I decided today to serialize The Jack Trilogy on Wattpad (the first chapters of Book 1 were uploaded today Dorion’s Wattpad Site). The work, expected to be completed in December, 2016, follows the antics of Jack and Jeremy as students in a fictional Charleston, South Carolina schoolhouse and later as they mature into manhood during the American Civil War years, 1861-65. The setting is Charleston and several Caribbean islands as well as aboard ship en route to Senegal on the west African coast where the duo with the assistance of two free Jamaican young women and 110 African ex-slaves attempt to sail a stolen slave ship back to Africa. The trilogy is an action-packed adventure story with many humorous and entertaining passages.
The opening chapters of Jack 1 see Jack and Jeremy conspiring to disrupt the lesson of their racist schoolmaster, Mr. Jerome Whittemore, whose lectures frequently glorify the southern white plantation slave system. His students jeer and ridicule him behind his back. Whittemore often verbally and physically abuses and even canes students, ruling by intimidation as he cannot gain their respect. Jack – one of Whittemore’s victims – revolts and plans a series of outrageous revenge actions against Master Whittemore. But the three books see tremendous change as the war approaches. The first four chapters of Book three are available on this WordPress site but won’t appear on Wattpad until mid-autumn, 2016. I plan to add six to ten chapters per week on Wattpad.
If you like what you read, please take a moment to write a brief review on my Amazon site at the link below – the reviews are the main reason I am offering the trilogy free on Wattpad as a serialization.
The number one thing that indie authors need from readers – aside from purchasing books – are reviews. Reviews are the reason prospective readers will purchase an author’s books.
Here is what some reviewers had to say about Jack: Book 1. They are posted on my Amazon author site at the above link.
- “This book is one that I would have my teens read so that they could have a bit of our jagged history put into a context that causes them to be eager to turn the page and find out what happens next. It always takes my breath away to read books like this when I realize how recent this history really was. Definitely recommend this book especially if you are trying to get your older kids into history!”
- A good one. Duplicity, and the view that in each of us, there is at least some good. Jack and his friends are just boys… But, in the time of this novel, young men already. Young, but, already faced with life’s challenges, of which the most important probably is: do I leave this as is, or do I fight it? Dark sometimes; and I would like to know more of what goes on in Jack’s head – why he is who he is? Really? Why does he do what he does? All I can say is: read it! Remember the old Orson Wells’ Nashua photo-copier adds? (before your time, maybe!!) They all ended with the big bearded guy saying/asking: ‘Makes you think, doesn’t it??”
- Jack is a picaresque set in the southern part of United states in the XIX century, when racism in America was rampant. We meet Jack and Jeremy, two rogue, fun loving boys who spend their time doing antics all over the place. They live (author’s note: they do not live there) in a schoolhouse managed by Master Whittemore, who was preacher in a slave ship before and has a pretty closed racist mind. Obviously, the boys will make his life impossible in a variety of ways.
This book is a love letter to Mark Twain’s works, with an inconfundible vibe of the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, including a lot of traveling through the epoch America and a good depiction of how American society was at the time. I had a lot of fun and laughed my fair share witnessing all the occurrences of Jack and Jeremy, how they managed to beat Whittemore at a trial was a blast.
Definitely a good, fun read that will appeal both to youngsters who will relate to the main characters and adults who will remember their childhood years and enjoy a Twain-style story.
- Jack part one is a beautifully written. It deals with a sensitive subject like slavery in a unique way. The protagonist Jack reminds you of the mischievous childhood friends one always cherishes. He reminds you of Huckleberry Finn.
- “This is a rollicking read!” Jack is a book set in Charleston in the 1800’s, which tells the story of mischievous schoolboys. Jack is the rebellious leader who delights in winding up his school master and setting up his schoolboy friends for a fall. The book does remind me of the work of Mark Twain, there are many similarities but enough differences for this to feel like a new work. In a way I think this is a homage to Mark Twain.
The tone of this is humorous, although I think as it gets further in quite serious and shocking when describing the abolishment of slavery and treatment of the people. I think on that subject this book suddenly becomes more appealing and the dynamics change with other characters introduced to us.
The conversation between a schoolboy and the master when speaking of the slaves and their freedom, I felt tension and empathy because of their differences in opinion. It is odd to read something like that, as now slavery is not even a matter of opinion or discussion. Black or white, we are all equal beings and that makes this into an fascinating historical novel. Jack has a setting with plenty of story opportunities.
The personal background story of the school master is a nice touch and almost elevates this to fairy-tale status as he chucks in teaching and returns to his former occupation, thanks to Jack. He could have easily became a caricature of the idea that we have of schoolmasters of old, who bully their pupils and rap their knuckles with a ruler. The character of Jack becomes more well rounded too as the book reaches its end and you start to understand him a little more.
- Massachusetts born but world traveller author Gary L. Dorion has a colorful career and outlook on the world. He has been a journalist specializing in court coverage in Boston, has taught English and Global History in New York, an author of three books (wide ranging topics), and now lives in Thailand where he is devoting his attention to Young Adult novels – the JACK Trilogy – of which this is the first installment. Gary’s strong interest in history is evident in all of his works – whether about the Holocaust or the African American saga in American history, and it is that depth of knowledge that informs his writing while he entertains us with colorful characters and his magnetically attractive prose style.Gary’s novel is rather short and is directed to the young adult (ages 12 – 18) and he knows this audience well, able to speak in their language form to further involve them in the progression of the story. For instance, he opens with a prodromal conversation that while hinting at the story ahead still bows to the characterizations he is creating: ‘Crawling up alongside the red wooden façade of the school house, Jack and I peeked through the windows and scanned the room. There was Mike sitting on one end of a bench, paying the strictest attention to master’s lesson. “The sniveling little worm!” Jack said, scrunching up his nose. “I knew he didn’t have the nerve to skip. Next, he’ll be licking Whittemore’s boots – the little worm.” “What are we gonna do?” I asked. “What do ya mean what’a we gonna do? What are you gonna do you moron?” Jack said and rapped his knuckles on the wooden door of the school house as hard as he could, then bolted toward the hedges across the Meetinghouse Road, saying, “Run son if you knows what’s good for ya!”Comfortable in the arena the important story unfolds, and Gary’s synopsis is succinct: ‘The setting is Charleston, South Carolina, and it also is set on a slave ship that traffics in the Caribbean islands before and during the American Civil War. It is about a rebel’s rebel, Jack, who, as a young boy, challenges the racist teachings of his schoolmaster, but later following him to sea aboard a slave ship and ultimately meeting his fate at the epic battle of Gettysburg. In Part I the time ’is set in the American south one year prior to the civil war. It focuses on three characters who are children at a fictional schoolhouse in Charleston who challenge their racist schoolmaster, a former preacher on a slave ship on the high seas. Jack is at the center of the revolt against “Master Whittemore” and ultimately defeats him during a “trial” that master conducts in his little schoolhouse. Master, after some reflection, sees the criticism his students have tried to make and understands that his efforts to sing the praises of the plantation slavery system and of the benefits of secession were wrong. He decides to return to the same slave ship on the ruse that he will again preach the necessity of slavery. He does the exact opposite and tries to incite rebellion. Master is thrown overboard. Jack and Jeremy had signed up for the journey to Jamaica and other slave-trading ports after they saw the change in their teacher. In Jamaica they meet two free blacks-America and her friend-and together the four conspire to take the ship and set free the entire slave cargo.’Adventure peppered with solid humor to make the tale yet more pungent, this first installment is fine reading for adults as well as young adults. A solid start on a worthy project. Grady Harp, February 16
Categories: Serializing the Jack Trilogy