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Jack: Book 1 in the Trilogy Paperback – August 4, 2015
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About the Author
Gary Dorion Phuket, Thailand. I recently left my teaching job in NYC to live in Thailand where I am continuing to write books. You can view many chapters of my novels on my site at: http://dorion9.wordpress.com/. Teachers can receive a free review PDF copy of Part One of "Jack" by visiting my BookLaunch site: goo.gl/SLQALc "Comrade Anna" - a novel about resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War 2, also is available to teachers as a free PDF. Former owner of Middlesex News Service, Cambridge, Mass., I covered thousands of legal cases for some 40-50 Boston-area news organizations and this ten-year experience prepared me for teaching writing to students in NYC over 13 years and aided in my development as a writer of historical fiction. I also published The Lucky Lobsters - released in 2013 - and a few more that are in process. "Jack" is an adventure novel - a trilogy - focusing on youths in Charleston, S.C., who rebel against the slave ideology they were being taught. I have traveled to many countries and most recently to Thailand and India several times and to Turkey. My wife, Uraiwan, and I currently reside in the Rawai/Chalong area of Phuket, Thailand.
Top customer reviews
more from. The plot is well developed and the story is well written. The book held my attention with a nice balance of different emotions. I look forward to reading the second book. Well done.
Gary’s novel is rather short and is directed to the young adult (ages 12 – 18) and he knows this audience well, able to speak in their language form to further involve them in the progression of the story. For instance, he opens with a prodromal conversation that while hinting at the story ahead still bows to the characterizations he is creating: ‘Crawling up alongside the red wooden façade of the school house, Jack and I peeked through the windows and scanned the room. There was Mike sitting on one end of a bench, paying the strictest attention to master’s lesson. “The sniveling little worm!” Jack said, scrunching up his nose. “I knew he didn’t have the nerve to skip. Next, he’ll be licking Whittemore’s boots - the little worm.” “What are we gonna do?” I asked. “What do ya mean what’a we gonna do? What are you gonna do you moron?” Jack said and rapped his knuckles on the wooden door of the school house as hard as he could, then bolted toward the hedges across the Meetinghouse Road, saying, “Run son if you knows what’s good for ya!”
Comfortable in the arena the important story unfolds, and Gary’s synopsis is succinct: ‘The setting is Charleston, South Carolina, and it also is set on a slave ship that traffics in the Caribbean islands before and during the American Civil War. It is about a rebel's rebel, Jack, who, as a young boy, challenges the racist teachings of his schoolmaster, but later following him to sea aboard a slave ship and ultimately meeting his fate at the epic battle of Gettysburg. In Part I the time ’is set in the American south one year prior to the civil war. It focuses on three characters who are children at a fictional schoolhouse in Charleston who challenge their racist schoolmaster, a former preacher on a slave ship on the high seas. Jack is at the center of the revolt against "Master Whittemore" and ultimately defeats him during a "trial" that master conducts in his little schoolhouse. Master, after some reflection, sees the criticism his students have tried to make and understands that his efforts to sing the praises of the plantation slavery system and of the benefits of secession were wrong. He decides to return to the same slave ship on the ruse that he will again preach the necessity of slavery. He does the exact opposite and tries to incite rebellion. Master is thrown overboard. Jack and Jeremy had signed up for the journey to Jamaica and other slave-trading ports after they saw the change in their teacher. In Jamaica they meet two free blacks-America and her friend-and together the four conspire to take the ship and set free the entire slave cargo.’
Adventure peppered with solid humor to make the tale yet more pungent, this first installment is fine reading for adults as well as young adults. A solid start on a worthy project. Grady Harp, February 16
The tone of this is humorous, although I think as it gets further in quite serious and shocking when describing the abolishment of slavery and treatment of the people. I think on that subject this book suddenly becomes more appealing and the dynamics change with other characters introduced to us.
The conversation between a schoolboy and the master when speaking of the slaves and their freedom, I felt tension and empathy because of their differences in opinion. It is odd to read something like that, as now slavery is not even a matter of opinion or discussion. Black or white, we are all equal beings and that makes this into an fascinating historical novel. Jack has a setting with plenty of story opportunities.
The personal background story of the school master is a nice touch and almost elevates this to fairy-tale status as he chucks in teaching and returns to his former occupation, thanks to Jack. He could have easily became a caricature of the idea that we have of schoolmasters of old, who bully their pupils and rap their knuckles with a ruler. The character of Jack becomes more well rounded too as the book reaches its end and you start to understand him a little more.
This book is a love letter to Mark Twain's works, with an inconfundible vibe of the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, including a lot of traveling through the epoch America and a good depiction of how American society was at the time. I had a lot of fun and laughed my fair share witnessing all the occurrences of Jack and Jeremy, how they managed to beat Whittemore at a trial was a blast.
Definitely a good, fun read that will appeal both to youngsters who will relate to the main characters and adults who will remember their childhood years and enjoy a Twain-style story.