Tag Archives: books

Galapagos Man; New Novel By Kenton Lewis

Genovesa[1] - Copy - Copy
Available on Amazon.

Galapagos Man is my fifth published novel. It is available at Amazon.

The story is inspired by the memory of my dad. He spent time in the Galapagos Islands during World War Two. Many of the events that take place in the first portion of the book are based on actual accounts he shared with me, but fictionalized to blend in with the plot.

The circumstances on how my dad ended up in the Galapagos Islands are basically true, everything else is fiction. Dad was sort of a John Wayne character. He was bigger than life. Even after his death in ‘69 stories swirled about his exploits as a younger man.

In a way, Dad was always searching for something. I don’t know what it was. I attempt to show that what he wanted most already existed within a generous heart hidden within him. His life was a paradox; outward selfish pursuits and hidden acts of generosity. I try to harmonize the two and make sense of how complicated our lives can become, but eventually if given the opportunity they can somehow be analogous.

The main character is Alex Thurston and supported strongly by his son AJ. Alex leads his son to a buried treasure hidden during a tour of duty in the Galapagos Islands.

Along the way and afterwards there are adventures on the high-seas, prison escapes, chases through deserts, chases at sea, chases on streets, espionage, romance, explosions, secrets from the past, and a lot of other stuff.

The book is written to be read in ten to fifteen minute intervals. In other words one can read a chapter quickly, thus creating a natural bookmark. Seldom will the reader have to stop in the middle of a chapter. There are fifty chapters.

You will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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Hey Dude! What’s Wrong With Modern Culture?

Nobody captures modern culture better than Gary Larson.
Nobody captures modern culture better than Gary Larson.

Daily Prompt: Simply the Best

NASA is building a new Voyager spacecraft that will carry the best of modern human culture. What belongs onboard?

If I had to explain what’s wrong with modern culture you wouldn’t understand it anyway.

This is not a prompt that cynic such as my self does well with. There is simply nothing about modern culture to place on board.

What would you put aboard: an episode of Two and Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, or The Walking Dead?

What kind of music performances: Miley Cyrus (Wrecking Ball) or Eminem (Rap God)?

What book would you place in the Voyager, Fifty Shades of Gray?

Perhaps a video game, Grand Theft Auto?

These are written, produced, and performed by the best we got. These are the people who are called the creative geniuses of our time.

Likely I would put something on board that modern culture has chosen to preserve from previous cultures.

Here’s my list in corresponding categories:

TV: The Andy Griffith Show, The Walton’s, Gunsmoke, Ed Sullivan, Seinfeld, All in the Family.

Art; Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Norman Rockwell, Gary Larson (Far Side).

Music: The works of Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, and Gershwin.

Books: Bible, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Old Man and the Sea.

Movies: The Third Man, Casablanca, Shawshank Redemption, The Princess Bride, Citizen Cane, A Face in the Crowd.

Games: Chess and crossword puzzles.

If it were possible that a Voyager spacecraft could speed into far away galaxies and bits of present day modern culture were on display likely the ones for whom it was meant would say, “Is that the best they could do?”

No, there’s little from modern culture I would choose to send. I’m certain there are exceptions.

There is nothing out there, really. We are it in the universe. Figure it out for yourself. So put what ever you want on your stupid spacecraft, because nobody is going to see it anyway.

Call me nostalgic, call be a critic, call me cynical, call me a fuddy-duddy, but don’t call dude. (Never thought of seeing the day I’d sound like an old crank.)


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

The Note

I’m taking a few days off. Here is an excerpt from my novel Galapagos Man.

The next day Alex reported to the headquarters of the Army detachment. He was finally assigned to an artillery battery and a bunk in a barracks.

His first night in the barracks he heard the other soldiers talk about a plane with a pilot, copilot and two civilians who took off earlier in the day crashed and were lost at sea. They were presumed dead. No wreckage was found.

Alex, again, was the only one who knew about the money.

The next day he checked the duty roster. He was scheduled for a cleaning detail at the headquarters guest rooms a few building southeast of the building where he was interrogated. He reported and was ordered to clean the guest rooms.

One of the rooms belonged to Yost.

Alex stripped the bed and began to sweep the floor. He swept underneath the bed and caught a small piece of note paper with the dust mop. He picked it up and read what was written on it;

1. Be his friend.

2.. Let him think it was all a set up.

3. Tell him Rossi was OSS.

4. Make sure he knows it‘s top secret.

5. Make sure Thurston has an accident.

Alex stashed the note in his fatigue’s pocket and collapsed into the room’s only chair. “He was going to have me killed,” Alex murmured. “That bastard.”

He was certain the order on the note was meant to go with Yost and to be carried out in the future. Except for the note Alex was certain that the only person who controlled his destiny was in a plane in the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.


Filed under My Books, Short Stories

He’s Dying

I’m taking off for a few day so I posted ahead of time.

This is and excerpt from my newest novel, Galapagos Man.

“I figured it was my last chance to be somebody, to make something of my life,” Alex said. “So at thirty, during the war. I enlisted. I wanted to be an officer. It seemed like it was all stacked against me.”

Alex laid in his bed sunken and wasting away from a sickness no one could diagnose. It was unsettling seeing a man who just a few years ago stood six three and two hundred pounds. He still had massive hands and a barrel chest. Grey stubble covered his face like a burned forest.

The room was the bedroom of a small home purchased a couple of years earlier. Present was an odor like a load of soiled laundry. A light layer of dust covered everything. The sun struggled to cast its rays through water stained windows.

“What do you mean, Dad?” AJ said.

“When I went through the physical in basic training they asked me to do a deep knee bend. My knee was so swollen I could hardly walk on it. That disqualified me from OCS. In basic they all called me ‘Dad’ or ‘Pop.’ I was the oldest guy in my company; hell I was the oldest guy in the battalion. War is for young men made up by old men. They took care of me. There were things that a guy my age and with my knees couldn‘t do. Yeah, they were a great bunch of guys. I‘d like to see them all one more time before I go.”

“Don’t talk that way, Dad,” AJ said. “You’re going to be okay.”

“No I’m not, son. No I’m not.” Alex looked at a framed photo of himself taken when he was in the Army. “I’m only half the man now that I was then, maybe even less than that. It’s amazing what years of hard living can do to you. Take care of yourself, son. Don’t let yourself go to hell.”

“I love you, Dad,” AJ said.

“I love you too, son,” Alex said and smiled.

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The Runaway

Daily Prompt: The Road Less Traveled

At one time I thought of ending up some place like this, but what I have is much better.

At one time I dreamed of ending up someplace like this, but what I have is much better.

Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.

At the age if 15 I hatched an elaborate scheme to run away from home.

Several of the dilemmas faced are contained in my novel The Summer of ‘62.

Let me take you there for a few brief moments. Dad and Mom never got along. Their relationship became violent. Without the ability to take blame for their own problems they began to blame me.

The last weekend of Summer vacation before school started, a friend invited me to church camp. It was scheduled to last three days. My parents thought I was attending, but in reality I turned down the invitation. My plan was to put as much distance between my parents and me as possible in those three days.

With camping gear and provisions packed on my bike I peddled a little over fifty miles to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I spent a night sleeping at a roadside rest area and decided to peddle home the next day. Mom and Dad never knew.

My plan was to send a letter from Ft. Wayne, giving my parents the impression I was heading west. As a lad I had a fascination with Maine and the Maritime Provinces of Canada. That was my real destination.

Thirty years later I visited the coast of Maine several times and always wondered if I would ever find myself there.

I wrote a squeal to The Summer of ’62. It is a speculative fantasized story of a boy who runs away from home. He meets new people along the way and experiences adventures. At last he settles in Maine for a couple of years before exploring the rest of life and the world. I call the novel The Id and the Odyssey. I plan on publishing it this winter.

I’m glad to have not taken that road.

Bloggers who are roadies:

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Daily Prompt: The Road Less Traveled | Chicomallorca’s Blog
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  37. The Road Not Taken | Iam Who Iam
  38. There Was No Alternative:Daily Prompt | BLUE BEAD PUBLICATIONS
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  43. Daily Prompt: The Road Less Traveled | Exploring Utah with MS and Apples
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  45. The Road Less Traveled: What’s Traveled is Traveled | Khana’s Web
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  56. Daily Prompt: The Road Less Traveled | To Breathe is to Write
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Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays, My Books

The Book of Life, Lessons, and Love

The Prodigal Son, one of many stories from the Bible that is timeless and never loses its appeal.

The Prodigal Son, one of many stories from the Bible that is timeless and never looses its appeal.

Daily Prompt: Second Time Around

Tell us about a book you can read again and again without getting bored — what is it that speaks to you?

I read someplace the parable of the Prodigal Son from Luke chapter 15: 11-32 of the Bible was the greatest short story ever written. Who am I to argue?

A father has two sons. They become aware that upon the father’s death they stand to inherit his belongings. The younger son ask for his inheritance now. The younger son takes the inheritance and squanders it. He is ashamed and too proud to return to his father. He finds employment at the worst job possible to support himself; in other words he hits rock bottom. He decides to swallow his pride and return to his father’s household. While he is a long way off, yet father catches sight of him and runs out to greet his son. The occasion brings them tearful joy. The father arranges a large banquet to celebrate the return of the son. The older son becomes jealous. He feels his brother’s life turned out the way it should have. He got what was coming to him. The father points out that the son was lost and now was found. He tells the older son that in the time your brother had left you had all the good things that were missed by the younger. The older son does not appreciate a father’s love or mercy.

There are emotional parts of the story; mercy, jealousy, joy, and love. Likewise there is intrigue, suspense, pathos; and told with brevity and clarity.

The Bible gives a little more detail. When reading the account myself, I fill in some of the possible conversations, odors, sights, sounds, and background. Short stories offer the reader that option without losing the impact of the writer’s intent.

When reading the Bible account of David and Goliath at First Samuel chapter 17 I imagine David trying to put on the armor of the much taller King Saul. It’s too big. He staggers around clumsily. Those watching him chuckle. When the actual battle between David and Goliath takes place I hear the pounding of David’s small but determined feet against the solid earth as he runs toward Goliath. Goliath laughs and stomps his feet to mock David. As David runs toward Goliath I hear the whirl of his sling around and around and around. I hear the smooth stone whiz to its target. All are silent. There is a crack like the sound of a bat hitting a baseball. Everyone hears it. They are puzzled. It sounds decisive. It is followed by a thud as Goliath collapses to the ground.

Both stories have meaning and impact if chosen to use them as such. And those are just two stories that I can read over and over and feel the same intellectual. emotional, and spiritual impact each time they are read.

There are hundreds of such stories in the Bible. And they never get old.


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

Sometimes A Picture Or Book Cover Is Worth Three Words – “Not For Me”

When I saw the cover of Tortilla Flat I knew it had to be a good story. It's one of my favorite books.

When I saw the cover of Tortilla Flat I knew it had to be a good story.
It’s one of my favorite books.

Daily Prompt: Judgment Day

If you were to judge your favorite book by its cover, would you still read it?

When ever the expression is said ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’ I normally follow it by saying, “Of course, that was first said when book covers were all alike.” The expression is akin to, ‘First impressions are the lasting impressions.’

The Daily Prompt has much deeper implications, more than books – people.

Not so long ago a friend and I stopped to get a coffee at a 7 – 11 (Yeah, we were that desperate.)

My friend owned a business that employed around forty people. It was a service type business. Many of his employees entered homes to do restoration work.

At the 7 – 11 a large man stood in line at the register in front of my friend. The man was muscular, had a beard, shaved head, tattoos, piecing in the ears and nose.

The large man turned around and said to my friend, “Didn’t you interview me for a job a couple of weeks ago.”

My friend smiled and said, “Yes, I remember you.”

“Why didn’t you hire me?”

“At the moment I can’t remember, but I’m sure there was a reason.”

My friend was smaller than the man who seemed to be trying to intimidate him. But my friend, in his younger days was completely immersed in the Kung Fu culture and had played parts in several movies. That didn’t make him a tough guy, but it wasn’t going to make him stammer and stutter either.

“Is it the way I look?” the man said.

“Well that might be one place to start,” my friend said.

“Can’t you judge people by who they are on the inside?” the man said.

“Think about this, sir,” my friend said. “You’re already telling me who you are.”

When we got to the car my friend said, “Let’s get out of here before he has time to think.”

In my view, if a book or a person wants me to judge by what is on the inside and not the cover, than the cover should reflect what is on the inside. What the cover looks like is likely what is on the inside. That is what the publisher is selling and that is what the person is telling us about who they are.

imagesCAR8BFZOThat said, and back to the prompt; I have commented on this book before. It was To Kill a Mockingbird. I recall on the front cover of the copy I purchased was a picture from the movie by the same name. The cover was Atticus talking to his daughter, Scout, before bedtime. I knew immediately all that was needed to know; a lesson being passed on to a child.

If for a moment there is the feeling of being seduced or hoodwinked by a title or a cover it’s rejected. A cover must do more than titillate me, it must touch my heart.



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Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays