Binding

The Education of Douglas Finney

Jeffrey Stewart

Synopsis: 

    What happens when three unruly American servicemen far from home meet three conventional English women? Follow Douglas Finney and his friends as they cause one disaster after another across Europe. Doug has contracted severe extroversion, acute egotism, and persistent wisecracking. When put together, these three disorders cause his friends to suffer--primarily the symptoms of irritation and hostility toward their friend.

ISBN: 1-931982-71-6 Library Binding  $26.00     Sale $13.00

ISBN: 1-931982-72-4 Trade Paper      $15.95       Sale $8.00

250 pages

About the Author: 

I served in the US Air Force during the 1980s and worked as a photographer and photo processor. During my time in England I became acquainted with four English women, in some ways similar to those depicted in The Education of Douglas Finney, and traveled with them and other American GIs around Europe and Asia over a period of four years. Though the novel is a work of fiction, my experiences certainly act as a basis for it. The "clash of cultures" between Americans and British could, at time, become quite comical. I set out to depict the humorous side of the American/British conflict I experienced. This culture clash could also, from time to time, resemble the tragic, as the novel shows.

 

I respectfully dedicated the novel to the memory of Karen Latham, who died in a traffic accident in England and who is buried in the East Anglian village of Hemingford Grey, a real place that is one of the settings in the book. I began by writing poetry while living in England in the 1980s.

 

During the '90s I wrote the novel Two Pink Horses, a story about a young sufferer of adult onset schizophrenia. I enjoy writing short comic stories, many of which can be described as absurd. I currently live in Utah but am always looking for a means of escape. My faithful companions are: one dead rat and a bicycle named Nigel.

 Excerpt from the Book:

    They were all there, boy-girl-boy-girl-boy-girl. Doug talked about Scotland, something about the Loch Ness Monster running amok in the streets of Inverness, but nobody listened to him. Kelly, at cross-purposes, prattled on about her distant relations. Huey stared silently at the rippling river water. Maggie worried needlessly that she might have cancer because of some strange rumblings in her bowels. Ron concentrated on the direction of the boat. And Ivy decided, on reflection, that Ron resembled a kangaroo rather than a baboon.
   “You know I’m Scottish, or half Scottish,” Kelly said after she thought she heard Doug mention the northern land of some of her ancestors. “My dad’s from Scotland. My mum’s Irish. Part Irish that is. But I’m English. Am I confusing you, Douglas?”
  “No, I think I understand exactly what you’re talking about.” Doug managed to fit his sentence to the tune of “Stairway to Heaven”.
   “I was born in Bedford. You know where that is?” Kelly did not expect Doug to answer. “You don’t know, do you?”
   “Yeah, I know where Bedford is. It’s over that way.” Doug pointed southwest. “It’s about thirty miles as the pterodactyl flies.”
   “You’re smarter than I thought.” Kelly looked at him with genuine admiration.
   “What’s he on about?” Ivy said.
Kelly’s blonde hair wove itself in thin strands across her face. The gentle wind blew in all the comfort these people needed.

 

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