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Radiant Days
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Radiant Days

by Michael A. FitzGerald
 

During the last days of the Balkan War in the summer of 1995, Anthony, a hapless American questioning the dot-com values that allow him to live a pampered existence in San Francisco, agrees to join Gisela, a beauty he barely knows, in a search for her son, lost in a Hungarian orphanage. In Budapest they meet Marsh, a brilliant but frustrated British war

Overview

During the last days of the Balkan War in the summer of 1995, Anthony, a hapless American questioning the dot-com values that allow him to live a pampered existence in San Francisco, agrees to join Gisela, a beauty he barely knows, in a search for her son, lost in a Hungarian orphanage. In Budapest they meet Marsh, a brilliant but frustrated British war correspondent. Anthony thinks he has found in Eastern Europe what his former life was missing: enterprising young people openly questioning U.S. values, determined to remake their own world. But when an odd and edgy love triangle emerges and he discovers his mission with Gisela is much darker than he imagined, Anthony is thrown further in flux. Moving from the tattered romanticism of Budapest, through the sparkling Dalmatian coast, and into the brutalized landscape of inland Croatia, the novel takes a shocking turn of irreversible consequence.
Radiant Days is held taut in the voice of Anthony, whose desire to experience a more serious (and thrilling) life leaves injury in its wake. With a swift plot and seamless style, Michael FitzGerald delivers a story of unattainable love, misplaced lust, and the politics of compassion.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
FitzGerald's quiet debut centers on Anthony, a Gen X-er slacking away at a meaningless but remunerative Web producer job in dot-com-boom San Francisco. Anthony's life takes an unexpected turn when he meets Hungarian bartender Gisela at a local watering hole. Beautifully irresistible (and entirely untrustworthy) in the manner of all foreign femme fatales, Gisela quickly persuades him to travel with her to Hungary, supposedly so that she can be reunited with her missing son. In Budapest, the two meet jaded British war correspondent Marsh, a Graham Greene-like character who becomes the third leg in a rapidly evolving love triangle. Anthony spends his time just as purposelessly in Hungary as he did in California, though there are more lengthy sociopolitical and philosophical discussions to be had. Were it not for his glimmers of self-awareness, Anthony might be just another unbearable ugly American. The machinations of love between the bewitching Gisela, the dunderheaded Anthony and the fatigued and fatiguing Marsh aren't fully explored, though the novel's consideration of the Balkan conflicts may be compelling to some readers. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal

This skillfully written debut relates the dramatic journey of a young, San Francisco-based computer professional named Anthony. Easily seduced by beautiful Hungarian bartender Gisela, he agrees to travel with her to Hungary to find the son she abandoned in an orphanage. It soon becomes clear to Anthony that Gisela's journey is strictly a commercial venture to locate children for a black-market adoption agency so that she can pay off her debts and support a growing drug habit. Their journey then leads to the Dalmatian coast and the war-torn Balkans. There, Anthony temporarily leaves Gisela and joins British war correspondent Marsh, who is then killed by sniper fire while covering a story, leaving Anthony more puzzled than heartbroken. In many ways, Anthony's character symbolizes the face of America: he is insensitive to anything beyond his own pleasures and, unlike Marsh, incapable of finding "something worth dying for." Scenes of sexual cruelty and drug addiction are woven into a thoughtful if uncomfortable depiction of the spiritual bankruptcy of Americans. A gripping narrative that calls for self-examination, this is recommended for all collections.
—David A. Berona Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781593761318
Publisher:
Counterpoint Press
Publication date:
01/28/2007
Pages:
246
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.72(d)

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