Yesterday I attended a wonderful book reading of The Magiker, a new novel by Charles Dennis. This is the latest novel from this prolific and successful author. But this was not just another book reading. The author and publishers arranged to have a top-notch crew of well-known actors stop in and lend their talents to make the book really come alive.
Bryan Cranston, of Breaking Bad fame, did a wonderful job reading the main character. Fred Melamed was in a supporting role, as was Richard Benjamin of Goodbye, Columbus fame. Other actors were all right on the mark, and it was a lovely and most enjoyable way to discover this book.
The reading was held at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City, and they also offered delicious food and beverages. Overall, a special treat in the middle of the workweek!
The Magiker is an intriguing novel about a socialite whose body seems to be inhabited by the soul of a young Jewish girl who died 100 years earlier. In looking it over and hearing it read, it sounds first rate. It is an engaging tale and the writing is clear and crisp, reminiscent of the great Jewish writers such as Saul Bellow and Philip Roth.
The author, Charles Dennis, also wrote Given the Crime, Given the Evidence, Shar-Li, The Dealmakers, This War is Closed Until Spring, and Bonfire, and he also played Sunad on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Mr. Dennis also wrote and directed the film, Hard Four, which starred Bryan Cranston, Ed Asner, Dabney Coleman, Ed Begley Jr. and others.
The Magiker was just recently published by Asahina & Wallace, a brand new publishing house run by Robert Wallace and Robert Asahina. Their purpose is to serve West Coast writers, an “underserved” area for publishing firms. They will consider writers from everywhere, however. I met them at the reading and they were kind, knowledgeable and clearly devoted to furthering the written word in our community and beyond.
For more information on the book or the publishers, visit the publisher’s website at asahinaandwallace.com, where you can also link to the book’s information at Amazon, etc.