Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pg. 69: Brendan Short's "Dream City"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Dream City by Brendan Short.

About the book, from the publisher:
Set in Depression-era Chicago, an exhilarating debut about a young boy’s obsession with comic book heroes, and his lifelong attempt to both recapture and escape his childhood.

Six-year-old Michael Halligan longs to be a hero. Submerging himself in the world of Big Little Books, he imagines himself as “Mike Steele,” righter of wrongs, friend to Dick Tracy, Buck Rogers, and The Lone Ranger. But reality pops him on the jaw when his mother dies unexpectedly in the winter of 1934. Michael is left in the custody of his gangster father, Paddy, where he tragically loses his faith in the power of good over evil.

So begins Michael’s obsessive quest through the city and suburbs of Chicago to recapture the purity and comfort that defined his boyhood. As he attempts to track down a copy of every Big Little Book in existence, Michael begins—perhaps unintentionally—to also search out unconditional love, security, and stability in an arbitrary and unkind world.

A dazzling tale featuring a colorful cast of heroes, villains, and damsels in distress—both real and make-believe—Dream City poses the most dangerous of questions: What happens when we finally discover what we’ve spent our entire lives searching for?
Learn more about the book and author at Brendan Short's website.

Brendan Short holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. His fiction has appeared in several literary journals, including The Literary Review and River Styx, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. From 2000 to 2001 he was Writer-in-Residence at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C.

The Page 69 Test: Dream City.

--Marshal Zeringue