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Brown Books Publishing Group Publishes Road-Trip Novel Perfect for Summer Reading

DALLAS , May 24 /Businesswire/ - In Flightless Falcon, debut author James Charles Smith guides readers down I-70 on a nostalgic coming-of-age adventure. Reminiscent of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, with elements of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Smith’s novel delicately portrays the varied nuances of American political beliefs during the late Vietnam War era.

Flightless Falcon explores the Baby Boomer psyche at a time when the threat of Communism loomed from the East and the nuclear button was at the hands of military leaders across the globe. This was the world inherited by the then-largest generation in American history and the lens through which the main character—Sam Roberts—has to find himself as a young man.

Only a year into the Air Force Academy, Roberts resigns, his father furious, his mother understanding but unsupportive. All Sam knows is that he doesn’t believe in the US’s involvement in Vietnam. Leaving his girlfriend and the Academy behind in Colorado, Sam hitchhikes across Interstate 70 all the way home to Missouri.

Along the way, he meets Hispanic youths driving to a quinceañera; retired WWII vets who have differing opinions on the war; a hippie who just left the service; and a same-sex California couple. Each ride freshens Sam’s perspective on the war and American ideals of his time period. All the while readers are immersed in the tie-dye, rock ’n’ roll, anti-war, free-love mentality that saw the world through the dreams of what it could become.

“So much has changed in some ways, and so little has changed in others ... I hope to share the kindness and empathy of [my] characters and how respect, tolerance and understanding can help us, especially in troubled times.” —James Charles Smith

AUTHOR BIO: Born in Texas, James Charles Smith traveled widely as a US Air Force brat. He attended college at the United States Air Force Academy and resigned during his first year, which served as the inspiration for Flightless Falcon. Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri–Columbia. He worked for ten years as a writer, editor, cameraman, producer and director before returning to school. After attaining an engineering degree he became a consultant to the Electric Power Research Institute. Currently he lives with his wife and his dog, Abel, in the foothills of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

STORY TAGS: United States, North America, Texas, New York, Product/Service, Baby Boomers, Teens, Parenting, Consumer, Books, LGBTQ+, Other Consumer, Entertainment,


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