Rating:

ImageReviewed by Claudia Robinson

“White Cedar did accept proposals straight from writers; this set us apart from large publishers, which generally worked only through literary agents. While this did subject us to a lot of the overcooked, catcentric stuff I have mentioned, it also brought in some quality projects from first-time authors who would have been ignored otherwise.” – Tim

 Tim is a young, up and coming professional, with a love for the written word. When he secures a job with a prestigious publishing firm in NY, it’s a dream come true. It’s a chance for him to do what he loves, in a fast paced, bedazzled world, where wit and wine and an Editor title can win a man a good future. White Cedar Press, Tim’s new employer, prides itself in publishing unique, well written, classical books, upstanding literature that speaks for itself, stands out among others, and Tim is proud to be a part of the literary world and the genius and magic his firm represents. Until a new manager, Warner Spence, eccentric, over the top and a little askew, comes on board, Tim is pretty sure he’s managed to secure his dream job. Warner’s perspective, however, and ideas, are about to change all that.

Shipped off to an office in Miami, Tim soon realizes that his dream job is beginning to unravel at the seams. Warner’s taste in literature deviates from anything and everything Tim believes in. New authors, with twisted takes on old classics, begin presenting their work to White Cedar Press, with Warner’s blessing, and encouragement. The Scarlet Letter, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell To Arms, Moby Dick, Little Women, and more classics, revamped and revisited, twisted, part twos, with werewolves, sex changes, and murder and mayhem. Sacrilegious re-writes, that leave Tim festering in the obscenity of it all, and contemplating his future.

On the one hand, his job still offers him all the benefits of a lucrative career, women, money, travel, but on the other, it’s a betrayal of everything he’s ever stood for, purity of prose, pristine, well written, intelligent books, something White Cedar Press no longer seems to care much about. When his relationship with his girlfriend Jackie ends on a sour note, her future enveloped in the publication of her own, good material, Tim finds himself contemplating his choices, his life, and his morals. At what point does a man disown all of his convictions for a paycheck, if at all? With the aide of his friend Paulo, Tim tries to find the answers.

Written almost as a journal narrative, Timar offers readers an inside glimpse in to the mind and mayhem of a young man’s professional life and the choices and chances one is forced to endure, take and make in order to succeed. A little confusing at times, even perhaps a little bland, White Cedar Press succeeds, however, in capturing the demise of literature at the hands of the insensitive, and the subsequent filling of bookstore shelves with fantasy and fairy tales so absurd and unlikely, empty of true substance, that we see in real life. For those who love books as much as I do, White Cedar Press offers a peek in to the publishing world, and the decisions behind the scenes that make or break an author’s career. A little bit quirky, a little bit fun, a little topsy turvy, it’s a book that delivers a quick, easy to read, role specific book. I truly believe White Cedar Press is geared towards authors, publishers and editors, who will better understand the ins and outs, nuances and subtleties Timar expresses eloquently.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Claudia lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband and two children.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Eric Timar. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.