Today, LitNuts is shining a spotlight on the work of author Chuck Augello, recognized by Kirkus Reviews as "a promising new literary voice." Read on to learn more about The Revolving Heart and A Better Heart, two critically acclaimed novels by Chuck, as well as Talking Vonnegut, a collection of interviews and essays about Kurt Vonnegut.
"Augello has a natural ability to balance heavy themes with humor." ~Jessica Purgett, The Mark Literary Review
3.9 stars, 142 ratings
Ebook: $3.99 (Free via Kindle Unlimited)
On a beautiful summer morning at the Jersey Shore, four-year-old Sarah Carpenter wanders toward the ocean and never returns. The police think she drowned, but her babysitter, Amy, claims Sarah was abducted. The only other witness, 17-year-old Donnie Marcino, didn’t see a thing. A narcoleptic since birth, he was fast asleep.
Twenty years later, Sarah’s disappearance still haunts Donnie, as does his lingering bond with Amy. When she calls from the hospital after a failed suicide attempt, Donnie returns to his hometown. But how can he help Amy (and help himself) without changing the past? In The Revolving Heart, love and redemption collide as the adult Donnie struggles to atone for his youthful mistakes.
Praise for The Revolving Heart
- A Best Books of 2020 Selection by Kirkus Reviews
- "A reflective narrative about the choices people make, the bonds they forge, and the obligations they can't escape, however much they might try. Augello shows a knack for sharp, believable dialogue, and his character construction is impressive. A superb, captivating work from a promising new literary voice." ~Kirkus Reviews
- “An excellent, must-read novel about a man who returns home to confront his past, filled with memorable characters and written in a style that will draw you in, entertain you, and leave you wanting more.” ~Sublime Book Review
- "Captures the spirt of the Jersey Shore... Filled with wry observations and the unexpected smart and funny things people say." ~Marcy Dermansky, author of The Red Car
4.5 stars, 51 ratings
Ebook: $4.99 (Free via Kindle Unlimited)
For aspiring indie filmmaker Kevin Stacey, it's another day on the set of his first film. But when his estranged father, a failed Hollywood actor, arrives unexpectedly with a bundle of cash, a gun, and a stolen capuchin monkey, Kevin is propelled toward the journey that will change his life.
The monkey, Henry, has been liberated from a research lab by animal rights activists. Inspired by his friend Veronica to reevaluate his relationship with other species, Kevin learns about the pain and suffering inflicted on lab animals as he forges a bond with the capuchin. When father and son embark on a road trip with Henry, Kevin is caught between the egocentric father who abandoned him and the temperamental monkey whose fate is in his hands. With both the FBI and his mother's ghost watching, will Kevin risk his career and his father's freedom to bring the stolen monkey to safety? Meanwhile, Veronica's encounter with an eccentric Catholic priest triggers her own journey toward change.
A heartbreaking yet comic family drama, A Better Heart examines the human-animal bond and the bonds between fathers and sons, challenging readers to explore their beliefs about the treatment of non-human species.
Praise for A Better Heart
- "Madcap and accomplished, this comic novel boasts big surprises, heartfelt characters, and a passion for animal rights." ~Booklife
- "A solid psychological and social examination of rights, choices, and their consequences. A wry dose of humor that excels in tongue-and-cheek observations, the result is a fun, literary story." ~Midwest Book Review
- "Devastating, funny and heartbreaking all in one!" ~The Page Ladies
- "Lively, engrossing, fast paced, and spot on when it comes to nailing what's wrong with animal abuse but in a realistic, not preachy way. A great read, a great beach novel, a great book to pass on." ~Ingrid Newkirk, founder, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
- "Finally! A story about animal rights that informs and entertains rather than preaches. This comic family adventure is sure to grab your attention." ~Independent Book Review
Ebook: From $22.49
This collection of 29 interviews explores the outer reaches of the Kurt Vonnegut universe. Conversations reveal how Robert B. Weide's letter to Kurt led to a long friendship and an acclaimed documentary, how readers in the former Soviet Union fell in love with Vonnegut during the Cold War, how Ryan North and Albert Monteys adapted Slaughterhouse-Five into a graphic novel, how two podcasters introduced Vonnegut to a new generation of readers, and how Vonnegut's time teaching at the Iowa Writers Workshop helped transform him from an unknown paperback writer into a literary superstar.
Also included are eight essays by author Chuck Augello. These cover Vonnegut's thoughts on guns and loneliness, evaluate his posthumous publications, offer a guide to the best Vonnegut videos available online, and ask questions like "Was Kurt Vonnegut secretly a romance writer?" A resource for students, scholars and fans, this book offers windows into Vonnegut's life and art that are often overlooked in standard biographies.
Praise for Talking Vonnegut
- “What a book! All these facets make for a most complete portrait of Kurt Vonnegut.” ~Jerome Klinkowitz, author of The Vonnegut Effect and Kurt Vonnegut’s America
- "I have been a Vonnegut fan my entire life, and I found Talking Vonnegut to be chock-full of information and insights that I had not seen elsewhere. Highly recommended." ~Mike O'Mary, LitNuts
About the AuthorChuck Augello is the author of The Revolving Heart (Black Rose Writing), a Best Books of 2020 selection by Kirkus Reviews. His novel A Better Heart (Black Rose Writing) was praised by PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk as "Lively, engrossing, fast paced, and spot on when it comes to nailing what's wrong with animal abuse but in a realistic, not preachy way. A great read, a great beach novel." His most recent book is Talking Vonnegut: Centennial Interviews and Essays (McFarland), an exploration of the life and work of Kurt Vonnegut.
Chuck's work has also appeared in One Story, Necessary Fiction, Smokelong Quarterly, and other fine journals. Visit Chuck at CDAWriting.com and at TheDailyVonnegut.com. You can also sign up for email updates from Chuck and follow him on Twitter/X.