The time is the near future, a few years out. Every state has an active secessionist group. Walker Beale, marketing executive at computer games company Xynapse, faces the outsourcing of the company’s core—the Games Division, including his best friend. Violence, factional and random, is droning from the media. Walker, known by his friends to be a little off center, feels it all howling through him like a wild wind.
Under the Nevada night sky he receives a vision. He will leave Xynapse and build out a space—a circular wall bejeweled with mica and glass and shards of mirror from the old MGM Grand, a circle of power for eight hundred cars, a classic drive-in theater—and with it, a rescue of a time.
Walker puts everyone dearest to him in jeopardy and sets a collision course with the forces of his time. As darkness falls and the white fusillade of light hits the screen of the Ring of Stars, the country is speeding away from him into civil war.
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About the Author
Richard Sanford came of age in the sixties in a small town in the Deep South suspended in time and haunted with stories. In Chicago, he was an editor of Banyan Press, which published and hosted readings by Charles Wright, Sandra Cisneros, Galway Kinnell, and many others. He is the author of four published novels, poetry, short stories, and a play. Today he makes his home in the Pacific Northwest, east of Seattle. Novels • Ring of Stars • Long Time Gone • Roadkill • The Calling
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Walker Beale, a marketing executive at a computer games company, had a remarkable memory—especially of going to drive-in theaters with his parents, lying on the hood of their car, and feeling the projector light over them as if it was a huge white river. He even remembered the smells that came from the concession stands, like those in county fairs. He recalled hitting baseballs in the back yard. And all of this while feeling perfectly safe. Walker yearned for that time when kids could walk alone and go to the corner for a root beer float and safely make it home. That was better than the evening news reporting: “Two shot on the North side.” There were a lot of drive-ins in that era, and there was a general spirit of kindness and generosity. People helped each other out, and that orientation of peacefulness and cooperation was America. No looking over your shoulder. Just looking forward to going to the drive-in. Then one day at his company, Walker was informed that the creative, stimulating work he had been doing was going to be outsourced to another company. The company was going in a different direction, a very dark direction. Its new goals were out of sync with Walker’s, and he felt it as a death of a kind. If he remained and went along with the new agenda, he felt he would be guilty by association. He made a difficult but courageous decision; he would leave the company and build a drive-in movie theater as a way of getting back to an earlier time… a community of consciousness, not turf, not political ads or attacks. Where people would not have to worry about their kids or friends being the latest victims of random acts of violence, where intelligence and good intentions meant everything. For Walker, the drive-in was much more than a movie venue, it was the full experience, a way of getting back to a place in the heart. This is one of the most thought-provoking novels I have read. It is a call to all of us in this land to stop the violence, the assassinations, that have overtaken our culture. Thank you, Mr. Sanford, for reminding us of what could be.