The America Gene (First Print Edition - Paperback)
Aging Texas billionaire Cash Carruthers decides to give up his businesses to sing the blues. Amber Fanfare, a 20-year-old barroom belter with a powerhouse voice, wants to help him. Cruise-ship mogul Diana Copeland wants to build a private floating island. Have they lost their minds? Or is it just their America Gene acting up? They have the money and the talent to make their dreams come true, broadening their horizons in the ways that Americans have always believed was their birthright. But will their dreams lead them to reshape their shared reality on the way to happiness, or just strand them in their own Personal Las Vegas, going zonkers Elvis-style, with no one left to rein them in.
Michael Nesmith's second novel, The America Gene, illustrates his observation that "at a certain time, the America Gene wakes up in the life of all Americans, and starts to drive you to your own Personal Las Vegas. And of course, by the time you're completely grown up, you're a moron." The characters' roads to their respective PLVs run through feminism, ageism, vanity, talent, business, artistry, authenticity, and more. It's a long road to Vegas -- sometimes. What's your PLV?
The America Gene is available as a first edition in print on paperback. Like all books bought through Videoranch, you can request for Nez to sign your copy with a free opportunity for personalization.
"I love the way he describes people, places, and situations. I could picture each character and the settings in my head."
"I purchased the book to read on vacation -- I figured it would be about right for an 8-day road trip -- something to read after I put the kids to bed and before I went to sleep each night. It only lasted five days (I read the first half over four days and stayed up until 1:00 in the morning finishing the last half on the fifth night because I couldn't wait another day to find out what happened to the characters -- I felt like a little kid with a flashlight under the covers trying to finish my book -- well, no flashlight because I was reading it on a tablet, but the sentiment is the same).
"A very well-written novel about a man at the doorstep of 50 years old who begins to reflect on his life and starts to make changes. His narrative is interwoven with the story of a musically gifted much younger woman who is also facing changes in her life -some of which are the result of the actions he is taking. Their stories are accompanied by a cast of characters whom you might encounter if you spent any time on the Gulf Coast. The background of the story is the concept of the America Gene -- that at some point in the life of Americans, something wakes up in them, and they begin spiraling towards their Personal Las Vegas (in a nutshell, think: Elvis - talented, innovative musician who ends up a caricature of himself in Las Vegas - it's more complicated than that - for a better explanation, read the book). The characters and places feel real -- as though you are sitting in a booth at a diner with a gifted storyteller who is regaling you with a great tale about some of his friends. The empathy with which the author deals with the characters is superb. Somehow he evokes compassion in the reader for all of the characters -- even the few whom you might not really like too much if you met them on the street. You might not agree with the actions they are taking, but you feel sympathetic towards them.
"Fans of the author's songwriting will not be surprised that the book is beautifully written. The realistic descriptions of the Texas coast will make you swear you can feel the Gulf breeze, and there are a few passages about the relationship between the main character and his father that made me want drop the book to call my dad and hug my kids. The real gems are the passages describing the spiritual connection between musicians and their art. I don't have the gift of relating a description that does them justice, but they were brilliant to read. There is also a good bit of humor interspersed throughout."