Swirled All the Way to the Shrub

The Roaring Twenties were bellowing along--until they weren't.

In a splintered bar in Boston, Pinky DeVroom, newspaperman, amateur cynic and would-be-novelist, clutches his sour Prohibition brandy and watches his world get sucked down into the vortex. Hope comes in the form of an astute, comely literary agent named Elfred. But hope can be its own form of hell.

Watch game Pinky twist, squirm and waffle while the world wobbles. The Depression and Prohibition's consequences are fundamental to the work, as are the appearances of some real-life figures such as Sylvia Beach of Shakespeare & Company and Alice Hamilton, the pioneering scientist. The effects of lead poisoning, the unfettered joys of the "banana messenger" and the glories of Telechron clocks also have their time in the sun. As do rigorous bartending practices and the perils of owning a hat.

But all those tributaries of the story return to Pinky: Through continued tests and failures, through the comradeship of good friends, through his own lacerations and partial healings, will he find fulfillment? Will those friends, a mysterious secret society, and the judicious prodding of the remarkable Doctor Alice Hamilton help him get the girl, the book deal, or at least hang on to his job? Or his hat?

Literature has never had a hero named Pinky--but despite literature's measured qualms, this is its greatest chance.

Tom Bentley

About Tom Bentley (Silicon Valley, California Author)

Tom Bentley

Tom Bentley is a business writer and editor, an essayist, and a fiction writer. (He does not play banjo.) He's had hundreds of freelance pieces published-ranging from first-person essays to travel pieces to more journalistic subjects-in newspapers, magazines, and online.

He is the author of "All Roads Are Circles," a coming-of-age novel, Aftershock," set just after the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, "Swirled All the Way to the Shrub," set in Prohibition Boston, and "Flowering," a collection of short stories. His self-published book on finding and cultivating your writer's voice, "Think Like a Writer: How to Write the Stories You See" was published in June of 2015.

He would like you to pour him a Manhattan right at five.

You can see his lurid website confessions at www.tombentley.com

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