Flash and Dazzle. Lou Aronica. The Story Plant. November 2013. 288 pp. e-book. ISBN #: 9781611880694.
Flash and Dazzle are two guys lucky enough to find each other not only as great colleagues but who also become best friends or soul mates who supposedly know each other’s thoughts before they are thought and who bring out the best in each other. Their friendship is uniquely remarkable, but their future is about to become even more so in the most unexpected way possible. Flash is a copywriter and Dazzle is an art director in a small but well-known ad agency. Reading about how they bounce ideas off each other until they come up with brilliant ad campaigns is fascinating stuff and even humorous because of their antics and light style with it all. They are no lightweights in the industry, however; and Flash is very, very surprised when another opportunity arises for him to work elsewhere, without Daz, his best buddy.
Flash will be wined and dined, interviewed, cosseted with a perky weekend trip set to woo him but with one unexpected caveat that stuns him. That won’t be the ultimate stunner, however, as he doesn’t realize that the recent brief illnesses of Daz are much more serious, in fact devastating.
It’s after discovering Daz’s problem that the real sharing about life and life’s changes suddenly become devastatingly real and poignant beyond words. In the process he meets Daz’s sister and the three discuss numerous serious and hilarious memories that forged their personalities into the capable and admirable people they have become.
Secrets and fantasies fill the mix as the three friends work their way through exotic meals, movies and music while awaiting the ultimate challenge of change. There are potent moments that are depicted in a very real way without being maudlin or exaggerated. A deep respect for the vivaciousness of life fills every page and the prospect of change heightens each moment’s precious value.
Flash and Dazzle, like so many of Lou Aronica’s other novels, is a dynamic contemporary novel that readers will for sure find fully engaging and worthwhile reading. Lou Aronica is a talented writer who uses subtlety rather than explicit description to depict the normalcy, quirkiness and fluctuations of honest characters. Terrific writing and reading!