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When his mother dies and he discovers the man he believed was his father is not, sixteen year old Chris is haunted by a mysterious apparition that forces him to question his pampered existence and embark upon a quest to find himself. Hoping she will “make a man of him”, he seeks sanctuary in the home of Magda, a middle aged waitress with a penchant for sex, only to discover she lives with her father, a cigarette smoking, beer swilling immigrant.
Chris hates his shabby new surroundings at the end of the street and the shabby old man at the end of his life who spends his days listening to old blues records and making Chris fetch him fresh cans of beer. But, when the old man tells tales of Communist Hungary, torture, escape and the mysterious medallion he wears, Chris learns that, like the old man’s skipping records, history repeats itself and the roles we play have been played many times before
“I haven’t finished a book so quickly in a long time because these characters were so intriguing. There were times I had to put the book down and simply reflect on how talented this author is. Conway’s dialogue and narration are often mind-blowing.” (Brian Braden, Undergroundbookreviews.com)
“The Vagabond King had a unique sense of style that had me immediately turning the pages from the moment I picked it up. The language was rich and the storyline was fresh… Certainly an interesting read–ambitious, and oftentimes even lyrical in its pages–The Vagabond King will appeal to readers who are looking for contemporaries that will leave them thinking after the last page is turned.” (Pixie Lynn Whitfield, the-bookaholic.blogspot.com)
“Thought-provoking and absorbing…Mr. Conway has written a soulful and soul-searching novel of a young man’s coming of age.” (Star, Goodreads.com)
“This is a story that takes the reader deep into the heart, minds and emotions…It is a book that tears down the walls that we all hide behind and exposes our soft underbelly…”(Jackie Burris, Goodreads.com)
“I found this book an absorbing read, and while I can’t quite put my finger on it there is something special about it.”(Tracy Cook, tc-bookedup.blogspot.com)
“…if the world and literature survive into the next age, The Vagabond King will probably be a classic.” (TM Romero, Goodreads.com)
The morning after my mother’s death, I was surprised to see the sunrise. From behind the curtain of my bedroom window I was surprised to see the people leave their homes and begin the day. Downstairs, the hands of the grandfather clock continued to tick, marking each passing hour with a chime that echoed over the black and white chessboard tiles of the front hall. I was surprised to see the mail come at the same time as the day before and, later that evening, the sun set once more as it did since the beginning of time. My mother’s death did not disturb the planets in their courses. And, though everything kept moving like she never existed at all, my world erupted into chaos until the universe swirled around me like a whirlpool of scattering stars.
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