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In this beautifully written and unique novel, author Robert D. Gaines leads readers through the tangled cobwebs of an old man's mind – passion, pain, brilliance, and doubt.
Toward the end of 1999, as the world anxiously anticipates a new century, John Hammond reluctantly celebrates a childhood goal—to live one hundred years.
No one would realize that John is the last living member of the legendary Hammond Family. His brother, David Hammond, was a dark and volatile writer whose savage and unrelenting novels nourished a cult following long after his death. His sister, Mary Hammond, was considered one of the foremost artists of her time, still regarded for her scolding twists on reality. George Hammond, their father, was the noted composer, a whirlwind of music, a man whose death had viciously thrust a hammer into John’s soul. A gathering of magnificent eccentrics, they had stormed the gates of insanity, each motored by a brain that simply would not slow down.
John had the family gift, creating unique and powerful stories while pondering every word, every meaning. He also was cursed with the intense need for fame; he just never pushed, only waited to somehow be discovered. It never happened.
Lately, however, John Hammond has been oddly energized, fading into dreams that are particularly vivid, strangely real. Also, in these dreams, he is suddenly young again, strong again, and the past so very real again.
When Shelly Kingston is hired to put together a short birthday documentary about John’s life, the young filmmaker is intrigued by the old man’s stories and his unpublished, unfinished writings. John Hammond is intrigued by her.
Another distant dream . . .
A Note From the Publisher
Cover Art: Megan Whitfield
Graphic Design: Kristen Carrico
ISBN - IngramSpark Paperback, 9780999646687
ISBN - KDP Paperback, 9781733819367
ISBN - eBook, 9780999646670
ISBN - eBook (Smashwords), 9781735414560
"Lyrical, musical, whimsical, hopeful and haunting not only describe Bob Gaines’s The Brave Historian but also the life of the main character, John Hammond. Gaines provides the reader a story within a story that skillfully alternates between the dream state to the protagonist’s reality. In fact, Gaines moves so seamlessly between the two worlds of Hammond that the reader wonders in delight, trepidation and excitement much like the protagonist about when one world ends and the other begins. As Hammond reexamines his life that spans much of the twentieth century, we experience the pain, the regrets, the discarded potential, and the hope for redemption. Gaines provides a blissful ride that keeps the reader from wanting to disembark. And when the author introduces character Shelly Kingston, Gaines not only ups the ante for his readers to buckle in for the ride that provides the perfect juxtaposition of two careers-- one ending and another beginning, but also veers into the improbable, the possible, and the emotional.”
—Anthony Todd Carlisle, assistant professor of Journalism and the English department chair, California University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Souls of Clayhatchee.