The Incredible Charlie Jones by Ben Harrison
Readers, we have gone through many different subjects where this incredible performer, artist, author, and gallery owner is concerned. Ben Harrison is actually one of the few remaining people in the world who knows what Jack Palance meant in the movie City Slickers. What do I mean? I mean when Jack played a cowboy named Curly and said that there was ‘one thing’ that life was all about. And if you understood what that ‘one thing’ was, you were set. Well, Ben Harrison found that ‘one thing‘ which seems almost impossible for others to find. For him, that ‘one thing’ seems to be – enjoy life! Period. His background is full of stories and talents and skills that are too numerous to count, and he has the incredible ability to pass this ‘love of life’ on to others.
The newest way he is accomplishing this is by releasing a seriously amazing story titled, Charlie Jones, which people have been talking about profusely over the internet. Not only does Charlie Jones focus on social, cultural, and family life in the post WWII time period, but it is also set in Corpus Christi, Texas – and everything is bigger, better, and more special in the Lone Star State. Ben Harrison is certainly able to give Charlie Jones the ‘truthful’ appeal, seeing as that he wrote about where he grew up, and the time that was both intriguing and transforming after the war had come to an end.
Everything was different then. The time period had seen a monster exit the world, and there was a sense of pride and peace in the U.S. of A. – where each and every American was beyond thrilled that their boys had come home (some of them, at least), and that the world could now get back on a calm, peaceful keel.
Per Ben Harrison’s own words: “I think it’s a good story about growing up, coming of age, and the eternal question of what’s important. And, surprise! There’s a boat, a musician, and art involved. When I was eighteen, I worked as a roughneck on an oil rig so there is an oil man, too.”
In addition, Ben Harrison was able to get a ‘gift’ that this writer (as well as many authors) would kill for. He met the incredible Judy Blume, who is to books what Socrates was to Greece (and for you younger crowd, what Edward is to “Twilight”). Ms. Blume gave him some pointers on writing as well as how to ‘spice things up a bit,’ and Charlie Jones certainly brings fantastic writing and ‘spice’ to the masses.
As this writer went to the site: http://amzn.com/B005R1AW2I – I began to read the beginning of this novel and it hooked me almost instantaneously. Not only for plot and subject matter, but for the sparkle that you could actually see in this boy’s eye as he continued to grow, expand, and learn about the world around him. You almost felt as if you were in Texas, experiencing the ‘largeness’ of their families, hearts, and beliefs.
Now this is a first ‘attempt’ at fiction for Ben Harrison and quite frankly, after you go to the above site and read ten pages, you will be writing to the author and telling him that fiction is most definitely the way he should go. In fact, you will probably like this book so much that you will want Ben Harrison to dump all of his other careers – including the fantastic music he has written and performed – in order to bring more characters like Charlie Jones to the marketplace. (God knows we could use them).
His nonfiction work is also stunning. You see, Undying Love (originally released by St. Martin’s Press/True Crime division; now available through Ketch & Yawl Publishing) is also on Kindle, and is a weird work of art. Yes, the subject matter is beyond creepy but, then again, real life usually is. Undying Love speaks of a “relationship” between human and dead human which should become a plot to a pretty amazing movie, if I do say so myself.
And the idea, per Ben Harrison, came along when he was reading A Key West Companion, which is a tourist guide book, and a chapter was in there regarding the bizarre love von Cosel, the faux Count, had for the terminally ill Elena Hoyos. This darkly humorous true story was so outrageous yet, so weirdly touching, that Ben immediately began composing, “The Ballad of María Elena Hoyos.” At that time, Ben Harrison was playing at The Bull on Duval Street, here he now lives in Key West, and much to his surprise, it became the song he was requested to play the most.
Then, a so-called “friend” suggested and encouraged him to write the musical, Undying Love. As he stated: “Daily, I would walk around town with our newborn second child on my back and imagine myself as one of the characters, trying to put myself in their shoes and walk the same streets they walked. There were still a lot of people living here who remembered them which helped a great deal. Invariably, they got a twinkle in their eyes recalling the 1930’s when there was no work due to the depression, plenty of food from the sea, cigars and rum from Cuba, and no shortage of housing. Had it not been for mosquitoes, it would have been perfect.”
I review books 24/7, and have for most of the last five years. I have read all genres, makes and models – so to speak – and I can honestly recommend Charlie Jones and Undying Love with all my heart. As I said, the nonfiction work is perfect for a movie that no one has ever done before. But with Charlie Jones, I can say that very few times does a book come along that is about family, growing up, and becoming a person who truly has that amazing outlook on life.
Yet again, you will find very early on that Ben Harrison most definitely knows just what that ‘one thing’ is, and he’s making sure to share it with the rest of us!
Until Next Time, Everybody.
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