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Book Genre: literary fiction
Publisher: Bright Lights Big City
Release Date: Late August 1994
Buy: Amazon

Book Description:

Be Careful What You Wish For…

What if you had the chance to relive your twenties the way you really wanted them to be?

Thirty-nine-year-old David is presented with that opportunity by Lucien, a charismatic young Englishman. Ranging from downtown Manhattan to Istanbul, Majorca, and the Hamptons, the two of them live a life of excess—drugs, beautiful women, and adventure—and forge a strange but great friendship.

But with every journey, there comes a price; and in every paradise there lurks a temptress. For David, will his quest for excitement lead him to betrayal and loss?

“Wynn immerses readers in psychologically rich studies of his characters and their quiet but fraught interactions. The prose is subtle but vivid, intellectually engaged but never arid, as the author provides readers with a flurry of glittering snapshots that gradually coalesce into a picture of tarnished longings. An engrossing and vibrant…meditation on friendship and the deep currents that run beneath its surface.”

—Kirkus Review


 

Excerpt

C_H_A_P_T_E_R_ _2_

D_rop ’em, blossom. Show us yer growler.”

Mock Cockney accent, exaggerated deep voice, cartoon lasciviousness. Signature Lucien. Lines that caught his ear, phrases, often said apropos of nothing, no context. Sometimes staying with him for a few days, sometimes woven in and out of his conversation for years. Absorbed into his persona, like the flaws in fine linen, a natural quality of the fabric, as fashionistas are fond of saying. He always seemed half-aware that his persona was on display, but was relaxed and natural at the same time. He was a performer. Mephisto. Gollum.

That particular line—“Drop ’em, blossom…”—Lucien picked up from a scoundrel named Bobby Stevens toward the tail end of his days at public school. Bobby S was an older guy, mid-twenties, local, a bit

Lucien and I

dodgy. Sold hash and other drugs. His crude personality had a curious appeal, especially for the aristobrats at the school, always on the lookout for a bit of the debauch.

One night, Lucien and a couple of friends went out with Bobby S to the new nightclub in town. It had been promoted as having a spectacular state-of-the-art laser show. They stood around in the flashing darkness, drinking pints and gin and tonics. Before long, Bobby S pronounced in his coarse lowlife manner, which Lucien later came to mimic so well, “This is crap! I’ve seen better light shows in the cancer ward at the Children’s Hospital.”

Yeah, I know—vile and disgusting, not remotely funny to most people. But the over-the-top outrageous­ness made it humorous to the young lads. And even many years later, when Lucien related the incident to me and we were both supposedly mature adults, the same atrocious quality made us laugh. We cringed at how out of order it was, but all the same we laughed. That’s what we were like.

About The Author
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Danny Wynn is a full-time fiction writer, and before that, he was an executive in the record industry and part-time fiction writer. He has lived in New York City, Los Angeles, and London, and now makes his home in the West Village with his wife and two children. His other favorite place in the world (after the West Village) is the island of Mallorca, Spain
He is currently finishing two novels.
Danny describes himself as a creature in search of exaltation. In addition to attending the original Woodstock Music Festival, some of the other great concerts he’s been to include: Roxy Music on the Avalon Tour at Radio City, Bon Iver at Town Hall and subsequently at Radio City, The National at BAM and later at The Beacon, and The Waterboys at the Hammersmith Palais, Bruce on his solo tour, U2 on Zooropa and later tours, Dylan on the right night, and Van on the right night.
Among his favorite movies are: Performance, Bad Timing, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, and Withnail and I. His favorite novels include: The New Confessions by William Boyd; A Flag For Sunrise and Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone; The Magus by John Fowles; Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison; andThe Comedians and The Quiet American by Graham Greene.
He derives enormous sustenance from his close friends.
Interview with the Author

1) Can you tell us a bit about your background?

 I grew up in Syracuse, NY,, became a lawyer and practiced for a few years, and then became a business executive in the music business for 25 years .  I moved to NYC in 1978, and subsequently choose to move to LA and didn’t like it and chose to move back to NYC.  Later I chose to move to London and decided I was not willing to live there for the rest of my life, and chose to back to NYC, and concluded that NYC was my home and the only place I could be happy residing for the rest of my life.  I always loved novels and always wanted to write them.  I wrote novels on and off  on a part-time basis until I was 54, and then stopped doing my other major activities and devoted myself to full time writing.  I participated in numerous workshops, classes and seminars, and gradually learned the craft of writing novels in tiny increments that eventually resulted in me being able to write good novels.  I have written two novels that have been published and well-reviewed, the first of which has been optioned for a film.  I am currently at work on the best novel I’ve ever written by far, and I think this third one is going to a strong and wide public appeal and achieve a substantial readership.  It is a highly compelling, page-turning read, with three extremely interesting multi-faceted characters.  I describe it as a thinking man’s adventure story, and it arose from inspiration rather than anything resembling a formula as to how to write a popular novel.

2) Where and when did your writing journey begin?  When my mother read books to me as a young child, I fell in love with novels.

3) Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?  Graham Greene, Robert Stone, William Boyd, John Fowles, Jim Harrison, Paul Theroux and Pete Dexter.   They influenced my writing by writing great novels that powerfully appealed to me, and became the novels that I studied closely to learn how to write a good novel that would appeal to me .  And then I set out to write my own versions of the type of novel those authors wrote, reflecting my vision of the human condition, the issues that preoccupy me the most, and my understanding of life.

4) What does a typical day in your life look like? And how does your writing routine fit into your day?  I wake up at around 8:30am and proceed to write for 5-8 hours, five days a week.

5) How did you come up with the idea for your book “Lucien and I?”  I wanted cowrite a novel about a great friendship and a charismatic  character (because I find friendship and charisma to be very interesting subjects), and I also wanted the novel to deal with the powerful desire that some people have to feel that they are living iife to the full, and how that can result both in fantastic life experiences and in self-destructive behavior,

6) What do you think sets your novel apart from others like it currently on the shelves?   I think it is a very realistic portrayal of a friendship between two very realistic and interesting characters, all of which the readers get to see and hear and experience for themselves, and I think great friendships are rarely captured well in novels.  Also, “Lucien And I” is structured non-chronologicaly as a collage of events, reflections and sketches, al of which are closely connected, and the story and the themes emerge as common threads that the readers discern, which I think makes the novel more realistically reflect the way stories and life-understanding emerge in real life.  Real life is much more random and haphazard than most tightly structured fiction, and I think the collage approach used in “Lucien And I” provides a uniquely interesting and intellectually stimulating reading experience.

7) Which character in your book is your favorite and how much of yourself is reflected in that character?  Lucien is my favorite character — he has genuine charisma, which is a fascinating quality to have — and there is none of me reflected in him.

8) Which scenes in your book did you have the most fun writing? The climactic chapter that rapidly alternates between the betrayal of the friendship and a visit to a gypsy neighborhood in Istanbul wherein the narrator imagines that Lucien kills him to avenge the betrayal.

9) What do you hope for your readers to take away after reading your book series?  That a great friendship is one of the most valuable things a person can have, and that the excitement and pleasure of hip urban nightlife are ultimately very shallow rewards.

11) What are your hopes for this book?  That people read it and it speaks to them so that they are moved and touched by it.

12) What do you have in store next for your readers?  An extremely compelling thinking man’s adventure story that takes place in the Greek islands, and has three uniquely interesting and realistic characters, including one heroic character.


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