Excerpt from The Dream Merchant by Fred Waitzkin, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Dream Merchant

by Fred Waitzkin

The Dream Merchant
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Mar 2013, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Phyllis came down from the bridge and walked pigeon-toed to the stern where there was a coiled line. She weakly tossed it my way and it fell into the bay. She had to gather it from the water and throw it twice more before I managed to catch the end. She was an awkward, voluptuous woman of about thirty with a daffy smile. It was hard to pull the heavy trawler against the tide, but we finally got her tied up.

*   *   *

Our first days on their yacht were a dream vacation fantasy. Phyllis's sumptuous four-course meals followed long days on the water spearfishing and trolling. He was all about gamesmanship, betting, proposing dares, playing in the sea, enjoying the best cigars, discovering life's possibilities each morning after his oatmeal. Jim was six foot, and powerfully built, particularly in the chest and shoulders, his sandy hair thinning, and with a light complexion that burned easily in the Bahamian sun. Phyllis served him hand and foot, literally. Every afternoon after diving she gave him massages. She walked along his back cracking his spine with her little feet. She smeared goop on his lips to protect him from the sun. Phyllis mixed his drinks and handed him Cuban cigars. She seemed good-hearted, affable, and dumb—that was my first impression. In the evening she showered on the deck and waved whenever I glanced her way. She was nice to look at. The girls cooked together in the galley, got along okay, although I didn't think much about them. I was focused on Jim.

On the third day out I guided him to an isolated atoll about seventy miles south of Bimini called Orange Cay. It was hardly more than a large rock. But the surrounding reefs were untouched by local fishermen who couldn't afford the fuel to travel halfway to Cuba. There were lobsters, snappers, and groupers carpeting the bottom, so much game here that it felt unsporting to drop a line or dive down and spear them. But I never said that to Jim. He was in heaven and I wanted to please him. He had that effect on all of us. Every afternoon he came out of the water with his pole spear like James Bond and presented a bucket of fish and crawfish for the girls to cook. Of course any idiot could catch fish in such a place, but still I felt like a big shot for having brought him here.

I suggested playing gin rummy. It felt like a manly contest and I was good at cards. The first night playing with Jim I won thirty or forty dollars. I knew that I would. In my circle of friends I nearly always won. The second night I gradually lost back nearly everything. With a swagger that was not my own, I suggested raising the stakes. Jim didn't seem to care. Whatever you want, buddy, he said. I held my own for a while and then I began to lose. I was down five hundred before we quit—much more than I ever lost at cards. But it didn't matter. Jim evoked the larger picture while he racked up the score against me. What was five hundred when we were having such a good time bantering about women, diving for lobster, eating caviar and the best seafood, drinking wine beneath a galaxy of stars? He knew how to live. He would take me to places that I could not begin to imagine. This was implicit in the largess of those unforgettable days on Jim's yacht.

On the fifth night out, we were sitting on the aft deck drinking beer and watching gulls from the tiny island wheeling behind the stern in the glow of our anchor light. I knew that he wanted to play cards and he was waiting for me to ask him. The girls were below in the galley. Jim reached for a cigar in his shirt pocket, but then he put it back. In that moment all the banter went out of his face.

Look there, he said.

What?

He was pointing off the stern at a pinpoint of light in the distance. Hardly anything at all.

What is it?

Wait here, he said curtly. He walked into the salon and I watched him disappear down the stairs.

Excerpted from The Dream Merchant by Fred Waitzkin. Copyright © 2013 by Fred Waitzkin. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Dunne Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Fraudulent Money-Making Schemes

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Holding Up the Universe
    Holding Up the Universe
    by Jennifer Niven
    Jennifer Niven's spectacular Holding Up the Universe has everything that I love about Young ...
  • Book Jacket: Coffin Road
    Coffin Road
    by Peter May
    From its richly atmospheric opening to its dramatic conclusion, Peter May's Coffin Road is a ...
  • Book Jacket: The Guineveres
    The Guineveres
    by Sarah Domet
    It's a human need to know one's own identity, to belong to someone, to yearn for a place ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win All the Gallant Men

All The Gallant Men

The first memoir by a USS Arizona survivor, 75 years after Pearl Harbor.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Y Eyes P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.