Book Review: Resurrecting Tobias, Author, William D. Holland
Word of a Master
All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one, you feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.
My first ever Letter to an Author
Yes, it's true. In all my years and thousands of books read, I have never written to an author. Sure, I thought about writing to him or her and may have even gone so far as to search for an address to reach them...but just never actually followed through. And I can explain.
After I've finished a book that truly grabbed hold of me and swept me away to a place I loved being, I boldly invited myself onto every page, to be a part of everything. I found myself groping for words worthy enough to express the whirlwind going on in my head...and struggling to even know how to write to a literary genius.
Well, this all happened when I finally closed "Resurrecting Tobias," but it's different this time. This time, the author is not a total stranger. He is also my friend. How great is this? I can share all the crazy emotions that surged through me page after page....all the times I literally spoke out loud in response to Toby, Maria and Pete.....oh, that precious, lovable Pete! I am head over heels in love with Pete. I want to find him and tell him so. Bill, I can even tell you that my very first teen heart throb was named, Pete, and know you won't laugh at me. You'll understand that I made your Pete, MY Pete...so I could picture him and recall his cute smile and impish attitude. I could reach into your book and hug Pete again, for the first time in 50 years. Your Pete made me feel so young in puppy love. Thank you, Bill.
Not very long into this wonderful story, I realized I'd need to keep the tissues handy. I had to catch the flow of tears or I'd have ruined this treasured book. Sad tears, happy tears and even tears of anger....oh, your story took me to every height and every low imaginable. I was inside every head, lurking around all corners, trying desperately to get ahead of what was coming next. But you sly and cunning fox you,Bill, you managed to shake me out of my fantasy. Things were too real and you made sure I discovered that. Did you expect me to prepare myself for the next earth shattering shock? I didn't, Bill. You saw to it that Toby caught me off guard every time.
I wanted to be like Maria. Ha! What a laugh. The woman is beyond any and all virtues I could have ever hoped to embrace. Where ever Maria came from within that head of yours, Bill, she had to have existed there for a very long and peaceful time. I'm thinking she may have been an Angel you met in a childhood dream....beautiful, gentle, loving and so smart.
Maria kind of made me crazy, if you want the damned truth, Bill. At times I wanted to hug her or just walk next to her in silent support. Other times I wished I could have shaken her by the shoulders until she saw stars! I screamed at her so many times, only to feel like a total cold- hearted witch and ask her forgiveness, which of course, she always gave. I loved Maria and I also envied her. Thus, I don't know whether to thank you or curse you for the introduction, Mr. Holland.
It's fine. I needed to meet Maria. She taught me so much. This is tough for a know-it-all like myself to admit, but yes, Maria now lives as a part of me & it's comfortable. She is a very welcomed new friend.
Mr.Tobias Alexander King. Wow, what a guy. Mr. Pulitzer Prize, success, failure, genius, fool, alcoholic, sober......Toby, what is it with you? Are you an ego-maniac or are you filled with humility? I see you as a hundred different men, every one of them good buddies who constantly fight with one another, never really knowing why. Am I wrong Toby? Can you tell me who you are?
Bill, oh so many times I wanted to call you and demand you explain Toby King to me before I lost my senses trying to figure him out. Could I ever understand him? Yet, that same confusion and need to know him is what kept me following his every move, his every word and thought. I didn't really have to force myself to comprehend what it was about Toby King that allowed him the privilege of such love and loyalty from his two best friends, Pete and Maria. They were quite free with their feelings for him and the reasons he was a vital part of their lives.The three of them were simply and utterly intertwined in mind, body and spirit. It was preposterous to imagine them ever apart from one another...
I sat in every audience of every City or Town where Toby spoke. I was the woman in the front row, mesmerized by his brilliance and the beautiful flow of words, that made it seem he was not speaking but singing. The songs I heard touched me deeply, made me laugh out loud, cry and wonder.....wonder until I was dizzy. I wanted to ask the first question and listen closely to his response. I would scan the audience and recognize the profound expressions on the faces of his dedicated fans. Toby deserved their attention and devotion and possibly the worst of it was he always knew it and expected it. Did Toby have an out-of-control ego or was he merely deceiving himself?
For as many times as Toby was knocked around and made to topple from his throne, he felt the pain. The pain that took him forever to see was shared equally by the two people who loved him most. The rise and fall and rise again of Tobias King....a journey of epic proportions, within himself and for all the world to see.
My favorite parts......
Well Bill, I should tell you what I feel are the best parts of your book. For me, it's from page one to page 508, where I had to sadly see, "The End." Truth is, I'd have to tell you something wonderful, intriguing, confusing, mysterious and sad that I may have found on every page.
I stressed over what I would say to you or how I could explain what I sincerely think of your novel. I'm not the corny, sugar 'n spice kind of gal...Lord knows. It's just that when I first sat down to tap this letter out, I was seriously bubbling over with things I wanted to express.-words-adjectives....and they all sounded like too much chocolate filled with too much peanut butter. Then after about ten minutes of giving the backspace key a good workout, I just said, "Oh hell, this is Bro Bill.....just spit it out, girl." That's when I decided to borrow Jeremy Petrich's style and just say what I would if we were chatting over coffee.
Bill, I LOVE "Resurrecting Tobias." It is a treasure. A gem I will keep forever and read over and over again. I've cleared a special space on my book shelf just for Toby and for SURE, this book has a very special place in my heart.
I've already made this book into a movie. I even know the Stars who'll play all the roles. Hey, this can happen. Just look at what you've done thus far. I have not a single doubt that Roopleen was speaking directly to you, Mr. William D. Holland, when he said, "If you have a dream, don't just sit there. Gather courage to believe that you can succeed and leave no stone unturned to make it reality."