Welcome to the world of David Lazar, the world of doubt and self-doubt, where life is lived as a novel and a novel is truer than life.
At twilight of one’s life, mortality is no longer an abstract notion. David Lazar, now in his eighties, feels the need to piece together the arc of his life. Lazar’s thoughts drift from his happy childhood on Manhattan’s Upper West Side—his mother a child psychologist, his father a celebrated cantor—to his many friends and the women he had loved and lost, until he met Elizabeth Dunn, his soulmate and the mother of his teenage son. He has a decision to make…
For many years, he lived two lives and he still harbours a deep secret. Haunted by his past, troubled by the indignities of aging, Lazar feels a deep need to redeem himself. Did he sear his soul in order to make millions? Is there any redemption for wealth based on corruption and, sometimes, violent crime? If he is completely honest, does he risk losing what he cherishes the most: the love and respect of his wife and his only son?
The stakes are high as Lazar finishes his confession, exposing his personal demons, knowing that Elizabeth will soon discover the man he once was. And yet the wisdom of age pushes him on this perilous journey into his own soul, the soul of a gifted but flawed man who might lose much more than he’s ever won.
Many colourful and eccentric characters populate the novel: Lazar’s childhood friends, business mentors, wealthy associates, mafia figures, celebrities, and sports stars. But there is another character in the book, almost as important as Lazar himself – the Big Apple. New York City happenings, politics, culture, and locales from the 1950s up to the present day come alive in the novel because that unique and fascinating city is his cradle and his cauldron.
Blurring the lines between memoir and fiction, Robert Kalich narrates the story of a man who bears much resemblance to the author himself. But Kalich the Novelist defeats narcissism by exposing brutal realities of his character’s life and the uncomfortable, sometimes even unsavoury truths of one’s innermost being. Isn’t it a moral function of literature to reveal a human heart and hold up the mirror to the reader, so he might recognise himself and experience another’s inner world with empathy?
About Robert Kalich
“Awesome honesty, pacing and reflection. The best book I’ve read in a long while.” —Susan Braudy, Pulitzer Prize nominee, author of Kick Kennedy’s Secret Diary
“If David Lazar were a song, it could only be sung by Frank Sinatra. As a book, it could only have been written by Robert Kalich. If it’s true that we’re all reduced to stories, Kalich has told one helluva one! Enjoy the ride.” —Tim O’Mara, author of the Raymond Donne Series
“In the hands of a vivid and cinematic storyteller, David Lazar’s winter-of-life soul search becomes an addictive journey, leaving the reader to wonder just how much Kalich has blurred the lines between memoir and fiction.” —Karen Tintori, author of Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family
“David Lazar is a gripping story of choices and their consequences; a slightly fictionalized memoir of a morally ambiguous life not so well lived. Whether it’s apology or rationalization is left to the reader to decide. It’s worth the journey.” —Ira Berkowitz, Shamus Award-winning author of the Jackson Steeg Series
“David Lazar is a refreshingly unabashed narrator, and his memory lane is populated by characters who are, well…characters! A most compelling read!” —Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times best-selling author
“A truly disturbing look into the mind of a guy who could live next door…” —Kenneth Wishnia, author of 23 Shades of Black, and editor of Jewish Noir