by Richard Siciliano
Outskirts Press

"If it is a sin to realize that you are extraneous, then I have lived my life in sin..."

Arnold Haus is a young man at a crossroads in life. He has just survived a heart attack at thirty-five years of age, and he is attempting to obtain disability coverage for his affliction. His job handling accounts at the water department was taxing but lucrative. While dealing with these issues, he is a witness to a robbery and shooting at a grocery store. The gunmen shoot two people and flee. Arnold soon makes his own escape. His moment of cowardice clings to him in the days and weeks ahead as his decisions become more unpredictable. He encounters an array of interesting people in his apartment building, befriending some and soon launching his own business cooperative. The worries do not cease in Arnold’s life as he is soon summoned to serve jury duty on a case he is all too familiar with.

The author’s novel is a unique journey into the mind of an eccentric man facing his own mortality. Arnold is a man held captive by his worries, both everyday and existential. His world has changed since his brush with death, and now he approaches everything differently. Arnold is sympathetic in this regard, a man teetering on the brink. The characters ushered in by the author are fascinating in their own right, from the garrulous vinyl collector Sean to the all-hours jazz player Joey to the vibrant baker Merrijane. Author Siciliano injects the right amount of humanity and light into the characters and into his story. Arnold is a flawed man, but his plight and his way toward fulfillment and redemption make for an enjoyable tale.

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