FRED WAITZKIN presents The Dream Merchant: A Novel
Monday, March 25th at 6 p.m.
Published by St. Martin's Press
The Dream Merchant explores the capacity of a good person to do bad things. Jim is a charismatic and caring, yet increasingly flawed salesman who becomes an addicted gambler, womanizer and criminal as he wins over countless people, through his charms and a series of financial scams. Just as quickly as his fortunes rise, he loses everything, leaving people ruined in his wake. Eventually he becomes a modern Lord Jim, operating a lawless and violent gold mining operation in the Brazilian Jungle, South of Manaus. As an old man, he meets Mara, a beautiful young Israeli woman with dark ambitions of her own. In the process of their unlikely life together the girl finds herself turned on by this old man, as if his profligate history of glory and big money, and finally his weakness and proximity to death in her embrace, create an urgency that is erotically charged. Narrated by a writer equally mesmerized and, at times, repulsed by this larger-than-life character, the novel recalls classics by Hemingway and Fitzgerald, Marquez and Roth.