‘Griot’ (gree-oh): a West African storyteller, praise singer, poet, and musician. “A Griot must have the ability to extemporize on current events, chance incidents, and the passing scene. His wit can be devastating and his knowledge of local history formidable”. If that is the aged definition of a Griot, then Eric Jerome Dickey is its modern day doppelganger. I became a fan of Eric’s after reading ‘The Other Woman’, a book that is three hundred plus pages of pure, uncut literary cocaine. In this modern era where superlative words are tossed around like hacky sacks at a Grateful Dead concert, finding a true wordsmith with true talent takes some looking. Be grateful in knowing then, that your journey is done.
Eric has penned thirteen NY Times Bestsellers and is poised to knock down number fourteen with ‘Accidental Affair’. In this book Eric takes us into the world of the very rich and the very famous. James Thicke is a screen writer with immeasurable talent who is married to Regina Baptiste, a woman who is so incredibly stunning that it would tempt Athena to give Medusa a twin. But in the debaucherous land of unlimited milk and honey, even the rich have problems.
Especially when that problem is on YouTube.
Especially when that problem is naked.
Especially when that problem isn’t naked alone.
Especially when that problem is your wife.
James Thicke isn’t the weak diplomatic “let’s talk about it” type so he does what any sane, super rich, extremely famous, pissed off husband would do… he dispenses violence like he was an extra from ‘300’. Thus begins another one of Eric’s future classics. All of Eric’s books open fast, and his last three have opened fast enough to default airbags.
This one is no different.
A great artist paints a picture and lets you figure out what you see how you see it. A great writer does the same. In the few minutes of the day that I wasn’t reading this book I was wondering “what the hell was in James’s background that caused him to do the things that he did”? No really people… you’ll read about James and wonder where his sense of everything comes from. Especially in the end. Oh my lord. Eric threw me for a loop in ‘Tempted by Trouble’, and while this ending isn’t all M. Night Shyamalan, I promise that you won’t breathe until the resolution. Providing there is one. “Tomorrow is another day”, right?
And what would an Eric book be without an incredible cast of surrounding characters. Those who know me will know that my favorite is Patrice Evans. (You’ll look at Post-It notes in a whole new way). When I read Eric’s work I’m reminded of a phrase from one of my favorite movies, ‘Gladiator’. The Doctore says “these slaves are rotten”. The merchant’s response is, “which only adds to the flavor”. Yep. Real life is on full display in ‘An Accidental Affair’ as well as the flaws that make us and the flaws we make. Sweet (sweet) Isabel, the filthy Bobby Holland, the afore mentioned sexpot Patrice, the shell Johnny Handsome, and the strong but stupid Berg Brothers.
In a mini interview with Eric, I asked him who his favorite ‘Hunger Games’ characters was. He said, “Rue! Although her lines were minimal in the movie, her presence was just as powerful on the big screen as it was written in the novel”. That’s Driver. The powerful, menacing minimalist. A shadow that has more power in a whisper than a preacher in the pulpit. A man that causes other men, when they see him, to question how they lived their life and a man that causes women to cross their legs and question how they choose their lovers.
In a recent radio interview Eric said that he enjoys writing violence and sex. Oh yes he does. If you’re looking for a book that you can read before bed that will put you to sleep and give you sweet and pleasant dreams, might I recommend Dr. Seuss? If you’re looking for a book that will excite you with its action, enthrall you with its language, and stimulate you with its sexuality, then ‘An Accidental Affair’ is it.
One of the biggest reason I enjoy Eric’s work so much the dialogue. The trick is to capture and keep the reader with your words but not bore them with your sentences. Eric could teach a class. He could also give an evening lecture on misdirection. He captures you with the conversation and just when you think you are familiar with the cadence, BAM! One sentence, one phrase, one word will change the dynamic of the entire chapter and you are left breathless. Breathless and floating.