You might know Fred Waitzkin for his book Searching For Bobby Fischer, which was made into a highly-regarded film with Sir Ben Kingsley.
Mr. Waitzkin has a new book out now and Gabriel Byrne traveled to Cambridge, Mass. to interview him about it.
Synopsis of The Dream Merchant
Fred Waitzkin’s first novel is a powerful, sexy, and exquisitely written heart-of-darkness tale of an unusually gifted, irrepressible and indefatigable salesman who must find redemption in his old age.
The Dream Merchant explores the capacity of a good person to do bad things. Jim is a charismatic and caring, yet increasingly flawed salesman who becomes an addicted gambler, womanizer and criminal as he wins over countless people through his charms and a series of financial scams. Just as quickly as his fortunes rise, he loses everything, leaving people ruined in his wake. Eventually he becomes a modern Lord Jim, operating a lawless and violent gold mining operation in the Brazilian jungle south of Manaus. As an old man, he meets Mara, a beautiful young Israeli woman with dark ambitions of her own. Young Mara is the embodiment of that gaudy heedless time in the Amazon, and her ulterior motives are acceptable to Jim, dark as they turn out to be. In the process of their unlikely life together the girl finds herself turned on by this old man, as if his profligate history of glory and big money, and finally his weakness and proximity to death in her embrace, create an urgency that is erotically charged.
Narrated by a writer equally mesmerized and, at times, repulsed by this larger-than-life character, the novel recalls classics by Hemingway and Fitzgerald, Marquez and Roth.
Visit Mr. Waitzkin’s website to learn more about him and his previous work.
You can purchase the book at Amazon USA (hardcover and Kindle editions) and also read excerpts, including the first chapter of the book.
Many thanks to @drturpin for the heads up on this Saturday morning treat!