boilerplate replies or snotty, arch letters informing me they have no intention of reinstating my posting "privileges." Thanks, Amazon, for supporting independent authors and your own customers.

The image thumbnail is the working cover of the next (undrafted) Joe Roman novel with the working title, BLOODLETTERS, which will take place in Canada.


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