I had the pleasure of meeting Dominic Ambrose last year and he’s become a friend and a respected author (he’s a superb writer). I’m hoping to have a table at the Brooklyn Book Festival with him in September. They’ve put us on a waiting list so that’s up in the air. His novel ‘Nickel Fare’ was excerpted here and he just sent me his previous book, ‘The Shriek and the Rattle of Trains.’ Look for him as our guest on the August 28 ‘Aged to Perfection’ podcast.
[This is] a novel about an American teacher living in Romania during the post-communist years of the early 1990s. Rick faces some challenges: juggling his duties as a teacher trainer in an American cultural exchange program with his private affairs: a romantic triangle with two Romanian men. On top of that, he must confront his own inner demons as he fears infection with HIV. The romantic involvement and the training job both suffer from his inability to cope and he soon finds himself losing both. In the meantime, we are taken on a fantastic ride through the towns and cities of this fascinating land, as it emerges from decades of isolation, toxic development and political turmoil. Rick cannot understand the relationships closest to him, but he becomes entranced by the human spectacle all around him as he rides the rails from one end of Romania to the other. Along the way he begins to comprehend his own predicament in the lives of the people around him.