Monday, October 29, 2012

The Distorted American Dream

Blue Baja

In Blue Baja, David J. Holleman reveals the lengths to which some people will go in their quests to reach the American Dream, putting ambition and a public fa├žade of wealth and success before human life.  Holleman artfully renders many ambitious characters who deal in organized crime, portraying the duplicitous nature of such successes through the character of JoJo, who bears a striking resemblance to many successful mob members, leading an outward life of material and social success, while the means that he used to attain it are deeply disturbing.

JoJo, an ambitious young mob enforcer, is determined to prove himself to his boss with his first job; “He told himself he would make it a piece of art, and he would paint it without remorse or feeling.”  JoJo brutally and sadistically murders those who cross his boss, working his way up the social and financial ladder, saying “goodbye” to his “middle class existence.”  He and his wife lead the typical American upper class life, playing golf, tennis, and sunbathing at the country club, widely accepted among upper society; “The Comeaux family was an All American one!”

JoJo’s All-American existence largely reflects the recently apprehended Boston mob boss, James “Whitey” Bulger, who was living under the pseudonym “Charlie” in Santa Monica for the last fifteen years with his long-time girlfriend.  His neighbors were shocked by the revelation that he was the man responsible for so much violence, murder, and crime in Boston, as he was known as a “dog-lover” and envied for his peaceful and idyllic retirement.

Bulger and JoJo’s stories are not unlike many who lead double lives within the mob, frequently known by their neighbors as nice, All-American families, more known for their prowess on the golf course than their sordid activities.  Blue Baja addresses this phenomenon of ambition, the distorted American Dream, and what it means to be “All American,” leaving readers to wonder how well they really know their neighbors.

Contact: David J. Holleman -

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