Set in Sandusky, Ohio, in the years before and during World War II, Handstand regales readers with John H. Steinemann’s wonderful, witty, and wise view of life.
Learn how to steal your brother’s girlfriend ....
“Yes,” she agreed. “It was mostly your fault that we ever got romantic, and I do blame you for that.”
He heard her reprimand, and he knew she was right. Then, after a short silence, she smiled wickedly up at him and whispered, “But now, you can be sure that I’m the one to blame if you kiss me again — honey.”
and how to make your brother accept it!
“What the hell do you think you’re doing, sneaking around with Babs?” he demanded.
Jim was justifiably intimidated and sought to mollify George. “I didn’t set out to get your girl — it just turned out that way.” Stalling for time, he added hopefully, “It isn’t as if she wasn’t dating anybody else but you.”
“I can’t believe my own brother would pull that stuff on me,” George persisted.
“You’re right,” Jim said honestly. “It was a devious thing to do, and for that I’m sorry.”
“You should be,” George expostulated.
“As bad as it is,” Jim tacked evasively, “you must admit that if anybody else is dating her, it’s probably better that at least it’s your brother rather than some guy you don’t know.”
Surprisingly enough, George seemed to consider this a telling argument. “I don’t know how a total stranger could be any worse than a snake like you,” he said, but his tone was almost jesting.
Review by John D. Eggers
This is a remarkable book that deserves to be read by a wider audience. In fact, the story of how I came to read Handstand is interesting in its own right, but beyond the scope of this review.
Handstand is as intensely personal as any memoir, but writing it as an autobiographical novel allowed the author to take the role of narrator and comment on the events of his youth as an observer. The result is fascinating.
The author masterfully weaves the many threads of his life's story together into a marvelous tapestry. Sometimes, one of these threads will disappear from view and then resurface unexpectedly. George and the custodianship of the camera is a notable example.
As a male, I found it particularly interesting to follow the protagonist's quest to understand females and how to interact with them. Although the protagonist doesn't ultimately gain complete understanding, it's clear that he enjoyed the journey. I wish I had been given his advice for finding a prom date when I was a high school senior. On the other hand, I was probably beyond help... Perhaps other male high school seniors could do better than I did using the advice in Handstand.
Writing Handstand as an autobiographical novel allowed the author to comment on the significance of events in his life. For example, the author portrays learning to do a handstand as "a triumph of persistence over lack of talent." Although this observation is an important life lesson, no one who reads Handstand will come away believing that the author was lacking in talent.
I should mention that reading Handstand would likely expand your vocabulary. Perhaps you already know the meaning of words like “callipygous,” “pulchritude,” and “eleemosynary.” If you do, then you are more erudite than I was before reading Handstand. In any case, I had great fun reading Handstand.
Handstand is available on the Apple iBookstore (United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom), Barnes & Noble, and Google (United States) as an ePub book, and on Amazon as a paperback.
ISBN: 978-1-935842-00-2 (ePub)
ISBN: 978-1-935842-01-9 (print on demand)
Handstand is available on Amazon as a Kindle book.
ISBN: 978-1-935842-19-4 (Kindle) (United States) Amazon ASIN B0055T3D00
A print on demand copy of the book can be ordered from CreateSpace at: