Eye of a Fly

Front Cover
Justin Smith, Mar 12, 2011 - Fiction - 230 pages
2 Reviews

Short description:Raised by slum-dwelling alcoholics, an autistic teen struggles to complete college and woo a handicapped girl.

Longer description: Eye of a Fly is a novel of tragedy and redemption with a cast of characters that includes:

  • Ernest Wentworth, a profoundly introverted boy who inhabits a world of mathematics and music.
  • Tiffany, his innocent younger sister whose friends teach her voodoo.
  • Warren, Ernest's talented but troubled younger brother whose suicide triggers the novel's finale.
  • Harry, Ernest's father. A former Hollywood screen writer, he has always dreamed of drinking hard, seeing the world, and writing like Hemingway---but only succeeded at the first.
  • Annie, a brain-damaged but radiant girl who draws Ernest out of his shell.

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Dark, dirty and violent---a delight to read!
Eye of a Fly depicts the ultimate toxic family, with a father, Harry Wentworth whose boozy, manic, nihilism reminds me of someone in Dostoyevsky's The
Possessed. This book mixes noir, terror and humor in equal parts. Its take on Hollywood's phoniness is hilarious! This is a story that will stay with you for a long time to come! 

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JD Salinger for the New Millenium, March 11, 2011
Bookworm (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eye of a Fly (Kindle Edition)
A brutal delight written with the compassion and wisdom of the greats, Eye of a Fly by Justin R Smith is one of my favorite books by a living author. Written in simple, honest and accessible poetic language, it goes right to the reader's heart. There is so much more to this story than the description would suggest. A truly beautiful transcendent reading experience cleverly disguised as a sincere and heartfelt urban coming of age tale, it is, in fact a journey into the heart of redemption of the human spirit. And even being at times a real tear-jerker, the book has humorously slapstick moments which are so rude and outright funny, I nearly s**t my pants laughing. The scene at the butcher's counter at the corner grocery store is one of those hilariously surreal literary memories that I will doubtless take with me to the grave -- and quite probably beyond. Justin Smith with this splendid new book has earned himself a place as the new millennium's answer to JD Salinger. Bravo!  

Selected pages


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21

Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24

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About the author (2011)

Justin Smith grew up in New York City and attended the Bronx High School of Science and Hunter College. After earning his Ph. D. in Mathematics from New York University, he held teaching positions at Rice University, the University of Hawaii, and SUNY, before becoming a professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Drexel University - a position he holds to this day. He lives in a suburb of Philadelphia with his wife Brigitte and their three cats, Gus and Gerri and Norton. When he isn't writing, he enjoys wine-making and his "day job" - teaching and doing mathematical research.

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