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Sunday, 21 July 2013

This weeks Author features David Dennis

When his cousin Darlene wrote and directed a TV-pilot entitled "Brett Cornell, Unscrupulous" which involved how the Brett Cornell comedy-mystery series came into being, the author David D. D'Aguanno (also known as David Dennis) decided that it was high time that he dusted off his old manuscripts, reworked them, and went the self-publishing route that so many other authors had been doing in recent years.

And so, nine "Brett books" appeared, one after the other, on Amazon and on Barnes & Noble -- all nine books featuring a hard-boiled, wise-cracking detective (Brett Cornell) who prides himself on being 100% unscrupulous and the proud possessor of what he affectionately refers to as his "Adonis-like features" -- although he would be hard put to tell you exactly what an Adonis is! . . .Just as he often rambles on and on about the Himalayas, but has no idea what or where they are. . .And just as the thought of drinking orange juice without any pulp in it is enough to drive a major wedge up his gazebo (as he calls it).

In the meantime, he manages to get involved in some pretty hairy and often outlandish predicaments, and is called upon to solve a murder here and there, usually in an effort to exonerate HIMSELF, as he seems to have a predisposition for sticking his nose (and other "accoutrements") in all the wrong places!

To be sure, he's no Shirley Holmes (as he claims), and in "Brett Gets Hammered" he even relies on the precocious resources of a five-year-old child in order to solve the crime.

On the other hand -- as one 5-star reviewer asserts in reviewing "Brett Always Wins" -- "I hate to love Brett!"

The nine books in the series can each be read as a stand-alone novel; however, reading them in order would allow dedicated readers to follow the so-called intricacies of his on-again/off-again relationship with Miss Ginger Crenshaw who inexplicably has fallen in love with The Unscrupulous One himself!

To sum up the series, according to a 5-star reviewer of "Brett Gets Hammered" --

"Don't let the silly titles fool you, these Brett novels are jam-packed with interesting situations and characters, riveting action, and surprisingly, tons of complex human interaction. And of course they are hilarious. Over the top? Yes. But that is how the series was designed, for those that missed that point."

The 9 Brett books, in order, are as follows:

#1 - Poolside with Brett
#2 - Brett Aerobicizes
#3 - Brett Always Wins
#4 - Wedding Bells for Brett
#5 - Brett Enters the Square Circle
#6 - Brett Gets Hammered
#7 - It's All Brett's Fault
#8 - Beach Bum Brett
#9 - Don't Mess with Brett
#10 - ? ? ?

You can visit Brett here:
All nine "Brett books" can be found on Amazon, here:'aguanno&sprefix=David+D.+D'%2Cdigital-text%2C215&rh=i%3Adigital-text%2Ck%3Adavid%20d.%20d'aguanno

In an almost complete about-face, David's "alter-ego" (known as David Dennis) has contributed to the literary fiction genre with his "magnum opus" -- "Why She Left Us" -- in which he experiments with the timeline so as to contrast the events of the summer of 1985 with their aftermath and the impact those events had on the lives of various characters in the novel.

He also adopts the technique of telling the story, using 5 different narrators, 4 of whom are female, in an attempt to allow the reader to view the events of the story from five different perspectives.

On the other hand, a few key characters are not given narratives of their own, but as one reviewer put it: 

"There is one more main character, Wayne, who deals with grief and loss through silence, and so his voice is missing - which in itself makes a loud statement."

You can visit this facebook page if you want to learn more about "Why She Left Us":

Here's its link on Amazon:

1 comment:

  1. For reference, here's my 5* review of Why She Left Us (you'd probably have to pay me a lot to read a Brett Connell page-turner):

    It is difficult to write the Great American Novel. F. Scott Fitzgerald did a good job with The Great Gatsby, but that novel is in its dotage, requiring extensive sociology to appreciate fully. Jonathan Franzen engages society in the 21st century with brilliance and aplomb in Freedom,([...]) but derogates his working-class characters to the extent where they beat up or murder the members of the middle class. John Steinbeck is of a different era in The Grapes of Wrath, and therefore his formula of opening each chapter with something like a sermon feels like an anachronism, but t least his treatment of the working poor is ennobling, even though haunting. Now comes David D'Aguanno, writing under the pseudonym of David Dennis, with his entry into the fray, Why She Left Us.

    The central family is headed by a mother, Jean, who seems more than anything to be a sex addict, with nondescript employment and a taste for nondescript men. Jean's sister, a forty-year-old spinster, can't get through a diary entry without mentioning how horrid men are because of her one adult relationship that ended badly. Jean's three daughters, Monica, Betsy, and Ellen, are the real story here. At novel's dawn, Monica is in an asylum, Ellen is in wheelchair, and Betsy, well, that would be a real spoiler if I tell you what she is doing. None of the women have last names, even though the men, Carl Peters (Monica's husband) and Wayne Brown (Senior and Junior, significantly) carry these badges of pedigree. Leave it to the sociologists to put this in its perspective; from my middle-to-working-class background, this rings true even today that women from low socioeconomic status backgrounds might find their identities through the men in their lives.

    Each girl struggles to find fulfillment in their own way. Monica wants the ring and the fantasy, marrying Carl Peters, the Most Popular and Most Likely to Succeed from their high school class. Ellen inherited the propensity for sexual addiction, and Betsy, who writes with literary flair that befits someone whose route to the middle class will come through her apprenticeship at the library, seeks true, holy, passionate love. Though she finds everything she prays for in the arms of illiterate but basically noble Wayne Brown Jr., her outcome is the darkest of all the characters.

    D'Aguanno's gift to the literary world is that he dignifies and honors the struggles, travails, and passions of these humble people for whom college attendance would be like completing a marathon for most of us. There is no sermon anywhere in here. Even the most spiteful act is understood; lust is accepted, and when coupled with a rush of spirit, is honored. Only one character shows ill throughout, and that is Carl Peters, who lives in resentment that the world hasn't given him his every whim. Carl shows a horrid dark side, which will allow this book to be used as a study in psychopathy. However, even Carl's malevolence evolves over the course of the book.

    Why She Left Us is a dramatic book. I don't envision it on the silver screen, but I can imagine an effective staging of the book as theater. A director would have to manage the parallel timelines between the crucial summer of 1985 and its grim aftermath in 1986. The author crafted the '85 and '86 scenes with absolute precision. At 428 pages, this qualifies on some Goodreads lists as a "big book," and I found that it required work to get through. However, I found the characters accompanying me through my work day, reacting to events in my own life. The absolute surprise at the end wouldn't be enough if the characters weren't so lovingly treated, so don't read this like a whodunit. But if you want to experience real life, with real emotions and a unique take on the eternal question of love, then you should make sure that Why She Left Us is part of your world.