Monday, March 3, 2008

Sunrise by Robert Crooke

ISBN: 9780595464777 - iUniverse, Inc. (2007)
Reviewed by William Phenn for Reader Views (1/08)

A native Long Islander, Robert Crooke now lives with his wife in pleasant Bridgewater, Connecticut. Mr. Crooke first started his writing experience as a reporter for the Long Island Press. He was also the North American press spokesman for Reuters. Robert's first novel, "American Family," received good reviews and became a regional best seller. His writing expertise extends to poetry as well and he has been published in the West Hills Review. Mr. Crooke's latest work, "Sunrise," has won the distinction of being picked as "Publisher's Choice" by iUniverse, Inc.
Stephen Dahl, the narrator of "Sunrise," is an American expatriate living in Paris, France. He lives a decent life, working as a college professor and writer. After hearing about the horrors of September 11th, his patriotism is renewed and though he has strong feelings, he does not go back home right away. But in 2003 after the death of a good friend, Stephen has reason to come back and renew old friendships, especially with an old flame that was married to his deceased friend.
Stephen comes back home to Long Island and relives his childhood and reminisces the good times of his young-adult life, when he worked as a bartender in a club close to his old neighborhood.  Now, he re-visits these places of his youth, thinking of old friends, reflecting on his life and the world around him. He laughs, cries and relives interesting and intimate moments with friends from the past..
"Sunrise" is an interesting adventure into the lives of the Long Island set. I would strongly parallel it to the California Valley crowd on the west coast. There is the usual drugs, drinking and out of control partying along with memories of past lives and love.
The main characters were not as colorful as the Great Gatsby but just as compelling. "Sunrise" gave the reader an insider's look into this group of young Americans and it was quite an eye opener.

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