The Knowledge: A Too Close To True Novel – Steven Pressfield

(Reviewed by Don Jung)

How does a struggling writer make it in the big city?

The Knowledge: A Too Close To True Novel is part crime novel, part self-realization story taken from some real-life experiences of author, Steven Pressfield. It pictures life of a struggling writer in crime- ridden New York City in the early 1970’s. Like many aspiring artists coming to the Big Apple, it’s a story of someone desperate to find success and yet not knowing what he really wants in life.

The central character can’t seem to sell his novels and his romantic life is in total chaos so
he accepts an assignment to follow the wife of a notorious mafia- type character and gets into all sorts of trouble while trying to do his job.

The novel sends you on a wild chase to find the brother of the Mafia gangster as he also
searches for his missing cat. To compound his situation, his separated wife comes into
town to finalize their divorce and gets caught up with all this mafia related mayhem as
he is also messed up with various ladies in his life.

It’s a story that unravels and gets you caught in a merry journey that shows you can’t find yourself without trial and error and there are always obstacles you have to overcome.
Learning to make the right decision at the right time is a lesson in this story and you
get caught up in how he tries to find happiness in a chaotic turbulent world.

I really enjoyed the vivid descriptions on all the areas of New York City and what it’s like to drive a taxi. You get to learn the heartbeat of the town during this transition period. The
people he meets vary with the diversity of the city’s night life.

It took me awhile to get into the story, but I’m glad that I stuck it out. The characters slowly develop and at that point I couldn’t put it down.

Even if you’re not a creative type or even from New York City, readers who are searching for a unique read are sure to enjoy this one.

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