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Based on a True Story Paperback – September 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Dzanc Books; 1ST edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979312353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979312359
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,548,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hesh Kestin is a recovering foreign correspondent who reported on local wars, global business and exotic mayhem in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for such publications as Forbes, Newsday and the Jerusalem Post, and wrote for US magazines as diverse as Playboy and Inc. Cited by Media Guide for best foreign correspondence, his work has garnered many awards.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frank Zinghini on November 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a great collection of stories in a format that I really like. I find short stories too short to be interesting, and I never seem to have the time to digest full-length novels. These novellas are just the right size, and the stories are fascinating. The common thread is the time period -- 30's and 40's -- but from three very different perspectives: post-war occupation in the middle east, a Stalin-era Russian in the South Pacific, and - this one was particulary interesting - a Hollywood studio in the segregated 30's that specializes in Negro cinema.

Kestin writes from the first person, which makes the stories immediate and accessible, and he totally inhabits his narrators (and you couldn't imagine three more different people). His stories are all about the characters - none of the complex and artificial plot devices that many short-form pieces use to try to make you feel like you got something bigger (although the plots are inventive and interesting). Rather, Kestin fleshes out the characters and their relationships to the point where you not only feel like you had your fill, but you find yourself wanting to know more about what happens to them after the story ends.

I highly recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, and who likes the short-form novella. This book belongs in your library!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Hulme on March 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
Everyone in my book club really enjoyed Based on a True Story. The language was beautiful and original. Each of three novellas transports you to an exotic place and time: Mombasa, Holly wood in the 1930's, and Tahiti. Kestin's ear for nuance and detail is quite impressive, and you felt immersed in the locales.
The characters were diverse and finely drawn, each with their own distinct voice. Here is one, a Russian, living in Tahiti..."But now. The present is hardly sufficient for any man. Yet, looking back on those times I realize that for me it was, then, nearly enough..."
I found this book to be thought-provoking. It lended itself well to satisfying discussion and reflection, and I strongly recommend it.
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By Carole on May 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To say that Kestin has a way with words would be the understatement of the year. Sometimes those words are dense and difficult to understand; sometimes they’re witty and comic beyond imagination; sometimes they’re touching; and sometimes they’re outrageous. But always they are intelligent, original, and enticing.

Based on a True Story is a collection of three novellas set in Mombasa, Tahiti, and Hollywood in the period just prior to the outbreak of WWII. All are character-driven, each beautifully evokes its locale, and each is highly detailed.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Cicurel on October 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a terrific book, well written, entertaining, great historic references. I didn't know about Kestin before. Very talented author. Looking forward to read more.
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