Since embarking on my career, I’ve gained somewhat of a reputation for myself as “that guy who’s reading instead of doing his job.” It’s true. While the grips are rigging and the director is doing a walkthrough with the actors, I often tuck myself into a corner somewhere and pop open a book. None of that Kindle nonsense either – I flip through page after page of properly bound, warm-scented paper, fresh from my latest Barnes & Noble excursion or pilfered from my friends’ bookcases. I’ll find myself so deep in another world hunting dragons, solving Victorian murders or figuring out just what the hell Kurt Vonnegut is talking about that I won’t hear the AD (assistant director) shout that we’re “waiting on sound” for the fiftieth time.
You’d think I would just join a book club already. Well, book clubs are more exclusive than you think, especially with my friends (you know who you are). There’s only one reasonable solution: I will create my OWN book club where I and my many implied followers consume one novel monthly that I personally endorse. That endorsement will send the author to the top of the New York Times Bestseller list as soccer moms scramble to pick up their own copy. Think Oprah except I’ll choose better than her.
Now that Anthony’s Book Club is officially a thing, I have quite the treat for my loyal followers, especially for those without a lot of time to kill. Weighing in at a slight 90 pages, William Goldstein’s My Blood Feet makes for a perfect little diversion and a great intro to my soon-to-be prestigious book club. A recent graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Goldstein hails from the great nowhere of Scottsdale, Arizona. They say that you should write about what you know and that’s exactly what he does, but with a knowing panache unheard of in newbie writers. Over the brief length of his debut, he reveals the haunting lives of middle class suburbanites who pop pills to feel some semblance of normality. In their pursuit of the American Dream, these people live by the relentless chant of “We’re fine, we’re fine – everything’s okay.” But what happens when they don’t feel it? Whose dream is it really?
Growing up a victim of circumstances like these, Goldstein pours his experience into the lives of his three main characters. Virgil, Thomas and our unnamed narrator are all twenty-something Scottsdale natives who one day decide to kidnap two of the neighborhood dogs and drive them across the desert to Los Angeles. The story unfolds in a train-of-thought travelogue style reminiscent of Kerouac, but nevertheless, doesn’t feel derivative or like a pastiche. As our nameless hero travels further and further into the barren wastes of I-10, his sanity begins to crumble beneath him (those of you who have made the journey can probably relate). From the get-go, Goldstein plants us firmly in his head, complete with all the meandering thoughts, second-guessing and feelings of self-importance that plague anyone struggling to define themselves (see: everyone). How often do we tell ourselves that we’re special, that we’re different – just like everyone else? We strain for autonomy and assimilation at the same time. And millenials wonder why they’re never happy.
Taken off his meds, the narrator teeters at the edge of disaster, fighting both his personal demons and the smoke-screens that he believes his peers hide behind. The swirling paranoia and a dark past that swims to light as the story progresses lead to a downfall so tragic and unavoidable that you’ll wonder how Goldstein was able to do it in a mere 90 pages. My Blood Feet hints at a long, lucrative career from this new talent. Can that copy of Fifty Shades of Grey and pick up this little novella. You’ll save countless hours and your self-respect in the process.
You can pick up your own copy of My Blood Feet on Amazon or iTunes. And welcome to the most prestigious book club ever (aka mine).
Tags : Amazon, Arizona, Book club, books, ebook, Fifty Shades of Grey, Issues, medication, millenials, Miscellaneous, my blood feet, reading, review, school of cinematic arts, scottsdale, Taken Films, usc, william goldstein