By Joseph Dobrian
Andy Palinkas is a modern Don Quixote. He’s unattractive. He’s suspicious of others. He’s fixated on a girl he can’t win. He embarrasses himself at sports. Plus, as Andy observes, “Having a younger brother who can beat you at anything: That has got to be the worst thing in the world.” As he grows up in State City, Iowa, in the mid-1960s, Andy copes with his pathological self-loathing by imagining himself as a hero. He creates alternative realities in which he’s powerful, accomplished, brave—and sometimes vengeful. Andy also remarks on the history that’s being made—the assassination of President Kennedy, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam war—and begins to develop a political conscience, as well as a strong sense of justice.
To his amazement, by his senior year at State City High, Andy has become one of the cool kids. Then, he faces a decision that might cost him the status and admiration he’s earned. Hard-Wired will resonate with any adult who remembers the humiliations, the painful humor, and the occasional victories of adolescence.
Hermann Finds Home
By Nancy Lang-Feldman
ISBN 13 978-1-63177-684-7
Hermann is an adorable tortoise who sets out to find his way back home. Join Hermann on his amazing journey as he meets new friends, overcomes challenges, and explores the world around him. His ultimate discovery will warm your heart!
The book will not only entertain children, it will educate them as well, with lots of fun facts about tortoises. Charities will also benefit from sales of Hermann Finds Home, with a portion
of the proceeds going to Galapagos Conservancy and Darwin Animal Doctors.
Hermann Finds Home is available through the major retailers, Mascot Books and from Lang-Feldman's website, www.hermannfindshome.com.
By Joseph Dobrian
Teen Christine Wainwright's parents seem to regard her (and her musical ambitions) as an inconvenience. Christine's earnest, vain elder brother, David, is the star of the family: an up-and-coming novelist who's given his parents a perfect daughter-in-law and adorable grandchildren. The middle child, Melissa, is struggling with her teaching career and a choice between two men: steady, pragmatic Leander and worshipful Connor.
When Christine disappears, suspicion falls on the Wainwrights' scheming neighbor, Andy Palinkas, who loathes Christine's parents. The unfolding mystery reveals the true story behind the Wainwrights' respectable façade: a convoluted saga of unwanted children, disastrous marriages, romantic double-crosses, and domestic plots and counter-plots.
Ambitions is a philosophical and psychological novel: stark, elegantly written family drama set in
a Midwestern university town. It's a story of aspiration, frustration, adoration, and betrayal.
By Joseph Dobrian
Roger Ballou’s only source of pride is that he lives in Manhattan on the small income he makes as a writer. He can’t remember the last time he had ambition, a cause, or a girlfriend. He’s hot-tempered, cantankerous, suspicious — and as one acquaintance puts it, “He looks like he’s got Girl Scouts in his freezer.” When business dries up, Ballou takes a teaching position at Van Devander College, in the little upstate town of Wildenkill. Almost immediately, his contentious personality throws him into the thick of the college community’s rivalries, romances, and clashes of values. He also finds a cause: defending Willie Wilden, the iconic but politically incorrect college mascot.
“Willie Wilden lampoons the political, academic, and literary worlds all at the same time. It’s a zany, stylish panorama of American values and foibles.”
—Jim Lesczynski, author of The Walton Street Tycoons
“Roger Ballou is what you’d get if you mated Miss Jean Brodie with Ignatius J. Reilly.”
—Casper Melick, author of Pétain at Yeu: a Novel
Seldom Right But Never In Doubt:
Essays, Journalism, and Social Commentary, 1997-2012
By Joseph Dobrian
With an introduction by Dorothy Parker
By turns playful, angry, clever, serious, sentimental, cynical, and ribald, Joseph Dobrian’s essays and journalism turn conventional wisdom on its ear. This collection of Joseph Dobrian’s non-fiction provides new, contrarian perspectives on a wide range of subjects, and dares you to disagree. In the course of this book, the author:
• explains what it means to write honestly
• debunks the concept of “unconditional love”
• contrasts modern and old-fashioned ideas of etiquette
• discusses the finer points of food, drink, and personal style
• looks askance at politics, justice, and religion
• dissects “The Awful English Language”
• advises on how to keep romance alive
• suggests what music to listen to, on the last night of your life
“The American Orwell. Joseph Dobrian is a wonderful writer.” — Casper Melick
“Even if you can’t agree with everything in Joseph Dobrian’s aptly titled book of essays — and I certainly can’t — you can’t help but admire the passion and perception revealed in each one. Provocateur, devil’s advocate, pontificator, stylist, romantic, 24/7 judge and jury, humanist despite his best intentions to the contrary, he will irritate you, entertain you, and just possibly make you rethink your own indefensible positions.” — Holly Carver
The Butcher Of Paris
By Jean-François Dominique
Translated from the French by Joseph Dobrian
Dr. Petiot made himself a rich man, in the German-occupied Paris of the 1940s, thanks to a series of murders. In particular, he assassinated Jews and other “undesirables” who were being pursued by the Nazis. He promised them an escape from France and a voyage to South America; then he robbed them, and caused their journeys to end at the bottom of a lime-pit in the garage of his townhouse in an upscale Parisian neighborhood—or, when the pit got full, in a stove in his basement.
The indictment on which Petiot was tried, after the war, accused him of 27 killings. But how many people did he actually murder? Above all, how was he able to keep his ghastly business going for so long without being discovered—let alone punished?
This dubious physician—former Mayor and municipal councilor of the town of Villeneuve-sur-Yonne—committed his first murder in 1926. In all, he probably killed about 70 people. Who protected him? What were his connections to the French police, and then to the Gestapo? How did he fit into the complicated, competitive relationship between the collaborationist French Gestapo and the German Gestapo? What became of the millions of dollars’ worth of cash and valuables that he stole? Official investigations—such as they were—have remained silent on those subjects. The evidence surrounding this case has been badly compromised, but M. Dominique’s book probably comes as close to the truth as we will ever get.
“The case of Dr. Petiot is one of the most notorious in the history of French criminal justice,” says translator Joseph Dobrian, “yet it’s almost unknown in the English-speaking world. This story isn’t just about a single psychopathic killer. It’s about how that man fit into an enormous matrix of corruption that involved collaboration between criminals and politicians before the war, between the French and the Germans during the war, and between the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’ after it. Because of the way he fit into that huge puzzle, Dr. Petiot illustrated in miniature all that was wrong with French society during a horrible period in the history of France.”