OK this is NOT a story of grammar. Nor is it a story about grammar. Sentences will not make you weep with their elegance and construction. Paragraphs perfectly balanced will not dot each page as each chapter propels the narrative with surety and suspense.
No, this is a story about the language we use in relationships with friends, family, and lovers. This story highlights the curious phenomenon that we are far more polite to people we are socially distant from and can be far nastier to those we supposedly are close to.
More specifically, this is the story of a man named Riley and the language in his life.
Fortunately Riley has sense of humor, a verbally sophisticated family and rides the bus. Hence many of his dialogues are amusing. He also meets an equally verbally adept lady named Rachel and we read the words used by Riley and Rachel as they meet, fall in love, meet family and friends, have “The Talk” re. kids and past relationships move in together, descend into screaming fights and move, perhaps, beyond.
Oh yeah, this book is something the author likes to call Novel 2.0. What is that? Like its cousin Web 2.0, it is an attempt to increase interaction between hard working author and passive reader. The reader is provided only with the name of each character as known by Riley, their gender, a one-word description of the location and the words spoken by the characters. The reader provides everything else.
About time, some say.
Not me, mind you.
I, for one, really appreciate that you are considering buying this book and don't want to do anything that would prevent you from adding it to you cart.
I’m just saying there are some, mostly in academia, who think you, gentle reader, crave to become more tightly connected to the story and its characters.
Dan McLaughlin was born in Hollywood during halftime of a Rams Colts game. Although the Rams scored a touchdown soon after his birth to tie the game, the Colts then scored 17 points to win. This, along with multi-decade stints at UCLA and as a government bureaucrat, has given Dan an appreciation for the subtle and sometimes capricious agency of action and words.
Among his philosophical influences he cites Thomas Kuhn, David Springhorn, Paul Feyerabend, the Reduced Shakespeare Company and Bullwinkle the Moose. When not working as the local history reference librarian at the Pasadena Public Library, Dan can be found working merrily in the garden, pacing nervously during any UCLA game where the lead is less than 25 points, or walking sedately the beloved puppies with his even more beloved honey, Vendi.
Dan has written three books and one musical. His latest work is “Gott Mit Uns,” a novel that tells the story of an 8 1/2 foot penguin, who is a goddess, who is pursued by two people, who are bureaucrats, through today's America. Dan has also written “Pass the Damn Salt, Please” a novel which explores the importance of language and politeness in relationships told entirely in dialogue; “ICE Girls” an award winning novella which examines the story of the Little Match Girl from the point of view of management; and the award winning musical “Oh No, Not Emily!” an operetta in which a modern fake Emily Dickinson poem is sold to a post-modern English Department.
Before that he and Mark Sellin were the comedy phenomenon “2 Guys from the 70’s” where they served to remind people of the emotional honesty of the 1970’s. Before that, again with Mark and several other friends, Dan wrote, directed and acted in several plays at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Southern California, including their greatest hit “Ye Olde Tale of Goode King Arthur.” Also from that era he created radio play versions of the Trojan Horse “The Big Horsey Ride” and the Odyssey “Going Home and Getting Lucky.”