With any story you read there is a certain passage or line that hooks you in. That one part that says, “oh hell ya. This is how it’s done.” I just finished Seth Harwood‘s Jack Wakes Up. This was the part that did it for me:
“Yes, sir, this is the man here: Jack Palms,” Ralph says, stepping forward. He has a thick cigar in one hand and a scotch in the other. He sways as he moves. Jack realizes this is why Ralph asked him along: because he’s planning on spending most of his time in the bag.
“Jack Palms,” Al says, “let us share with you some blow.”
More laughs and then Jack watches Al, Ralph, and the others retreat to the couches. He can see a glass-top coffee table in the middle all ready to go, with the lines cut and set. Ralph sits down on one of the couches and starts rolling up a twenty.
Jack Wakes Up follows Jack Palms, the washed up movie star of “Shake’em Down.” Jack finds himself in a financial situation that causes him to get involved with an old friend named Ralph Anderino. Ralph ropes Jack into entertaining some out of town Czech’s interested in two things: scoring mountains of blow and haveing a good time.
Jack ends up in the middle of a story line that takes you to the hard streets of organized drug crime in San Francisco. Czechs, Colombians, KGB, Gangsters, crooked cops, sex, drugs, fast cars, and a lot of guns; Jack Wakes Up was my introduction to crime fiction and “Danny like, Danny like very much.”
You remember that first time you saw Fight Club? You walked out of that theater thinking you were all American bad ass. You looked at every guy, big or small you played the fight out in your head like a movie. You walked close to them on the way out just hoping they would give you a reason. A little comment, a wrong look, or maybe some disagreeable body language was all you would need to get in their face and say, “What mother effer? Take a swing.” This is the same feeling you’ll get when you read Jack Wakes Up.
I find myself shifting between the different characters. Maybe I’m Junius, not taking shit from anyone and demanding respect. Maybe I’m one of the fearless Czechs never backing down from any fight; fists or guns, I’ll stay for that party. Maybe I’m Jack Palms. I’m a good looking actor, I have a ’66 Fastback that melts panties off women, and somedays bad shit happens to good people. Seth does a great job of developing these characters. I loved all of them.
On a personal level Seth is one of the authors I respect the most in the podcast novel community. He podcasted it for free, he got the book deal, and he podcasts from his hot tub keeping it REAL about what the publishing world is all about. Seth isn’t full of the flowery bullshit or whining about his trials and tribulations – we hear that from so many authors these days. He hasn’t dropped off the map and gotten so involved in his success that he forgets about us (I won’t name names but you know when you are neglecting the people who made you). Seth is one of the most educated well rounded guys in the game today and he is a great story teller. When my debut podcast novel is ready I know Seth will have my back.
Jack Wakes Up is the first in a three part series of Jack Palms novels.
Of course all of them are FREE for you to consume as podiobooks. Click the pics below for links to the different Jack Palms novels.
Seth is a game changer for sure. I identify with a lot of his philosophy about writing and publishing. Of course the nature of the game is not to immitate but innovate. This is where I come in as the new blood, the student, and the next BIG thing. “Shake’em Up! Baby.”
Danny Machal August 18th, 2009