Conversations on the Bench
By Digger Cartwright
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation (March 26, 2013)
Reviewed by V. Caine
Inspired by Actual Events
“I want you to meet a good friend of ours,” Sebastian said to the barkeep. He set his pool cue on the table, then settled into a large chair. “This is Digger Cartwright, an outstanding businessman, writer, world traveler, golfer, and philanthropist. But more importantly than all that, he’s a great man.”
Conversations on the Bench, the latest release from Digger Cartwright is much more of a personal journey than we are used to with his books. Conversations on the Bench tells us a story in two parts. Firstly it is the record and a tribute to a friendship with two very engaging characters who the author meets one hot day in South Carolina at a symposium in the Dune Club called Thinking Outside the Boxe – which in itself is a novel event that is intended to be a gathering of great intellectuals to discuss the world’s problems and come up with solutions to the pressing issues of the day. This sounds like the perfect opportunity to meet some excellent and original thinkers – which of course he does, in the form of Sebastian Peréy.
Sebastian Peréy is a character who is larger than life and just about bursts forth from the book he is so exuberant. Not only is he physically large and endowed with a certain eccentricity, his personality is as large and has an equally commanding presence that can fill up a room. Sebastian is a big man, weighing in at around 500 pounds, and he looked something like a Puerto Rican Albert Einstein, with a tan complexion, a goatee and a walking stick. Him personality was equally over-sized and everyone loved him, wanting to be around his naturally wise and charismatic countenance. Sebastian, like a modern Socrates, comes with his own version of Plato in the form of Robbie who is essentially his counterbalance – a slim, quiet black clad man, and the dialogs between the two form the bulk of the book.
First part of the book builds on the character development and interactions between these characters and the author, setting the narrative for the rest of the book. It establishes the tone of the novel, and the reality of the people portrayed in the book by conforming their real life interaction with the author is a semi-biographical manner.
The second part of the book is the most interesting though. A series of lessons in life expressed through the witty and sage like wisdom of Sebastian in the following chapters. How to deal with and take control of the most challenging situations with the simplest and most logical of solutions. Sebastian is like a suburban Buddha bestowing useful and practical information to help everyone get out of those tight spots. Sebastian Peréy is clearly the model for a great thinker and a modern day philosopher of our times. The combination of parables of wisdom inserted in chapters of the book is a unique literary feature which I enjoyed very much, and this is definitely the highlight of the work for me.
This interesting book could almost be a collection of modern fables dealing with wisdom for contemporary times and due to its originality is sure to become a literary classic. Conversations on the Bench is a highly original work which is one for those readers who enjoy something different and whom love thinking outside of the box.