Tracks: A Novel in Stories

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( 35 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780984510573: Tracks: A Novel in Stories

Fiction. Winner of the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) Gold Medal for Best Fiction from the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region. This novel-in-stories follows a diverse group of passengers on a train from Baltimore to Chicago, revealing the secrets of their past, their hopes for the future and just how intertwined their lives really are.

Journey by train from Baltimore to Chicago via the perspectives of a diverse array of passengers. They are the strangers we meet every day: a soldier slowly losing her faith in the war, a businesswoman learning to balance her job and the family she loves, a computer geek-turned-criminal, a Holocaust survivor finding hope in facing his fears, couples in love, a man dealing with the death of his parents, a poet hunting for inspiration, and a hit woman with a job to finish before the train arrives at its destination. Watch as these and other characters' lives and stories seamlessly link and intersect, quietly shaping and changing one another.

From nefarious goings-on in a Fells Point row house to prestigious partying on Federal Hill, Goodman's Baltimore is immediately recognizable and real. The stories in TRACKS stand alone, but they become stronger when linked together. A secondary character in one story becomes the main character in the next.

TRACKS examines the decisions each character faces and how those decisions, as well as their interactions with the other passengers, alter the path ahead and cast past experiences and choices in a new light.

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From the Inside Flap:

“Eric Goodman's Tracks is a most cunningly crafted tale—a perfect read for trains, planes and automobiles... or even for your armchair.” -- Madison Smartt Bell, Author of All Souls' Rising “Eric D. Goodman's Tracks is an absolute delight. The beautifully written stories of strangers riding the same train will hypnotically pull you in and captivate you to the very end.” --Jessica Anya Blau, Author of Drinking Closer to Home and The Summer of Naked Swim Parties “From the first story in Eric D. Goodman's novel in stories, Tracks, I knew I was in for an enjoyable ride. Goodman is a keen, compassionate and refreshingly un-ironic observer of the human condition. In Tracks, Goodman skillfully weaves stories of chance encounters, lost opportunities and new beginnings into a tight, colorful, breathtaking tapestry which he says is a train ride, but seems an awful lot like life.” --Bathsheba Monk, Author of Nude Walker and Now You See I...“Goodman limns the lives of his characters—all travelers on the same train—with a light and sensitive touch, yet he manages to delve deep, right to their very hearts. By turns comic and poignant, these pilgrims are united in one significant way: they all seek to make sense of life's unpredictable journey.” --Yona Zeldis McDonough, Author of Breaking the Bank “Who among us hasn't sat on a train and played at reading the minds of strangers? In this way, Tracks is a voyeuristic fantasy fulfilled. But here's the real surprise: Once you have mental telepathy, it's hard to call anyone a stranger anymore.” --Aaron Henkin, Baltimore's NPR station, WYPR “In Tracks, Goodman manages to capture the complicated push and pull of family, of friends, of history, of life—how it bears down on each of us, pulling us apart while simultaneously pushing us together. His characters are, in turn, compassionate, indifferent, bitter, sympathetic, wistful, and most of all, real. I recognized parts of myself in each one of them, and I imagine this is exactly what Goodman intended. Tracks is a wonderful debut.” --Mary Beth Keane, Author of The Walking People “Eric D. Goodman gets on board a fictional train from Baltimore to Chicago to tell the compelling stories of passengers taking inner journeys. From the couple who define the beauty of silence, to the last hurrah of a hit man, Tracks is insightful, engaging and, in so many ways, truly moving.” --Toby Devens, Author of My Favorite Midlife Crisis (Yet) "I have long been a fan of Eric D. Goodman's taut naturalistic fiction, so I came to Tracks with almost unfairly high expectations. I was not disappointed. Read these linked stories separately for their rich textures, their well-drawn characters, and their breathtaking moments of epiphany. Then read them again in sequence, allowing the cumulative power, the subtle connections and insights to reach their full force. Tracks is an unforgettable journey that cuts deep furrows in both the inner and the outer landscape." --Patry Francis, Author of The Liar's Diary "In an age of twitter, microfiction, and small attention spans, the stories in Eric D. Goodman's Tracks are built on narrative fiction and the U.S. rail system, both of which are seemingly pronounced dead every new decade. But like a good meal, these stories of strangers on a train marinate and simmer, creating a flavor that is richer than their parts. Goodman's alternating harsh and tender stories travel the spectrum of human emotion, and his care for his characters is evident from the first page to the last. By the end, we have not only lived through every character, but we are every character." --Jen Michalski, Author of Close Encounters and May-September “Eric D. Goodman's scintillating first novel-in-stories ... is a tour-de-force ... If one of the goals of great fiction is to set forth into new fictional territory, Tracks is that. And then some.” --Nathan Leslie, Author of Believers, Madre, and Drivers "In the best literary tradition of The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales, and Spoon River Anthology, Goodman's novel-in-stories reveals the rich textures and patterns in the tapestry of human experience. Tracks is elemental storytelling." --D.R. Belz, Author of White Asparagus “In an age of commuter rush, virtual friends, and novels written in 140-character bursts, Eric D. Goodman reminds us of the richness of train travel or a good book: when the pace is slower, you never know what sort of souls will greet you.” --Gregg A. Wilhelm, Executive Director, CityLit Project “Eric D. Goodman is a virtuoso; he breathes life into each character in such a way that you want to know everything about them, and each story makes you want to read the next to see how these lives intersect. Even when Tracks ends, it continues in the mind, leaving you wanting to know more, thinking about not only the lives of these multi-faceted characters, but your own life and the lives of those around you. Life is a journey and Tracks captures that feeling in a way that few interconnected story collections do.” --Nancy Greene, Author of Portraits in the Dark “Get on board Eric D. Goodman's Tracks for a rollicking ride from Baltimore to Chicago with a passenger list of colorful characters ... told in Goodman's witty, confidential style.” -- Charles Rammelkamp, author of The Secretkeepers and Castleman in the Academy

About the Author:

Eric D. Goodman is an American writer of literary fiction, commercial fiction, childrens literature, and non-fiction. He has been writing since a grade-school story assignment turned him on to the craft more than a quarter century ago.

Eric is the author of TRACKS, a novel in stories (Atticus Books, June 2011). TRACKS is set on a train traveling from Baltimore to Chicago. Each chapter is the individual story of a passenger on the train, but the stories link together and show how even strangers on a train can touch one another.

Eric regularly reads his fiction on Baltimore's NPR station, WYPR, and at book festivals and literary events. His work has appeared in a number of publications,including The Baltimore Review, The Pedestal Magazine, WritersWeekly, The Potomac, Grub Street, Scribble Magazine, Potomac Review, The Arabesques Review, Four-Cornered Universe, JMWW, Barrelhouse, Slow Trains, and New Lines from the Old Line State: An Anthology of Maryland Writers.

Eric is the author of FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children.

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