Some Books Aren’t For Reading
For a desperate man like Martin, books aren't just for reading.
Mitchell Fourchette is on a mission to retrieve his priceless, first-edition copy of The Old Man and the Sea, inscribed on the flyleaf by Papa Hemingway himself. He unearthed it at the bottom of a bin of castoffs at a thrift store in Anaheim, and then Helmet-Head, Mitchell’s moped-driving book-scout competitor and nemesis, filched it. How, after an auspicious start at Hotchkiss and Yale, then a great job in advertising and a loving young family did Mitchell manage to lose it all and fall so far from grace? That is something that he can’t help but contemplate while crusading through the dark recesses of Los Angeles as he struggles to retrieve his treasured book from a dishevelled, moped-driving Moriarty.
'Storytelling like T.C. Boyle, characters worthy of Robert Stone. Howard Marc Chesley creates compelling drama from everyday events, turning the life of an internet bookseller into a thriller. I couldn't stop reading.'
David Webb Peoples, Writer of Blade Runner and Unforgiven
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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Really enjoyed this book. Great plot and engaging, believable characters. I was drawn right into the story. Would definitely recommend. ~ Christine Riege (Reviewer) h, NetGalley
If you love books like I do, you will love this novel. The character development is awesome, the story is brilliant, and I loved every word of it! Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ~ Beth Smith, NetGalley
An experienced screen-writer, Howard Marc Chesley was once told that he should be writing novels. Some Books Aren’t For Reading is his response to that challenge. As I said, it’s very readable and extremely moving in parts. Mitchell feels very real. His nemesis, Helmut Head, is an exaggerated contrast. A certain plot twist involving Helmut Head feels more like something for the screen, but is nevertheless full of entertainment value. Despite my anxieties, I thoroughly enjoyed the chapters relating to the technology bubble. (I was there in 1999 fixing COBOL issues.) I’ve never read The Old Man and The Sea, but now I might. I’m pretty sure its significance here isn’t limited to the loss of a potential first edition. Some books may not be for reading, but this one is made for re-reading once my encounter with Hemingway’s tale is complete. Full review at: https://lizzysiddal.wordpress.com/2019/04/09/some-books-arent-for-reading-howard-marc-chesley/ ~ Lizzy Siddal, LIZZY'S LITERARY LIFE
All hail the return of the Feckless Hero...i confess that this is probably my favourite type of protagonist. Not for me the tall, dark, and suave; nor the billionaire; not even the wild adventurer. Give me Mr. Admittedly Imperfect , well-meaning but frequently failing, striving for stability and good intentions in the midst of a chaotic, random, universe. Also, I have a fondness for booksellers. (Smile) Here we have both, in an endearing, likable, but never perfect protagonist. ~ Mallory Haws, NetGalley
I completely fell under this books spell and cannot stress enough how exquisite the writing is in this story - you really have to read it to feel the masterful ebb and flow of words that Mr. Chesley effortlessly employs. Martin found an eternal place in my heart as we journeyed together. Helmet-Head was less likeable and as we learn more about who he is and where he came from, we recognise his coldness for the defence mechanisms that they are. Saying I loved Some Books Aren't for Reading is an understatement. The plot is fresh and unique, the book is everything a thought-provoking, emotional, and heartfelt book should be and I am a fan of Howard Marc Chesley for life after reading it. ~ Shelley Stiff , NetGalley
SOME BOOKS AREN'T FOR READING demonstrates how quickly a life can spin out of control. The books anti-hero is not blameless, but his downward spiral is quick and merciless. It was well written all types of emotions were expressed by the few quirky characters as friends and competitors of the principal character and his nemesis emerged as the most interesting person in the book. There was change, but more due to chance than to "work" on the part of our featured character. Perhaps this is the way life is--we muddle along, make mistakes, and find our way through them without any particular virtue on our part. ~ Norika Heathdale, NetGalley
This was great due to all the unexpected story lines and twists and turns. It was well written all types of emotions were expressed by the well developed characters. To tell more about why I found it so good would mean I spoiled it. ~ Joan Whitney , NetGalley
There's plenty to talk about here -- changing what we value, keeping what we cherish, what we blame on fate and what is our own fault. Thought-provoking. ~ Angela Reisetter , NetGalley
Some Books Aren't For Reading is the American male’s contemporary literary odyssey. It was great reading something about average contemporary guys enjoying literacy. I couldn’t stop reading this gem of a book and I hope it gets a wider range of readers! ~ Michael Berquist , NetGalley
A rollicking tale by Howard Chesley, about a book scout who loses his prize signed copy of "The Old Man and the Sea" and goes on an Ahab-like journey to get it back, burrowing deep into the bookseller subculture of L.A. like a spelunker into a dark cave. A great first novel by a skilful storyteller supreme! ~ Lucian Truscott IV, Salon Magazine
Story telling like T.C. Boyle, characters worthy of Robert Stone. Howard Marc Chesley draws you into a world of seemingly ordinary people who are seething and boiling on the inside as they struggle in a world of yard sales, internet trading and parenthood. Creating compelling drama from everyday events, he turns the life of an internet bookseller into a thriller. I couldn't stop reading. ~ David Webb Peoples, writer of Blade Runner and Unforgiven
Deep yearning, perseverance and love of family underlie the sparkling prose, the dark humor and compounding ironies of this startling first novel. It’s wonderfully appropriate that it all happens in Los Angeles, the fool’s paradise that brought you the trope “It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. ~ Richard Tuggle, Writer of Escape from Alcatraz
Howard Chesley has written a provocative “Bicycle Thief”-like odyssey through an LA underworld you never dreamed existed. Compulsive reading. What a debut! ~ William Stadiem, writer, columnist
As a long-time bookseller I’m impressed by the genuineness and detail of this breezy trip through the streets of LA in the eccentric company of book scouts, pickers and bibliophiles. As a lover of smart novels, I’m just knocked out by how strong, deep and moving a story underlies the fun. Just a great read. ~ Esaias Baitel, Eliabooks LLC booksellers