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The Streamlined Locomotive Stephen Auslender

The Streamlined Locomotive

Stephen Auslender

Published December 29th 2011
ISBN :
Kindle Edition
186 pages
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 About the Book 

This story, The Streamlined Locomotive, covers a year in the life of Theo, an easy going guy who only desires to live a life of ease. He has a good income as an executive in the family railroad business, is very attractive to women and just wants toMoreThis story, The Streamlined Locomotive, covers a year in the life of Theo, an easy going guy who only desires to live a life of ease. He has a good income as an executive in the family railroad business, is very attractive to women and just wants to coast through his life without any pressure or responsibilities. However, with the United States preparing for entry into World War Two he is expected to constantly accept assignments of great responsibility and to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks.There are Machiavellian machinations like those indulged in by the chief executives of big business today. The hero is the scion of a wealthy dynasty, whose patriarch is cast from the mold of the robber barons of the late 19th Century. Like today’s unscrupulous CEO’s and politicians the leader of the family indulges in skullduggery at all opportunities.The locale for the novel is a fictional county in the middle area of the Appalachian mountain range, where the main industry is the production of illegal alcoholic beverages..Located in this county is a foreign embassy of an obscure Balkans country, filled with spies and secret agents, all bent on espionage and outright theft of the secrets of all nations.To add to our hero’s disquiet, after years of bedding gorgeous women without the trouble of any commitment, he finds himself smitten by the machine gun toting chief of security for the foreign delegation. She and the handsome playboy Theo fall for each other as soon as their eyes meet, which he finds puzzling since she is shaped like a beer barrel on piano legs and has the strength of a Russian weight lifter.This novel has it all: graft, greed, blackmail, prostitution, hypocrisy, corruption at the highest levels, secret agents, the unfettered immorality of the upper classes trading bed partners with one another- the large-scale production of bootleg alcoholic beverages, the hillbillies of Appalachia and their feuds, gunfights, and the American railroad industry, all placed in the 1941-1942 setting of the preparation of the United States industry for our entry into World War Two.Is this exciting novel a serious study of the baser parts of human nature? Is the book a two-fisted adventure thriller? Is this story a historical study of our entry into the war? Is it an intimate exploration of the thoughts of an emotionally insecure junior executive nee spoiled rich kid as he tries to accept the responsibilities of his position without really doing any hard work?Well, maybe. However, I see this story as essentially a comedy. It may seem semi-serious at times but the basic elements and the threads running through it are pure, joyful absurdity. One may even consider it to be an existential comedy, whatever that is. Then again, one might not.Read this entertaining story for yourself and you determine what kind of comedy it is.