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The Lights of Sheridan Square Paperback – January 25, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
In addition to four published books – three fiction and one non-fiction - Bob Ford has produced two off-Broadway plays and dozens of industrial shows and comedy reviews. He spent 30 years as a documentary and commercial film director in the U.S. and Europe and has produced and written myriad magazine articles. He has appeared on NBC, ABC, FOX, CNN and a number of local cable TV and radio shows as an automotive subject expert. Currently, he is CEO and Founder of Skrounge.com, a unique website targeted at the college market. He lives in New York City and Stamford, CT with his wife of 46 years.
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Top Customer Reviews
"It was not fair to leave me with tears after I finished reading Lights of Sheridan Square But, I am romantic at heart and was happy it had a happy ending. Being a born and bred western states woman, I was not familiar with some of the New York and Paris scenes and places, but I felt comfortable in learning about some of them. The prologue immediately brought my interest into wondering what had been Jay and Joanna's relationship. The story moved well, even as the scenarios changed. It kept my interest." Katherine M. Manos, CO
"A fun, quick read full of fast retorts and well-aimed jabs, the author illuminates the seamy side of Manhattan and Connecticut's Greenwich in a not-so-politically-correct era, The Lights of Sheridan Square delivers a satisfying, playful yet romantic tale with good-guys, bad-guys, dames, eccentrics, and a happy ending." Gina P. Buchanan, MI
"Heartwarming, a pleasure to read, amazing to find a lost love after so many years. I would like to read more of the author`s books." Linday F. Saucier,MS
"An inspiring book on what true love really is, and the boundaries it entails. The hold that love has on each and every one of us, yet in different ways, and for different reasons. A great cast of characters that unroll a great story, and the ability to keep the pages turning. Characters with the ability to make you feel their deepest faults, their deepest feelings, their failures and successes. A very good story, it could happen to anyone of us. Would love to see it as a movie." Jenifer O. Arlington VA
Review by Barbara Bamberger Scott
My dearest Jay, I wish that time could have stopped for us in Paris or even here on Sheridan Square. These have been the most wonderful months I have ever known.
The year is 1957; the hero, a young ad man named Jay Carraway; the heroine, a wannabe starlet named Joanna Olenska. He, scion of a wealthy Connecticut dynasty; she, a poor orphan child. They meet in New York, where Jay has rejected his life of privilege to be a "go-fer" in an ad agency, and Joanna is trying to get a break on Broadway. Jay soon rises to prominence as the sidekick of Elliott Pierce, a dynamic, successful rotter. Eventually Jay will learn that his job includes lying to Elliot's wife about his philandering, and that it is possible that Elliot once philandered with Joanna. In the meantime, Jay and Elliott will make beautiful money together in the high stakes ad game, and try to piece together Elliott's dream: to produce a film called Death of a Gran Prix Racer, starring Paul Newman (who did star in a racing film, Winning, in 1969). As Jay's love for Joanna grows, his admiration for Elliott wanes, leaving him with significant choices to make.
Since these are vibrant, dynamic people and historically rich settings, everything is in place for a novelistic triumph. Bob Ford, author, playwright and commercial filmmaker, has presumably walked around in the realms he describes. He is a skilled writer, using alluring chapter titles, mulit-layered characters and clever plot devices to move his story along. Jay's naïve Sancho Panza to Elliot's amoral Don Quixote allows for a peek behind the scenes in the world of 1950s "mad men." Ford builds the romance between Jay and Joanna slowly - she cautious, wanting to love him like a friend, he longing to take her like a lover. Both of them have their wishes fulfilled - and their hopes dashed.
However, there are anachronisms in the book, which one would think this obviously savvy author would have eliminated. One example is the use of the very 1990s expression "I'm outta here"; another is a discussion about anorexia, which was not in common parlance until much later. With such lapses and the almost total lack of reference to cigarette smoking, which was simply the norm in that ambience at that time, The Lights of Sheridan Square falls short of the nitty-gritty authenticity that Ford certainly intended. It holds together, though, as a love story for mature readers, who will doubtless fantasize about "what happens next" to Jay and Joanna after The End.
Joanna's magnetic eyes attract the gold in Jay's heart. Jay's polite restraint has Joanna day-dreaming about small houses with gardens. But Jay's gold heart stops when Joanna refers to him "like a brother." Jay convinces Joanna that he's different than the rest of the pack. But is Jay's polo-playing family too different for the orphaned actress? Both Ford and the main character are enamored with romance, whether in Manhattan or Paris.
Author Bob Ford's research into the late 1950s provides a convincing backdrop, complete with references to Playboy, Jack Benny, the birth of chemotherapy and IBM. . Ford portrays the quirks and double-dealings of the New York advertising film industry with martini-laced humor and an insider's wink. If this pulp-fiction style romance had a soundtrack, a boozy Dean Martin would accompany scenes at Ad-Film and Film Arts.
A fun, quick read full of fast retorts and well-aimed jabs, Ford illuminates the seamy side of Manhattan and Connecticut's Greenwich in a not-so-politically-correct era, The Lights of Sheridan Square delivers a satisfying, playful yet romantic tale with good-guys, bad-guys, dames, eccentrics, and a happy ending.