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 Book Description.  It was a car fanatic's nightmare.  While Terry Berkson was visiting his newborn son at the hospital, his '63 Corvette-a gift from his late father-was stolen off the streets of Brooklyn.  Berkson didn't have theft insurance, and he couldn't get over the loss.  Detectives wrote his car off.  It's been chopped up for parts, they told him.  He would never find it.  His wife and his sister-in-law told him he was crazy.  But he didn't give in-he posted reward notices and cruised neighborhoods where he thought a stolen Corvette might pop up.

In his incredible search, he was aided by an unlikely coterie of understanding officials, sympathetic car thieves, as well as repo men, bus drivers on the lookout for him, and desperate cases who wanted to help him in unexpected ways, like the woman who claimed she had seen the car, and who was wearing almost nothing when he showed up to talk with her.  He plunged into the secretive and dangerous world of  "chop shops," where cars are cut down to nothing and sold for untraceable parts.  He lurked in the dim corners of New York's most secluded hiding places, like "King Kong's Cave" in the Bronx, where stolen cars are abandoned and set on fire.  He learned how professional thieves plan and pull off grand theft auto, and he finally located his car-but what happens when he does is both terrifying and exhilarating.

An original blend of philosophy-why do we love our cars the way we do?-the nuts and bolts of crime, urban adventure, and the underbelly of America's car-crazed culture, Corvette Odyssey is sure to find a place on the shelves of auto fans and lovers of a fine tale well told.
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 Publishers Weekly.  At what point does determination become obsession and then sheer insanity?  Most people would agree that at some point Berkson crosses that line, but their opinion on whether that is a good or bad thing may depend on what they think about old cars.  Berkson tells the story of what happened after his beloved 1963 Corvette roadster was stolen off a Brooklyn street. Unfortunately for his wife, who'd been urging him to sell the car to add to their income, Berkson launches what becomes a nine-month-long hunt.  With a family to support on his paltry unemployment checks (he had worked as an electrician), Berkson spends his days roaming the streets, looking for clues.  He offers a reward, scours dumping grounds, stakes out a chop shop and has nightmares in which the car is torn up for spare parts.  He chases down vaporous leads and mulishly butts his way through the bureaucratic police and insurance quagmire.  Meanwhile, his wife grows angrier, eventually banishing him to the attic. At first, it's hard to have much sympathy for Berkson's monomaniacal quest—it is, after all, just a car—but this slim, honest memoir transcends that story.  In Berkson's hands, the hunt becomes an attempt to realign his life and even reconnect with his dead father, making this an improbably meaningful account. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.  All rights reserved. 
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 Library Journal.  Freelance writer Berkson's classic 1963 Corvette is stolen as he visits his wife and newborn son at the hospital.  Indignant and insulted--not only by the thief but also by uncaring police--he begins a year-long quest to recover the car on his own.  Along the way, he muses on life, philosophy, criminals, and adventure, as well as on our modern car culture and the motivations for a man to chase an old car long after others have declared it a loss.  As the tale unwinds, Berkson has some close encounters with the seamy underworld kind and closes in on the trail of his Corvette in what becomes a nail-biter of an ending.  As each page is turned it becomes harder to put the book down.  With credits in both writing and car enthusiast schools, Berkson is well positioned to relate his true story with precision and canny analysis in a way that will appeal broadly.  Highly recommended.--Eric C. Shoaf, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence, RI.
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 Car and Driver.  Somebody stole Terry Berkson's red 1963 Corvette convertible.  To say he was fond of the car doesn't quite do it.  He was so pissed by this outrage he wrote a 208-page book that charts the ugly terrain of what's in store for the poor sap who isn't willing to get over such a loss and move on.  Berkson goes out and begins an obsessive quest to get his car back, mostly by hounding the police to keep looking for it and running down leads in a scroungy, rough area of Brooklyn.  Mostly, his story involves having to deal with arrogant cops, dismissive cops, cops who can't be bothered, and that rare thing, one or two who do care.  Berkson is an electrician with a master's degree in creative writing who also freelances as a fish-and-game writer, and this engaging ordeal is part Raymond Chandler, part Hubert Selby Jr., part Al Bundy.  Berkson is living on unemployment, his wife has had another baby, his family is collectively on his back—he's even scratching around to heat the house—but he will not give up the quest, which leads him to intrigue and dangerous turf.  You can taste his frustration.  Along the way he reveals a lot about the stolen-car trade and a crime that isn't treated much more seriously these days than petty vandalism.  By Steve Spence.
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 An Inspiring Story.  Once in a great while a book comes along that combines a terrific story with one of the fundamental ideas that give meaning to life. Not simply a story about recovering a piece of property, this book recounts some of the tragedies that befell the author growing up and his powerlessness to change them. Then his car is stolen when he's most vulnerable, not only an insult to his rights as a human being but a violaton of some of the memories he holds most dear. But this time he has the ability to do something about it, to change the outcome. Those around him think it's about recovering a car when it's really about proving that he's not a helpless pawn in some cosmic game. His triumph is a win for all of us who have felt at the mercy of fate, proving that we do have control over what happens to us if we only make the commitment and sacrifices that it takes to win. A truly inspiring story. By Wayne A. Lincort
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 The Corvette Story.  If owning a 1963 Riverside Red convertible is a car enthusiast's dream, then having it stolen is the ultimate nightmare.  Exactly that happened to Terry Berkson and with the tenacity of a pit bull and against the advice of his family and assorted experts, he started a fanatical search to get it back.  His endeavors are chronicled in "Corvette Odyssey" which reads like a Mickey Spillane novel or Bruce Springsteen song but is made all that more enjoyable due to the fact that it is a true story.  "Corvette Odyssey" is a testimony of a Corvette owner's dedication and a great read.
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 author of Corvette Odyessy

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 Front jacket of Corvette Odyessy

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 To purchase a copy of Corvette Odyssey directly from the author who will write a personalized message of up to 20 words e-mail the message directly to terryberkson@aol.com and send a check for $7.95 to:

Terry Berkson
349 Gulf Road
Richfield Springs, NY  13439-4217

Any questions please email me.
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 Hemingway's Chickens for Sale
n a recent writer’s pilgrimage to Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West, I was out in the garden looking at Papa’s animal cemetery when a little man in a trench coat with a pencil moustache slipped out from behind a tree, looked both ways and said, “Hey, you want to buy a Hemingway chicken?”  I was relieved because I thought at first the guy was about to flash me.  I had noticed a lot of chickens in the street and in the yard.  They seemed to be everywhere.
“What do you mean, Hemingway chicken?” I asked.
“He used to breed them for cockfighting,” the little
man said.
The statement
sounded vaguely familiar.
“Any chickens he had would be long dead by
now,” I  said.
He sneered at me like I was an idiot and clearly uttered one word:
“Oh,” I said.
“And how
would I know if it was a descendant?”
He spoke slowly.

This story can be read in its entirety in the soon to be published "Hemingway's Chickens And Other Tales Of A Feather."
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