As much as The Bench is the story of an American man and his colorful journey through an evolving life, it is also a story of America and its colorful imprint on a man. Steve Mallory is a guy who’s had to navigate a hardscrabble existence from the start. His adventures begin on the mean streets of East New York, deliver him through a vibrant stint with the US Navy and then take an unexpected diversion into a rewarding stretch as a captain of American industry. Along the way, he meets a host of fellow travelers, some of decidedly questionable character, and is confronted with an abundance of opportunity to choose the right way or the wrong way.
Here is an unspooling ribbon of everyday life highlighted by flashing moments of pure whimsy and tragedy. In it, readers will find compelling evidence of the enduring resilience of the human spirit and the impressive capacity for even the most down-in-their-luck individuals to turn things around with hard work. And if they’re lucky, they’ll be able to identify a bench in their own lives just like Steve’s, where they might engage in contemplation, commit to occasional reinvention, and cozy up closely to the American dream.