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A Writer's San Francisco: A Guided Journey for the Creative Soul Hardcover – September 6, 2006
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From the Back Cover
"Maisel has a wonderful voice and A Writer's San Francisco reads like a gritty, fluent love letter. He moves seamlessly between thoughtful descriptions of modern San Francisco and the San Francisco of the '60s and '70s in narratives that bring the city alive on the page. His affection and respect for the city are inspiring to all writers and artists, but also to anyone who has ever spent time in San Francisco and fallen in love with her."
-- Chris DeLorenzo, Laguna Writers Workshops
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So, you might say, what's odd and interesting about that; 3 different genres, 3 different styles? True ... except that in those *other* books, his style is as if he's trying to *imitate* someone who knows what they're doing and that imitation is a failure. His life-fixer? It's filled with the mangled syntax of an academician yet oddly-mangled to the point of someone trying to *sound* like an academician and an expert but who is not. It is, charitably, "clumsy" and it casts considerable shade -- at least to me -- on his thesis. His thriller, on the other hand, has the sparse-style of someone trying to imitate Hemingway but who completely lacks the talent to do so. His thriller comes off as a variant of the Dick and Jane school of 1st-grade writing: "See Spot run. Run, Spot, Run". Again, clumsy.
THEN there's *this* book. In a word, it's beautiful. *Achingly* beautiful, in fact, and it is filled with well-manicured prose that is a joyous symphony of expression. It was a pleasure to read.
So how did the same person who cranked out that other drivel write this beautiful work of art? Perhaps Maisel finally found his voice and his style? Nope. That's because *this* book was published (and presumably written) *long* before his later drivel. Like I said: Interesting. Either Maisel suffered some traumatic brain injury which robbed him of his writing ability after this work OR he had considerable help along the way: Very, very *good* help with this and/or very, very *bad* help later.
Nonetheless, 'A Writer's San Francisco' is a terrific tribute to an exquisite city and -- just like The City itself -- it has a magnificent heart and soul that is hard to find elsewhere. If you are as in love with San Francisco as I ... and/or if you simply enjoy great writing ... then you should read this book.
Here's hoping that Maisel re-connects with whatever talent wrote this because the world needs more of it.
As a small town child from 2 hours north, I recall knowing how very unusual but special it was on a visit in 1954 - I was seven and I never ever wanted to leave. And now, I recall,it felt as though I had been there many times before - somehow,the city adopted me! Taken unwillingly away, called stupid and silly,I cried acid tears in the back seat of my Daddy's '50 Dodge for a long time. But I remembered all I'd seen and done.
More than a few decades came and went before the discovery that everyone has precious and/or distinct feelings regarding "their" San Francisco.
Sadly, busyness and duty has not allowed me to spend more than a few days (over the course of a long lifetime) there but this book brought much of it back and I will not need to wander and perhaps waste time feeling uncertain in future explorations -that is, if I am ever able to return.
I want to go where Paul Madonna drew and be where Eric Maisel describes and I want to read his feelings and thoughts then compare and build onto mine....in that way,as an aware adult, I can remember and fulfill my desire to never leave again no matter where I am...no matter where the future places me.
After all, isn't the mythos of our time on Earth a series of "experience blocks" piling atop one another? Isn't that what life really is? San Francisco: my dream home town.