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On Air Paperback – June 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Mustang Press (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935199110
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935199113
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,190,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robin Stratton is a writing coach in the Boston area, director of The Newton Writers and Poets Center, editor of Boston Literary Magazine, and author of Dealing With Men, Interference from an Unwitting Species & Other Poems, and The Revision Process - A Guide for Those Weeks, Months or Years Between Your First Draft and Your Last. Her fiction has appeared in Word Riot, Poor Richard's Almanac(k), Antithesis Common, Chick Flicks, 63 Channels, Blink-Ink, Pig in a Poke, Shoots and Vines and many others. Of Zen and Men is her second novel.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 18 customer reviews
I loved the relationship between Eric and his mother.
Martin McCaw
In this endearing and compelling novel from Robin Stratton, I was immediately pulled in by her unforgettable characters and brilliant, sparkling dialogue.
Jeffrey Miller
Witty one moment, moving the next, I'm sure the story will grab your attention and hold it until the last page is read.
LRW61

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AuntyBear on June 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
On Air is what happens when a well thought out story collides with the beautiful literary skills of a writing coach! A wonderful book, with unforgetable characters, a dialogue that made me feel like I was eavesdropping on actual conversations, and heartwarming, emotional scenes of a man coming to terms with life and growing up - finally. I couldn't put it down and I don't think you will either! Make sure you have tissues. Looking forward to reading more by this author!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Douglas G. Mathewson on September 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
During the 1980s Boston-based disc jockey Eric Storm rode the wave of pop radio to its crest, but in the year 2001 his life and career are in ruins, as we discover in On Air, the new novel by Robin Stratton. Eric's mother is ill, his fame long gone, and his wife has left him. Stratton sets the stage for his complete self destruction, but he manages a minor miracle of a reinvention or two, and the result is a compelling, funny and sad story that held my interest beginning to end. As a reader, I was hooked; as a writer, I fell in love with the author's masterful use of dialogue while she draws us into the world of her characters. We get to know these people well in only a few paragraphs, and her ability to portray the human dynamics with all its humor and frailties is brilliant. As an editor, I was charmed by how the plot was so smoothly revealed, the pacing of the story and the cadence of the language. I developed real feelings for these characters; they became friends I cared about.

This book also broke my heart. Like Eric I am an only child who became the primary care taker for an elderly, terminally ill mother. I read On Air shortly after my mother died. The non-communicative conversations between my mom and myself and Eric and his mom were so genuine and similar. I can imagine an audition: the four of us reading interchangeably from the same script. The mothers' lines, then the sons'. Back and forth we'd go, every line so emotional and tight, till the mothers were gone and the sons sat alone.

D. Mathewson
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Barr Bielinski on July 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Eric Storm is a forty-something radio man with a convergence of crises in his life: Career. Love life. Middle age looming. Mother in failing health. 9/11. In spite of the fact he doesn't start out especially likeable, I found myself rooting for him. I was so drawn in by the events of Storm's rocky life--mix of poignant, arrogant, and hilarious--that I didn't notice I'd begun to experience his feelings right along with him.

I'm not surprised at being impressed by Stratton because I've read her stories before. But what a gem this one is. She first creates Eric's mother as a very recognizable type (Jewish mother) and then transforms her into a unique, well-rounded person. She plays the mother and Eric off each other and the rest of the characters in ways that make me feel I know them. She builds feelings about midlife and age that I've never felt before.

Insight, playfulness, and genuine feeling. Did I mention Stratton's skills are deadly? Read it and see for yourself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Keto on October 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
Eric Storm can't grow up while his mother is still alive but life makes him grow up. This is really a coming of age story taut with emotions and reality. Robin writes with an accuracy and a grace about life that makes you pause because not all of us come of age at 18. In Eric's case, it is a few decades later. For the rest of us, sometimes it is later than we like to say. I loved the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sean Moore on September 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
I used to chuckle at the idea of the term Baby Boomer sticking to these 80 million people for years, even into middle age and old. Wondering if the label would have some creepy psychological effect on them. Though I assumed the term would fade, or be replaced with something more relevant, as this new "greatest generation" matured. But the term has stuck, like gooey pablum on our collective bib, if only by default, so we have now middle-aged babies and near-elderly babies.
While this paradox is employed thematically, hilariously and incisively in Robin Stratton's new novel, the book sizzles as a specific, personal, intimate close-up of a few vivid, scarily familiar people.
Radio personality Eric Storm has managed to turn 50, lose his wife over being too absorbed in his job, lose his job for being too self absorbed in trivial concerns (he still cares about music he should have outgrown 30 years ago), and made me, by turns, angry with him, then soften to empathy, then kinda like him.
His mother, an insufferably self-centered blabbermouth ole biddy had me reaching for the phone to call Dr. Kervorkian myself, then feeling bad about it. I vaguely realize it's 3 in the morning, I'm in bed, holding a pack of little sheets of paper with small ink marks on them and yelling at it. I can't remember I've ever been so immersed.
Then Eric starts taking new actions; some are zany and embarrassing wrong turns, some actually helpful. And like in life sometimes, these actions lead to his catching a few unexpected breaks. Surprizes escalate to a you'll-never-guess climax and satisfying resolution as Eric rapidly comes of age.
Robin Stratton is a master of the telling detail "She's wearing a purple sweatshirt decorated with cats that have red sequins for eyes.".
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