“In literature, even dismal sites, accurately described and elegantly used, become exciting, are lifted into prominence, are shown to be significant. Maisel is the poet of the subdivision and the mall, ‘the day-by-day today, the clearance sales and potbellies and strollers, sunless and never a protest, not a whimper, and a Kingwong egg roll for lunch, or spaghetti and meatballs on Styrofoam with meat sauce … ‘ He is an acute observer, a sensualist, a cataloger; his prose shows the relish for detail that characterized the work of Thomas Wolfe.” – Susannah Harris Stone, San Francisco Chronicle

“I was excited by the voice that Maisel created, which very nearly captures for me the spirit of the age and reflects a consciousness of doom in the midst of our apparently involuntary delights.” – Charlotte Painter, Confession from the Malaga Madhouse and Seeing Things

Dismay reflects the cadences and changes of a San Francisco high school teacher’s life to the point that love and the often-unrealized mysteries behind personal interactions and relationships are presented to readers as sordid facts of life. The protagonist/professor’s unusual and frightening affair with an 18-year-old high school beauty, his relationship with literature and his fellow teachers, and his search for meaning in a transient world will especially interest literary-minded readers in search of something more than the too-predictable romance.” – Diane C. Donovan, Roanoke Time & World News


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