Middle Class American White Boy book cover

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Introduction

Thomas William Simpson headshot

I know your time is valuable.

I know your attention span suffers in this era of Stimuli Overload.

This is why I want to tell you the biggest story I can using the fewest number of words. And that, essentially, is the premise behind Middle Class American White Boy.

This first edition contains 15 narratives… stories… poems… verses… whatever you want to call them.

I prefer to call them rhythms. I love rhythm.

You can read (either silently or aloud) each rhythm in the collection in 2-5 minutes. To hold your attention for even that long—before you scroll away or wander off—I have to create one rapid-fire image after another in your brain.

Middle Class American White Boy unfolds like a memoir. Each rhythm tells a story from some crucial period of my life. The first—Paradise Lost—takes place during my first trip abroad at age 15. My parents sent me to Germany to spend the summer with my oldest brother. I had many wild adventures, culminating in Munich when the Black September Terrorists murdered a bunch of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Summer Olympics.

Next up is Welfare, a comical look at fathers—in this case my father—trying to move kids in their twenties out of the house and out on their own.

The Universe—my own personal War & Peace—tells the tale of my time in Argentina during the Dirty War. When I wrote the account many years ago it topped out at almost 30,000 words. I have now reduced that same story to a powerful rhythm of just over 900 words.

The rhythms in Middle Class American White Boy are chronological. I travel. I dream. I mature. I write. I publish. I fall in love. I marry. I become a father. My view of life and what is important expands and changes. Always I question the status quo, especially my own.

I am a life-long reader and writer of novels. I love the long form. But the world is fast changing. I need to keep pace. I need to change my rhythm.

The first two selections in Middle Class American White Boy can be found here.