Joleen: A Novel

Joleen: A Novel

by Ed Bach

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Overview

After a ten-year absence, Ed Bach, author of the controversial collection of short stories, So Long, Charlie, delivers his latest and most complex novel to date, Joleen. Bachs latest work is an unsentimental look at two people struggling to make sense of the world, the beautiful but mentally unbalanced, Joleen Simmons and her clinging, colorless husband, Hush Simmons.
Entering high school, Joleen becomes an immediate sensation. She is sweet, charming and very beautiful. But that sweet high school introduction abruptly ends when a lurid side of Joleen reveals itself and she is abruptly snubbed by her many friends. In college, Joleen joins a well-respected theatrical group where her natural gifts bring immediate success. She quickly maneuvers to the top only to blow it when she is given the lead in the schools featured play and is laughed from the stage. Rejected, she takes a job she hates. She becomes restless and marries a man she will soon regret. She torments her daughter yet confides in a sister who continually betrays her. She bullies her mother yet adores a womanizing, drunken father. She performs whorishly in bed with a husband she refuses to kiss.
Reminiscent of April Wheeler in Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road, Joleen Simmons is a woman thrust into a life she neither wants nor accepts. No one can say for certain if Joleen is a complete nut case, mentally unbalanced, crazy, or simply someone so broken by the events of her past that she unashamedly torments and manipulates her way through life.
And what of Hush Simmons, the fawning high school friend Joleen marries, divorces, then quickly lures back into bed? Is it her natural beauty that drives him to the limits of his own sanity? Her superior upbringing? Her familys wealth? Or is it Joleens raunchy behavior that steals his personal identity and turns him into a man he no longer recognizes, someone so corrupted by his wifes physical aggression that he loses sight of who he is and what he has become, a murderer?
From the author of So Long, Charlie, Bach delivers an existential examination into the lives of two people at war with each other and themselves, a couple so riddled with childhood memories that their present actions only serve to drive them further and further apart. Bach offers no answers to lifes greater mysteries. Instead he brings to mind questions the reader may wonder about for years.
While the story and its many characters are fictionalized, the storys central plot, is real.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781532042744
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/14/2018
Pages: 702
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

In his seminal work, Joleen, Ed Bach pulls heavily from his own life experiences to create a sobering but honest look at life as it is truly lived. To Bach, nothing is more offensive than wading through the first hundred pages of a novel and realizing the book has been contrived through the authors imagination. Readers know the real thing when they see it, according to Bach. Fiction is either genuine or it is fantasy. Writing in this vain, Joleen becomes Mr. Bachs imaginary tale of good intensions gone bad, a story of two poorly matched people colliding with the freedom of choice. It is simply an existential look at living with what is rather than what if.
After creating his own company, Bach spent his professional life developing, managing and owning shopping centers in and around Southern California. Retiring at the age of 43, Bach served on the staff of Cal State University Fullerton where he taught courses in economics and international trade. At the age of 60, Bach retired, and in the tradition of Ernest Hemingway, pursued his love of writing and a passion for marlin-fishing off the California coast. This adventurous spirt in Bach has given authenticity to his life and to his work, especially those harrowing moments at sea toward the end of his latest work, Joleen.

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