Sunday, June 7, 2009
New Release - Steel Town by John P. Matsis
Steel Town, a city of proud immigrant men and women awakens to the call of a distant war. Bessemer converters, open hearths, and steel workers gear for the machinery of a war they don’t understand. Night is no longer dark as the horizon glows from the nonstop flow of molten steel; the evenings no longer tranquil as eighteen-wheelers roar, fully loaded with steel to make tanks that spit fire and for destroyers that patrol the Sea of Saigon.
In a place as alien as a far off planet, two boys, the best of friends, come to age and find themselves catapulted into the horror of war—where the enemy, like moles, tunnel beneath the damp earth and into the hillsides, where booby trapped bombs and punjii stakes await the unwary American soldiers as they step through tall grasses and beneath the canopy of dense vegetation in search of the enemy. It is a place where a cunning and determined enemy calls home, a jungle arena where boyhood dreams and bonds of friendship are tested. The motto, “till death do us part,” becomes a sudden reality when a enemy grenade explodes, and the once “pretty boy” must come to grip with a terrible reality—he has only half a face. He is no longer the boy with a face that girls die for, no longer the vision of a Greek god born of proud immigrant parents.
As the war escalates, Steel Town, Gary, Indiana, must come to grip with the changing times. The old ways are strained, tradition no longer to be taken for granted—the war has changed everything. Like the war afar, lives totter and bend in the gust of controversy. A Greek coffeehouse keeper, an ex-middleweight champion of the world, and a young girl face difficult decisions. A priest struggles with his own demons. Parents look at each with apprehension, uncertain of the future of their sons. Two soldiers, their lives forever changed, struggle in a chess match of life and death. Even the enemy must face the inevitable…that life is indeed fragile