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Book Review: A Well-Respected Man

A Well-Respected Man. David Berner. New York: Strategic Books, April 5, 2018, Hardcover, Trade Paperback, and E-book, 187 pages. 

Reviewed by Florence Osmund. 

David Berner’s novel, A Well-Respected Man, is the story of Martin Gregory, whose past love interest asks him for an unexpected favor—one that could be life-changing. Does he make this decision with his heart or head? If he agrees, will it be for her or himself? And regardless of which way he goes, will he have regrets?

Years earlier, Martin had written a novel that attracted a cult-like following from myriad female fans who claimed that he had ‘captured what was buried in their souls.’ Wanting to put the book and all its ramifications behind him, he now fills his days teaching and evenings playing music at the Red Lion bar.

One morning on his way to work, a stranger approaches him with comments about his novel. Thinking she’s just another groupie, he brushes her off like he had done to so many others. But he can’t get the woman off his mind and frets over his encounter with her. After several missed opportunities to speak with her, he discovers that the woman is not a groupie—she’s the messenger for, and good friend of, a woman Martin had once loved.

Martin’s journey, as written, is well-structured, engaging, and memorable—an interesting tale that will keep readers engaged as they try to get into Martin’s frame of mind and speculate which road he’ll take. The book will prompt readers to think about what they would do in a similar situation, keeping them there with the protagonist, right up to the last page.

Making effective use of back-story, conflict, and intrigue to make this complicated protagonist accessible to his readers, Berner succeeds where many authors fail. His fluid writing style is both compelling and easy to follow. 

Award-winning author David W. Berner was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he began a career in broadcast journalism. He later moved to Chicago where he pursued a career as a writer and educator. In addition to A Well-Respected Man, his works include three other novels, two memoirs, a book of essays, two documentary audiobooks, and several short stories.


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