As anyone who has been to the Sinatra Idol contest can tell you, Hoboken is chock-full of talent, from musicians to artists to writers.
The past few months have seen the publication of a number of Hoboken authors, including a new novel by Gregory Galloway, books of poems by Eliot Katz, a compilation of letters to the editor by local legend T. Weed, and a supernatural adventure by Alison F. Prince.
Gregory Galloway’s ‘The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand’
Gregory Galloway has lived in Hoboken for almost 14 years. His new book, “The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand,” followed his intriguing award winning first novel “As Simple as Snow,” published in 2005. “As Simple As Snow” focused on a high school mystery, and won a prestigious Alex Award, given to books that appeal to both adult and young adult readers.
The new book may fall into the same category. It focuses on Adam Strand, a seemingly indestructible boy who is suicidal but, ironically, cannot kill himself. He has attempted to commit suicide 39 times, hence the name of the book. After every attempt, using almost every method (he’s tried just about every one in the book), he wakes up in a hospital bed physically unharmed, confused, and planning his next attempt.
Adam lives in a small, boring town, which is precisely his problem. He is not sad, or depressed, or angry; he is simply bored. Adam’s unrelenting attempts at suicide are juxtaposed against his descriptions of a fairly normal and nurturing home life, a family who loves him, and friends he spends every day with.
Galloway presents this coming of age story with a dark humor and in a different way than maturation stories tend to be presented. Between falling in love with his best friend, drinking regularly, stealing shopping carts and throwing them out the backs of moving trucks, and, of course, attempting to kill himself, Adam discovers the tangled web of connections he’s made with everyone in his life, and learns how important those connections are, and how difficult they are to break.
“The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand” was published by Dutton Books and is available in book stores as well as from a variety of online sources including Amazon and Barnes&Noble.
Eliot Katz’s ‘Unlocking the Exits’ and ‘Love, War, Fire, Wind’: Looking Out from North America’s Skull’
“Unlocking the Exits” and “Love, War, Fire, Wind” are books of poetry by Hoboken resident Eliot Katz. “Unlocking the Exits” is one of his older books of poetry, published in 1999. “Love, War, Fire, Wind” is slightly more recent, published in 2009.
“Unlocking the Exits” doesn’t have a theme interlacing throughout the poems. Some are less than a page long, and some appear to have chapters. They range in subject from mundane everyday subjects and activities, such as “Ode to Car Keys” and “To the Vegetable Aisle” to long, intricate poems full of symbolism and glimpses at Katz’s past and family.
“Love, War, Fire, Wind,” with the subtitle of “Looking Out from North America’s Skull,” has more of a theme. Each poem is intertwined with some element of nature as well as glimpses of Katz’s strong political beliefs. Each poem, and occasional short story, is accompanied by black and white drawings by William T. Ayton, etched out with thick black and grey lines, giving further glimpses into the meaning of the poetry.
“Unlocking the Exits” was published by Coffee House Press and “Love, War, Fire, and Wind” was published by Narcissus Press. They are both available in book stores as well as from a variety of online sources including Amazon and Coffee House Press.
T. Weed’s ‘More Rope’
“More Rope” is the sequel to “Enough Rope” and presents a compilation of letters to the editor by T. Weed and “other concerned citizens.” T. Weed is an alias for an author who has sent letters to the editor of The Hudson Reporter for more than two decades, and who caused a few arguments, to say the least. Reading through the letters in this book, one can clearly see why.
T. Weed boldly writes about touchy subjects, such as scandals concerning Bill Clinton, situations in Israel, and shootings by Neo-Nazis, that were very sensitive during the decade that the letters were written, from 1996-2005.
T. Weed also includes letters by citizens responding to his letters, sometimes accusing him of not speaking English or being racist and writing letters of their own.
This book gives a look into some of the most controversial, heart-warming, and downright rude exchanges and letters published in The Hudson Reporter over the years.
“More Rope” was published by Free Radical Press and is available in book stores.
Alison F. Prince’s ‘In Shadows of Magic’
Alison F. Prince is a school psychologist at Clifton Public Schools and a Hoboken resident. Her novel “In Shadows of Magic,” is her first.
Prince decided to write this book when she noticed the need for more “fun to read” novels that send positive messages about self esteem to adolescent and teenage girls.
“Self esteem is a major issue for many young girls today,” Prince said. “Teens are subjected to peer pressure to look or behave a certain way. Many succumb to these influences, and lose themselves in the process. ‘In Shadows of Magic’ encourages teens to develop confidence in their authentic personalities, and not worry what others may think of them.”
Contrary to the unhealthy themes of usual paranormal novels, the underlying message of her books is clean and engrossing.
The story contains elements of romance, action, adventure, magic, and a supernatural battle between good and evil.
“In Shadows of Magic” follows twin sisters who are swept into a supernatural world of beauty, power, and danger, and in the process find their friendship being torn apart by jealousy and sibling rivalry. They soon find that their only chance of surviving is to find themselves, as well as each other, once again.
“In Shadows of Magic” was published by Astraea Press and is available as an e-book on Amazon.com and on the Astraea Press website.