Some weeks ago, I have read the novel by a friend of mine, Jim N3BB, as titled above. It took me almost a year to read it through. It was not because the novel had been boring or difficult. On the contrary, I have enjoyed every phrase and every chapter of this novel as if I have lived together with the hero. It has been my favorite nightcap for months.
The story is a kind of biography of a young man named Jimmy who has grown up in West Virginia in '50s. The back ground is the age when the US was growing economically and people were hopeful for the future. It describes not only on his young days but also on his grand parents and parents as well as his later years in life. The main theme is still his young days.
The life style in the US those days was pretty different from ours. The young fellows were enjoying much more wealthy lives than we were. The society was different from ours as well. For an example, we have not had the segregation issue in our young days. We have not enjoyed such a dance party with pop music as Jimmy and his company played the band at, either. But what Jimmy has felt and acted in his life looked a reality to me. The touch and expression of writing are so fresh and vivid that we could not help feeling sympathizing with Jimmy. This novel makes us recall of our young days for sure. Since I have known the author, Jim, through ham radio for years and even have met him in person in Tokyo years ago, I felt quite close to Jimmy in the novel, who must be, at least partially, reflecting his young days.
As a novel, even though I am not good at literature at all, every scene or event in this novel looks like a separate chapter in a drama itself. That technique in writing grasps our mind. You might feel as if you were at the scene it describes by yourself. Together with the author's proficiency in writing for each character in the novel, feeling of existence at each scene which readers might have is a great fascination to me. The author uses the present form of verb in the sentences. It also stresses this feeling.
As with our real lives, Jimmy's life has been composed of a variety of textiles. School, friends, work, family, music, ham radio, social problems, automobile, love with girl, marriage, own family and so forth. The main thing seems to be the relationship with his father. He could not accept the way of living of his father until the last day of his father's life. But, in the end, he seems to reach reconciliation with his father, exactly the way of his father's life, even though his father has already passed away at that moment. I guess it was to be reconciled with his own life itself, if I read it right. Everyone always have something bitter and painful in one's life like a basso continuo. Jimmy seemed to be settled down with this issue at last.
I am sure this novel would give you a chance to reflect your own life while following experiences Jimmy has had. I would recommend anyone to read it.
I am afraid I would be laughed at by Jim in our next QSO who might tell me I have greatly misunderstood this novel. Who knows? It is still a fact that I have enjoyed it to the depth of my heart.
You may purchase the book here or Amazon.