Frankie Jones is searching for something-something elusive.
Abandoned as an infant by his father, orphaned after his mother died when he was a child, Frankie grows up tough, edgy, and street smart. The quintessential self-made man, he lives life to the fullest.
Frankie becomes a journalist, hoping to be the next great American writer. While in Boston, he meets Mercedes Brewster. Refined, sophisticated, and from a prominent New England family, she is the complete opposite of Frankie. He can't help falling for her, but can he keep his wanderlust in check?
Yet, it is the American Dream that Frankie seeks more than anything. Get the career. Get the success. And most importantly, get the girl. In California, Frankie becomes friends with Owen Brookes. Gutsy, brazen, and at times reckless, Owen is Frankie's alter ego. It is Owen who challenges Frankie's belief in the American Dream. Will either of them achieve what they want? What must they give up in pursuit? Some lessons you learn the hard way, but it is how you react in the face of adversity that ultimately matters. Frankie Jones is a rich tapestry of hope, love, friendship, and betrayal-a story of life itself.
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.47(d)|
About the Author
J. R. Klein holds a doctoral degree in Immunology from Johns Hopkins University. He has published over a hundred and fifty articles in scholarly journals and mainstream magazines. His travels have taken him through four continents and into more than two-dozen countries. He lives and works in Houston, Texas, with his wife.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (09/17) “Frankie Jones” by J.R. Klein is a wonderful, thought-provoking novel about one man and his quest for the American Dream. Frankie Jones had a rough start in life, but he used that experience to propel him forward. Left on his own at an early age, he chose a path that enabled him to work in a diner while saving money to take off and explore the world. One of the employees at the diner became a surrogate father to Frankie. As he traveled, Frankie’s relationship with this man seemed to help him feel like he maintained somewhat of an anchor to a home. While traveling, Frankie studies the great classics, which adds to his worldliness. Upon returning to the United States, he comes home to a great loss, however, he continues to propel himself forward and get a higher education. He quickly becomes a successful journalist. His rough past and his more sophisticated present give Frankie the ability to blend into any environment so that he can observe and write the real story about what is happening. Falling in love with a magnificent woman creates a quandary for Frankie, because when wanderlust strikes him and he hits the road again, he must live with wondering about what could have been if he had stayed. When Frankie gets settled in a new place, his experiences teach him a great deal about the importance of living in the present, but one experience shows him that doing this can also cause others a great deal of pain and disappointment. The author, J.R. Klein, has a gift for creating a story that not only allows the reader to step into and enjoy the ride, but also take a step back and consider the thought provoking ramifications of rash decisions. I think most of us have a bit of Frankie Jones in us. While we might not take off to explore the world, there is a part of us that would like to untether ourselves, pack a small bag and go. While I found myself relating to Frankie, and cheering him on, I also got to see how he was affected by his choices, especially as he matured. Thought-provoking material! I highly recommend “Frankie Jones” by J.R. Klein for readers who enjoy a good escape, but know that they will be pulled back into reality at the end.
J.R. Klein's thought-provoking debut zeroes in on a young man's search for happiness. Frankie Jones is your atypical sort of guy. Frankie's life takes a drastic turn when by age nine he is sent to an orphanage soon after his mom's unforeseen death. Released from the orphanage by age sixteen, Frankie is fortunate to land a job in a diner, as well as meet Cecil, the diner's short-order cook. A deep relationship between Cecil and his wife Betty develops, and for the first time Frankie is certain that this is what family must feel like. Over the next many months, Frankie accrues enough cash to travel around the world. Leaving his cushioned environs, Frankie explores the seven continents for the next two years. By age eighteen, Frankie is already a well-rounded individual—having been shaped by street smarts, massive amounts of reading, learning a couple languages, as well as a multitude of worldly experiences. But upon his return to the states, Frankie learns that Cecil has died and his family, broken. Restlessness seizes him and Frankie heads from Saint Louis to Chicago. Despite his lack of high school credentials, Frankie convinces a Northwestern University dean that he is college material. His journalism degree lands him a job at the Chicago Tribune. Restlessness seizes him again and Frankie makes his way to Boston working for the Boston Globe. It is there that he meets Mercedes Brewster, a woman whose background is diametrically opposed to Frankie's lackluster familial upbringing. Nonetheless, the two fall in love, but obviously not enough for Frankie to stay when restlessness creeps in once again and he heads off to San Diego—this time working for the San Diego Sun. Frankie develops a close relationship with Owen Brooks, one of his working buddies, and starts a new romance with another woman. Although there are memorable moments, Frankie can't help but reflect on his life, especially the unresolved conflict from the one true love of his life—Mercedes Brewster. Klein presents a story that touches on many facets of the human condition. Keeping to a slow-moving pace, the overarching plot theme calls attention to a person's hopes and dreams for a better life and this constant yearning for greener grass. In the case of Klein's principle character, life hands Frankie a box of lemons. Yet somehow, someway Frankie manages to turn the bitter fruit into lemonade—at least it appears that way. Everything about Frankie's unfortunate familial beginnings statistically dictates that he should be poor, uneducated, and struggling to survive. Yet he defies that stereotype. What Frankie represents is the American poster child who believes that if he works hard enough, he will succeed—a common belief that is not only tightly woven into the concept of the American dream, but also inherent in every single person that calls the US their home. Using Frankie as narrator, Klein's plot displays a man who does an immense amount of philosophizing, and rightfully so since Frankie is a relatively young man who still has many unanswered questions about life. Frankie is only one in a relatively small but highly defined cast. Klein sets his inimitable characters within a balanced mix of aptly clichéd and totally un-clichéd yet tense scenes that incorporates engaging dialogue sprinkled with romance—all of which slowly leads up to one surprise ending. Quill says: A stunning debut, Frankie Jones is a must read by all.