TITLE: BIG FLIES
Author: KEITH HIRSHLAND
Genres: MEMOIR/ FICTION
Publication Date: 9 AUGUST 2016
Touching, Fictional Memoir on One Father’s Secret, Criminal Life
On the front cover of this book is the Honore de Balzac inscription: “Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught.” It is a summary of what this book is all about. It is a work of fiction but is inspired by actual events. It is the stirring account of the secret life of a criminal mastermind by the name of Chester David, who left a sizable fortune to his only son, Leland. He had partners who assisted him in his crimes by the names of Emmett Lander, Evelyn Lander, and Donald “Snoshu” Richards.
The book starts off with a bored Leland who is trying to write a book on his Apple computer but lacks the inspiration to do so. He is all alone, save for his pet dog Harriet Potter, in his inherited big house from his father. The style of the book is written in the present then the past through alternating chapters labelled “These Days” (about the present with Leland) and “Those Days” (about the past with Chester David). Of these, Chester’s story is the more adventurous and interesting because it is a biographical account from the time when he was a nerdy middle grade student to the time when he was an accomplished and elusive high-tech thief making millions from his loot.
To me, this book glorifies the crime of thievery but is quite moving and saddening at the same time. It does not portray Chester and Donald Richards in a negative way but describes them as considerate individuals where Chester is the loving and caring father figure to Leland and Donald the family friend who keeps a protective eye over Leland when Chester passes on. I recommend this book to those readers who have a soft-spot for their fathers. It is a poignant story that left me with feelings of sadness and sympathy for these fictional characters who never did anything dirty besides thievery. I commend the author, Keith Hirshland, for keeping it light and PG-rated throughout. It is a book I would read to celebrate Father’s Day or to gift to my nephews when they reach teen-hood. Readers, take it from me, buy/order this for your rainy or snowy days. Definitely worth your money!