Golden City on Fireby Sherman Smith
Sherman Smith’s new novel, GOLDEN CITY ON FIRE, is a true pleasure to read. It is a thriller, written as if you were there – at the time of the Great San Francisco earthquake in 1906. It is as if you were suffering the fire and chaos, the heartbreak of such a tragedy. It is exciting and urgent, full of dramatic tension. It is a snapshot of humanity in all of its foibles – the courageous and the vile, the bigotry and the compassion. Sherman’s new work spotlights some profound truths about humanity in a crisis, especially that we are truly all one. I highly recommend this book. It is the best of the first four wonderful published stories by Sherman Smith. I look forward to more. —Randi Hilles, Florida.
Review by Jeanette Skirvin
No one could tell where they were, where they were going, where land was or what threats lay ahead of them…
GOLDEN CITY on FIRE, authored by Sherman Smith, is a historical bone-chilling recount of San Francisco’s most traumatic event, the 1906 devastating earthquake. Brilliantly written, Smith generates his research into riveting sentences sweeping the reader into the midst of hysteria and chaos as a small band of strong minds manage to keep their wits while all others are losing their sanity.
“…sorry I didn’t bring a cake’” is uttered as a simple calming honest birthday wish between two souls while all around them the trembling city explodes unto cinder and shatter, mangle and char falling to heaps of debris in the streets cutting off avenues and boulevards to floating in the bay clogging waterway escape. It’s hard to compartmentalize death and move on as if nothing had happened…
Sentence after sentence, page after page the reader is swept into the scene caught up as a victim, a survivor, a policeman, fireman, giggling children playing a simple kick-the-can game while a hungry man grilles fish on flame as parents stare with frightened little animal eyes…
Maybe you are Lavinia, hurt and seemingly alone… the heat and the smoke caused her vision to waver- a black and white dream with yellowish-orange undertones. All she knew was that she did not want to be where she was and that she really didn’t know where that was.
Sherman Smith vividly paints a portrait of mass humanity overcome to madness yet for a few giant professionals who manage to cling and build on their inner strength as they rise to grasp control in the face of overwhelming disarray. At the heart of this book glows love and compassion as in this scene of a China woman kneeling serenely at Lavinia’s feet applying ancient comfort easing injury.
She closed her eyes not seeing or feeling the tiny needles the old woman inserted into her leg and foot.
A monumental tome of historical value, GOLDEN CITY on FIRE should be in every library.
It was April, 1906 when a quirk in the geophysical calendar caused the catastrophic earthquake that rendered the city of San Francisco into ashes and tangled debris. Social order lost footing, chaos was on the wing. Sherman Smith, the writer of GOLDEN CITY ON FIRE has used intense psychological insight in structuring the fictional characters – the good, bad, and beautiful – in his version of this human drama. Floundering in uncertainties, their actions tell us of the ineptness of leaders, lack of moral standards, within diverse cultures. Under the dark clouds of adversity courage takes hold. Smith has used the dim history of the early 20th Century as the soil of literature for this remarkable book. Eloquently written and fascinating read! —Dona Harley, California.
by Sherman Smith
292 pages (5 x 8 Perfect Bound on Creme w/Gloss Lam)
Now internationally available at all major online and street bookstores.