The Book of Samuel (St. Martin's Press 2009)
Samuel Gerard strives to be like every other 12 year-old: he hangs out at the bike jumps or at the mall with his friends, finds creative ways to avoid schoolwork, and repeatedly asks his parents questions that he knows have no answer. But when his dad embarks on a religious quest to “save the world,” Samuel’s own live is violently upended.
Literally starting the day after his father leaves, Samuel finds himself on a dizzying, often humorous series of adventures, from being covered in leeches to accidentally blowing up his friends garage, from cheering up his distraught mother to supervising his feisty, racist grandma, and from making out with the most popular girl in school to a horrific, lifechanging fight with the toughest girl in school. And as Samuel tries to sort out the world around him, he begins his own journey of selfunderstanding, taking him squarely into the heart of his Denver neighborhood which is already threatening to burst from changing social values and mass immigration. While The Book of Samuel tells a gripping tale about the tumultuousness of being a teenager at the crossroads of religion and community, family and friends, newfound love and deep-seated hatred, the novel is ultimately a story about the joys and pains of a boy growing up in middle-America.
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11 (A Novel)
According to String Theory, you are reading this in eleven different ways, split into eleven separate possibilities, in eleven different dimensions. For thousands of years, Arabic culture and religion has taught that genies, the jinn, exist alongside us, in parallel worlds, interacting with our own lives. 11, set to the backdrop of 9/11 and the Second Iraq War, weaves together modern physics and Islam.
Divided into eleven chapters and eleven dimensions, 11 takes place on September 11th, repeating through eleven separate dimensions. In the first dimension, William watches helplessly as his pregnant wife, Allison, vanishes into the cloud of the collapsing World Trade Centers. In the second dimension, where time and space have been warped, William returns from Iraq, a wounded veteran, and on September 11th, is reunited with Allison, his first true love. Further on, in the fifth dimension, Allison is kidnapped by the jinn while on a safari, leaving her fiancé William to fend for himself in the middle of the Sahara. By the eighth dimension, William has become a hunted European jihadist in a dystopian world that, with each day feels more real to our own. While 11 follows the narrative structure of early Islamic texts, time and space are warped in each dimension to mirror the eleven dimensions imagined in String Theory.
Ultimately, 11 is about the collision of Islam and secularism. But it is also about one man’s determination to save his wife and child from the tragic, unseen forces playing out between the modern clash between East and West.
The Death Of Fiction - Short Story Collection
Twelve stories spanning over twenty years of my writing. A few can be read here.