Syncopated Rhythm: A Novella by James Halat

Syncopated Rhythm: A Novella by James Halat
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"The language is so appropriately raw when needed and so fragile in other gifts as a writer are Amazon Hall of Fame Top 100 don't count the days. There are too many of them."
Our narrator, who remains unnamed, grows up gay in the 1960s and 1970s. He spends most of his time alone as a child, not interested in school or church or playing with the other children. A harrowing move from New Jersey to a jerkwater town in Pennsylvania only serves to drive him deeper into isolation. There a rare local murder, a deadly motorcycle crash, and a doomed crush on a boy in high school mark his time in the sleepy town.
He begins to adapt to his solitary life of empty relationships and pointless jobs by reaching out to the contemporary art world and making ephemeral connections he does not fully grasp, but is convinced will link him to a better world.
"The fact that each work is a painting is not what makes it interesting. What makes it interesting is that each painting elicits its own breath."
After an unexpected job transfer, he finds himself living in the middle of Tokyo, alone, illiterate, and utterly stunned by his new surroundings. There he wanders into a local bar where he meets a disarmingly attractive young bartender he calls My Foolish Thing. My Foolish Thing pours him drinks and draws pictures on napkins in a genuine effort to get to know him. He replies with an impassioned attempt to complete the connection, but it isn't clear to him what, if anything, will happen.
Syncopated Rhythm is an honest and sobering account of living in a world meant for other people, and the truly heroic hopes that make that possible.

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Syncopated Rhythm: A Novella by James Halat

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