After I had walked around the winery, I climbed back in my truck and continued driving farther up into the foothills, and some nights I did make it as far as the mountain road. I wanted to cross the Diablo range. I wanted to keep driving clear across the state and into the desert, deep into the American vastness, where I knew no one and no one knew me. I wanted to drive for days and, wherever I finally stopped, take a new name and start my life over.
Sumptuously set amidst the wine-making vineyards on California's Pacific Coast, not too far from
the fun and frolics that the beautiful city of San Francisco has to offer,
The Long Rain is a righteously riveting read from Peter Gadol... a man of
incredible writing talent who lives in California himself (and who lets such a fact
show through his glorious scene-setting descriptions of the area), and who is the
awe-inspiring author of a number of other incredible stories
including Coyote, The Mystery Roast and Closer To The Sun.
Still, as this dark novel proves, the Golden state of California isn't always bright and refreshingly breezy for everyone. Far from it, once family man Jason accidentally runs down and kills a young boy on a remote mountain road near to his home.
Jason is a lawyer, and if he admits to being involved in the accident then he routinely stands to lose much - including his law-abiding reputation, along with his wife and son. Even if the accident was exactly that... 'an accident.'
So Jason decides to deny all knowledge of the accident and thus acts shocked upon 'learning' about what has happened up on the mountain road, with The Long Rain subsequently following the course of the lies that Jason has to subsequently make up in order to keep himself in the clear.
Fans of Tom Wolfe's epic drama masterpiece The Bonfire of the Vanities should be in their
element here, as this Gadol-geared novel presents the same moral dilemma. Indeed, when a man stands to lose anything, he naturally seems driven to manic extremes in order to keep from being branded guilty.
Luckily for Jason, somebody else actually owns up to having mown the youngster down - a revelation
that obviously stuns Jason when he knows for a fact that he himself was the man to blame,
his foot fast to the floor on that winding road in the rain.
So Jason, coincidentally being a lawyer, carefully delves into the case against the man who's being 'wrongly convicted' of the 'crime,' and in time Jason realises that the incarcerated man merely thinks that he killed the boy in a hit and run. The man admits to having been on the road at the time of the accident, but he was too drunk to know what happened for sure up there that night...
As Jason gets to know the man in prison better, he gradually feels more and more guilty that
this essentially innocent man is serving time on Jason's behalf, so Jason - in an
engrossing twist to the tale - begins to fight for an appeal for the guy behind bars.
Jason is effectively ashamed of what he has done, and thinks that if he can free the man who has been blamed for the boy's death then he might just redeem - and be forgiven for - such a looming sin. After all, a secret shame is often harder to live with than a public shame.
Reviews, Books - Goodbye, Hessle Road by Daphne Glazer Reviewed By Cathy Walker
Goodbye Hessle Road is the new novel by local writer Daphne Glazer, set in and around Hull.
It focuses on the lives of Donna, her mum and grandmother Ruby and features many local landmarks
from the leafy suburbs of the Avenues to the inside of Hull Prison.
Donna is a drugs worker at Hull prison; she is portrayed as a strong woman, with
attitude and hidden vulnerability.
Reviews, Books - Jack Ruby's Kitchen Sink by Tom Miller Reviewed by Steve Rudd
I have long longed to visit the South-Western states of the USA, and the beautifully majestic Arizona in particular.
In this fascinating and factual book, Tom - who himself lives in Tucson, Arizona - recounts
all sorts of weird and wonderful tales from the region, and also presents tall tales from
Reviews, Books - The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger Reviewed By Cathy Walker
thisisUll.com readers may have seen The Time Traveller's Wife featured
as part of Richard and Judy's Bookclub.
If you're not a fan of the teatime TV couple do not be deterred; this is likely to
be one of the most unusual and original pieces of fiction
Reviews, Books -One For New York by John A Williams Reviewed By Steve Rudd
A remarkable novel in every respect, this is a classic piece of literature from an
incredibly gifted writer who expressed exactly how it felt to be a black man
growing up in the United States early on in the last Century.
This book focuses on his
Reviews, Books - Dr. Sax by Jack Kerouac Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Even hardcore fans of this legendary author might be in two minds about how much they
like this novel of his.
Jack is best-known for his travel-trained adventures back and forth across the
USA (in On The Road, Big Sur and The Dharma Bums for example), and further
Reviews, Books - Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear Reviewed By Cathy Walker
Can you name a female private detective? Your answer might be Miss Marple or
Mma Ramotswe of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, but thanks to
Jacqueline Winspear, Maisie Dobbs is another name to add to that list.
Initially it seems that
Reviews, Books - Strange Angels by Andy Bull Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Books come no more riveting than this mini-masterpiece that reads both as an eye-opening
travelogue and close analysis of the lives - and deaths - of four all-American icons.
Marilyn Monroe. Elvis Presley. James Dean. JFK.
Reviews, Books - Blackpool Highflyer by Andrew Martin (Faber and Faber Ltd.) Reviewed By Cathy Walker
A novel about a Yorkshireman who is nuts about the railways and his adventures as an engine driver...
Admittedly this sounds like something that might appeal just to trainspotters, but in the
Blackpool Highflyer:, Andrew Martin:
Reviews, Books - The Pastures of Heaven by John Steinbeck Reviewed by Steve Rudd
After the bare requisites to living and reproducing, man wants most to leave some
record of himself, a proof, perhaps, that he has really existed.
He leaves his proof on wood, on stone or on the lives of other people.
This deep desire exists in everyone, from the boy Read more...
Reviews, Theatre - 15th February 05 - The Woman in White at the Palace Theatre, London By Steve Rudd
The Woman in White is the latest box-office-busting musical extravaganza from
Andrew Lloyd Webber,
based on the famous Victorian novel of the same name that was published way, way back in
1860 by the distinguished and understandably
Reviews, Theatre - GO WEST, to the South of the Thames and see National Anthems! By Steve Rudd
The West End of London city centre is a magical place, packed with cinemas and theatres.
There are always some amazing shows to be seen in such theatres, whether they are full-blown
musicals or pure drama-driven plays, and I guess the most frustrating thing about taking
a trip to
Reviews, Films - Meet The Fockers By DJ Chris Plant
Having given permission to male nurse Greg Focker (Stiller) to wed his daughter (Polo),
ex-CIA man Jack Byrnes (De Niro) and his wife (Danner) travel to Detroit to meet the
parents, who this time around are Mr. and Mrs. Focker (Hoffman and Streisand),
Reviews, Books - The Butterfly Effect by Pernille Rygg Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Death is nothing to young girls, except as part of the adventure, an exciting secret
whispered by a dark lover, not something you meet one evening when you're going home to your movie or father.
Such a notion is all about to change
Reviews, Events - Comedy in Hull - A Ringside Seat - Thursday 2nd February 05 By Jim Higo
While we all sit around moaning about the lack of decent live entertainment in
Hull; Buzz Comedy Club have been doing something about it.
While we get in from work, moan again about the lack of decent live entertainment in