• Talk about a Dream: Book raises money for Whitehall’s Star Theatre

    Review by Doug Mitchell

    Most first novels are short, tentative works. Not this one.

    Talk About a Dream is a 613 page tour de force written night after night from a recliner in Whitehall by a former smalltown newspaper owner.

    The book was designed not for publication, but as a story for his kids. You see, author Glenn Marx and his wife, Terri, had just become empty nesters. They had sold the Whitehall Ledger and Glenn wanted to find a way to communicate with his adult children.

    Like any good father might do, he decided to tell them a story. And it’s quite a story.

    First, a brief disclaimer: Glenn is a friend of mine. He is kind, thoughtful and shockingly smart.  These facts made this particular reviewing assignment both tricky and risky. I am generally quite skeptical of self-published books, and of books written by friends. I was worried that I would have to find polite words to say the book was “interesting” and “well intended” – code for not very good.

    Within pages of starting Talk About a Dream, I knew my worries were unfounded.

    Now, I can add to the things I think about Glenn. He is a very gifted writer and much funnier than I had known.

    Talk About a Dream is, on its surface, a fictional account of a year in the life of small town Whitehall. It’s told through the eyes of Lance Joslyn, a local newspaper publisher (sound familiar?). The book is set around a magical football season and a mystical character named Jerry “Jersey” Conte who appears seemingly out of nowhere and becomes the head football coach and much more.

    Talk About a Dream is one of those books you want to savor. Glenn has crafted a set of characters so rich and familiar that reading the book feels like an intimate act of being inside the story. I found myself rationing my reading to make the story last longer, an admittedly odd reaction to a book that is epic in its length (and weight).

    Therein lay the genius of the author who somehow has taken a story meant for his adult son and daughter and turned it into a tale for all of us.

    On top of that, Talk About a Dream is being used to help a worthy cause.

    Whitehall’s Star Theatre is one of the places that provides a home to some of the book’s scenes and without the local effort to “Save the Star” we may never have been gifted the opportunity to read Talk About a Dream.

    Glenn agreed to allow for the publication of his work only if all proceeds went to the benefit the historic Star Theatre. Glenn told me over lunch he thought his book “had a good heart.”

    It does and so does he.

    Doug Mitchell is a frequent Montana Magazine contributor. He writes from Helena.

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