Anthony Rizzo’s girlfriend Andy has just broken up with him. He’s a few months away from finishing his undergraduate degree in psychology, a feat which has taken him somewhat longer than the allotted four years. The fact that he is adhering to a strict regimen of drugs, alcohol, and sleepless nights isn’t helping matters. As he himself is quick to point out, he is in no hurry to join the job market and the “real world.” Anthony has become disillusioned, if not disgusted, with college, and with Pittsburgh, where he has spent the last twenty-two years of his life. Despite his self destructive behavior, he will graduate in a matter of months…and he isn’t quite sure what will come next. Transitional Period is an examination of the current college lifestyle. It deals with some extremely difficult subject matter frankly and honestly, including socially accepted binge drinking, drug use, and the complexities and duties of friendship. It is in turns funny, painful, and thought provoking, and sometimes all three simultaneously.
The Woods is set in the fictional town of Feral, West Virginia, a rural community with a modest population. Tad Surrey is the middle child of the family, sandwiched between older brother Casey and younger sister Daisy. Casey is athletic and popular, while Daisy is intelligent but withdrawn, possessing artistic tendencies but virtually no desire for social interaction with her peers. She lives away from the rest of the family, cloistered in the attic of the farmhouse in which they live. Tad himself is also a loner, finding most in common with his younger sister, and choosing to spend much of his time playing solitary games of his own invention in the woods on and around the Surrey property. It is deep in the woods where Tad feels himself inexplicably drawn one day, pulled like a magnet to a certain spot, far off the beaten paths with which he is familiar. There, he encounters a dapperly dressed man who calls himself Daddy, speaks in riddles, and whose very existence becomes a mystery into which Tad is drawn, sometimes against his will, sometimes with an eagerness that frightens and perplexes him. From this first meeting between these two very dissident minds and lifestyles, a complex chain of events starts to unravel, beginning with a cautious, hesitant friendship, and ending in discordance that could very well rip the Surrey family apart at the seams. Along the way, there is somnambulism, magic, a party of legendarily epic scope, and a mystery going back over fifty years. Who is Daddy, and how did he and his friend Stitch come to be living in the decaying mansion in the woods? That is the question that Tad must answer, if he is ever to have a hope of a normal life again. The Woods is at its core a novel about what ties a family together. It is about the challenge to that family by an outside influence, and it is about the collision of worlds and world views that are so fundamentally different that they were never meant to touch on one another. It is about whether the bonds of that family will prove strong enough to draw them together against adversity, in the face of this lurking, unknown threat. The protagonist, Tad Surrey, is at a crucial time in his life, on the cusp between innocence and experience, but what he may end up experiencing, if things are not put right, could very well be the end of him.
Fear the Darkness, Shun the Light
Greenwich, Connecticut. New York City. Saskatchewan. Rural Kentucky. Terror is everywhere…from the frozen Canadian wastes to America’s heartland, in settings rural and urban, it afflicts equally the wealthy and privileged, the downtrodden and despondent. It comes in the form of a supernatural ravager, hellbent on revenge, a freak weather event that occurs at the worst possible time, a reanimated corpse who refuses to lie quiet. It strikes seemingly at random, without rhyme or reason…or does it? In this collection of short stories by acclaimed author Steven Finkelstein, you must judge for yourself. Are the subjects of these tales the victims of no more than cruel happenstance, or were they somehow singled out for turmoil and woe? Consider carefully, and keep a weather eye open as you do…what moves in the corner might be more than shadows. It makes sense to fear the darkness, for what might be lurking there…but the light must be equally shunned, for its radiance might reveal something that was better left hidden.
Hell to Pay
Marlow Heatherton, degenerate gambler, is in deep to the Russian mafia. When he skips town, it sets off a chain of events that will cause chaos and bloodshed from Westchester County to Brighton Beach, from Asbury Park to Bushwick, from Atlantic City to a rest stop on the New Jersey turnpike. Along the way, police, bounty hunters, and criminals of all stripes will be pulled into the vortex. Who will come out on top? Who will walk away from the carnage at all?
Rogue: Time Out of Mind
On the planet Everos, a young boy, Trill, is being raised along the eastern shoreline of Funderling, one of two principle continents, by Balthus, his aging warrior father. They live in the shadow of the Sea of Colors, a hypnotic, swirling mass, about which little is known, but much is speculated. While Balthus is away, Trill is kidnapped by raiders, forcing the father to pick up arms again, and embark on a desperate rescue mission. But there is a secret about these raiders that neither father nor son will be able to believe. Meanwhile, on the other side of Funderling, in the stark, pitiless mountain range the Sheer Teeth, a nameless orphan is being raised by the much-feared cult of assassins called the Dark Sky Brotherhood. Being schooled in the deadly arts, he has a part to play in the bloody history that will shortly be written. His life is intertwined with that of Trill…though neither boy knows it yet. The first volume of the Rogue series follows the events that lead these two youths to become the anti-heroes of a chaotic time in their planet’s history. From opposite ends of Funderling, they must eventually meet in the middle…in the Capital, The High Seat, where their destinies will be revealed to them by the half-mad wizard, Mentor, who has orchestrated their pairing. This novel is an introduction to the world of Everos, and some of the denizens which dwell there. It is a place of myth and monster, of magic and steel, of revelation and deceit…a place of high adventure.
You Never Know Who's Crazy
This memoir is a brutally honest, take-no-prisoners, nonfiction account of the author’s experiences while working in the security industry in New York City, for parts of the years 2009 and 2010. Dividing time between his personal and professional life, it covers several major events and misadventures, including the move to New York from South Carolina, his “business casual” wedding, a death in the family, and memorable encounters with many unsavory denizens of the Rotten Apple. Written in first-person, in Steven’s inimitable style, along with running commentary that reveals much about his values and world views, this is a rare glimpse into the mind of a blue-collar author whose writing harkens back to Charles Bukowski. Thinking of moving to New York? Consider this to be required reading…some might stay the course, after finishing this series of reminiscences, but far more are likely to reconsider their plans. You’re soon to find out that in the world’s most famous metropolis, You Never Know Who’s Crazy.
A Long, Slow Burn
Here is the novella A Long, Slow Burn, as well as seven of the author’s favorite short stories, collected and presented together for the first time ever. They encompass ten years of short but inspired fiction, and while their tone and content varies, together they present a unique voice, and a unique vision.
Driving Fast in the Slow Lane
This essay collection includes material written over a ten-year period, much of it previously unreleased. It’s a whirlwind of the author’s personal reflections…here are stories about Finkelstein’s early life in Cincinnati, his later years in Pittsburgh, and his time spent in South Carolina and New York. The diversity of the content is matched only by its humor and insight. Some of the topics discussed include local and national politics, America’s relationship with Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Israel, marijuana legalization, prostitution, race relations, social media, friendship, marriage, and isolation. There are essays about Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger, Lawrence Taylor, Michael Bloomberg, Anthony Weiner, Paula Deen, Glenn Beck, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams, and James Gandolfini. This is a treasure trove of opinions and anecdotes…never before has the author addressed his readership so frankly and personally. This is truly a must-have for Finkelstein fans, as much of a manifesto as the author has ever produced.