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.

Gabriel says:


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!


  1. Gabriel can really write, we have seen that many times.
    I will certainly buy this book as soon as possible.
    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Now I have seen the interview too.
    So of course I must say: To see Gabriel as an interviewer.
    is great and interesting.
    It is really good that Gabriel take on different kind of work, and it looks like he is good at everything he does.

    • I agree! I think he sits “on the other side of the table” quite well. But what I secretly (!) hope is that he himself is writing now. Book 2 has fans already. He just needs to write it! :-)

  3. And I secretly hope that they will make a movie about this book and that they will give Gabriel the role as Jim. He would be perfect in the role except that he maybe is a bit young for it. But I guess they could solve that with making him old with some make up.

    Gabriel as an intelligent salesman and seducer just has to be, well just that: seducing and perfect.

  4. By the way Stella:

    Gabriel should absolutely write his book number two now.
    He is really good at writing!
    Maybe we should make a campaign or petition and send to his agent and ask her to ask him to write?

    Pictures in my head ; part 2

    We are ready for that book!


    This is also an interesting interview with Fred about The Dream Merchant.
    No Gabriel in it, but it is good!

  6. I have only just managed to watching this interview- a very intelligent interviewer and good listener, as in his role in In Treatment!

  7. I love him ,I love how he talks, I love his sonde while talks ,I love his Irish accent ,I love how he make me love him more than before like every time I see him, If anything is deeper than this word I would say it and right it but I don’t think there is any words can express how I , we feel about Gabriel just saying. wish to know Byrneholics sooner than now knowing you Stella to everyday I admire what you do for Gabriel for us for this website and If you read what I wrote plz back to us very soon to full this emptiness that I feel.

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