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Medium Rare
     

Medium Rare

by Charles Balthaser
 
If you are squeamish or faint of heart you should not read this book. It contains foul language (some really bad words), descriptions of war, mutilation, animal cruelty, torture, suicide and burying a loved one.

If you are an idealist then you should not read this book. It is full of cynicism and caustic remarks. It is raw and exposes truths that people

Overview

If you are squeamish or faint of heart you should not read this book. It contains foul language (some really bad words), descriptions of war, mutilation, animal cruelty, torture, suicide and burying a loved one.

If you are an idealist then you should not read this book. It is full of cynicism and caustic remarks. It is raw and exposes truths that people prefer to ignore and history that they would rather forget.

If you are under 30 then you probably will not read this book. Most passages are longer than a cell phone text message and certainly longer than 140 characters, the maximum length of a Tweet.

If you are under 50, then you probably should not read this book. You need to have some years under your belt to appreciate a lot of the passages. Maybe 40-ish is okay.

But, having said all of that, Medium Rare is also hopeful, tender and loving.

Medium Rare is a book of short works about love, war, life, death and other things that we encounter during our visit to this earth. These works of prose and poetry speak of things that touch our hearts, irritate our conscience, challenge our beliefs and remind us of the beauty of nature. The works speak of tenderness, joy, pride, patriotism and yes, tears, cruelty, fear, heartache, longing and regrets. They take place in a New Guinea jungle, Arlington National Cemetery, the Chicago Stockyards, Dachau concentration camp, bombed-out Nagasaki, Ipanema Beach, on a quiet Sierra Nevada lake and in noisy San Francisco traffic.

Some are voices of a muse, some are voices silenced and forgotten but longing, even demanding to be heard: a combat Marine, a pregnant mother, a weeping father, a red-tailed hawk, a tattooed Jew, a carpenter, a Market Street bum and an E.R. nurse.

Medium Rare is a book about disparate people: Lenny Bruce, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thelonious Monk, Ronald Reagan, Dave Brubeck, Jackson Pollock and JFK Some of the works are simple and forgettable. Some you will never forget. You will find something of yourself in Medium Rare: a time, a place, an incident, an emotion, a lover, a friend, a cause. You will think and laugh and cry, definitely cry.

And, a footnote. Some of the works are very unusual in their composition. If you discover how they are unusual, let me know.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940148765868
Publisher:
Morning Canyon
Publication date:
08/23/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author

In his working life the author has been a millwright, a Russian linguist, a radio personality, a computer programmer, a corporate executive and an entrepreneur. In his private life he has been a husband, a father , a grandfather, a poet, an artist, an actor, a golfer, a tennis player, a fisherman, a carpenter, a good friend and a good neighbor. His interests span reading (mostly history and historical novels), music (all kinds -- jazz, classical, rock and roll, country, pop and big bands), photography, philosophy, wine, single malt Scotch whiskey and a good cigar. He can split wood, drive nails, make a website, dance a Mambo, make a decent pizza and play the harmonica, albeit badly.

The author, aka "Ken" (a moniker picked up in radio), spent eight years in the U.S. Air Force with tours of duty in Japan and Pakistan. Ken met and married his wife Eiko while stationed in Japan. After his Air Force stint, they settled down in Ohio to raise their family. It was there that Ken worked in commercial radio as a D.J., news reporter, talk show host and program director. In the late 1970's he hooked up with a small Columbus company that created the world's first home computer. It was there that he taught himself computer programming (with help from two generous mentors). Soon afterwards he moved the family to Silicon Valley near San Francisco and worked for Atari making video games. He spent the next twenty five years in "the Valley" as a vice president of software development for a number of companies, including Sega and MicroProse. In 1998 he co-founded an online technology company with his son, Neil.

Ken and Eiko have three children, Eunice, Ken and Neil and seven grandchildren who live nearby in the San Francisco Bay area.

Ken is now retired and spends most of his time with his wife and two dogs on nine acres in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Somerset, California. When their gate is locked they are generally in their motor home towing their little red Jeep and touring the country.

Over the years, Ken has continued to write poetry and short essays. Medium Rare is a collection of some of his works.

This book is dedicated to the author's mother, Evelyn Harmon Balthaser Cavanaugh, whose love of books and letter writing were an inspiration.

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