Flash and Dazzle by Lou Aronica

Flash and Dazzle by Lou Aronica
Publisher: The Story Plant
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (292 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

What happens when everything you thought was true changes all at once? What happens when each relationship that means anything to you suddenly becomes far more real than you ever thought it would be? What happens when every moment becomes invaluable as all of them pass far too quickly?

Flash and Dazzle is the story of two friends who have known the best of times who develop a true taste for life during the worst of times. It is the story of the friends and lovers who enter their orbit, some for a long time and some only for a moment. It is the story of legacies, burdens, and the kinds of secrets that are only revealed when there’s nothing left to tell.

It is a funny, moving, deeply honest novel that will inspire you to call everyone you care about and thank everyone you know for what they’ve given you.

The talented Rich Flaster (Flash) and Eric Dazman (Dazzle) are successful in the highly competitive advertising business in Manhattan, N.Y. Material things, casual friends, fine dining, and entertainment are theirs in abundance. Their life style is truly full of flash and dazzle but there is an emptiness that they try to fill with partying, drinking, game playing, loud music, and frenzied work sessions. Not until they are faced with Eric’s terminal cancer condition do they realize the lack of substance in their lives.

Stories told from the first person point of view are not usually something I enjoy, but I soon felt as if I were reading a slice of an autobiography as Rich Flaster deals with the undeniable impending death of his best friend that he identifies himself with. They have been a unit since college. Rich and Eric are from very different backgrounds yet connect in a unique way that buoys each of them up and makes them better.

Even with all their connectedness, they have secrets that never surfaced until the real issue of how to live day by day when death has control of the number of days makes them look deeper into themselves. Eric’s sister Linda seems to be the catalyst that helps them find substance and value in life other than just the surface “keeping-busy” things that have filled their lives up to the time Eric is diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Life goes on for Rich but it will never be the same nor will life be the same for many of Eric friends because, in his own way, he had influenced each and every one of their lives with his exuberance for life.

Lou Aronica is a master story teller and reaches right in and touches one’s heart with the humanness of his characters. He stirs emotions and senses that bring tears and laughter while sadness for the hurts in the human experience almost overwhelm at times. I would have loved being able to see some of the scenes from some of the other characters’ points of view. I didn’t feel that I got to know them as well as I would have had I been able to know their thoughts and inner feelings.

Flash and Dazzle is a poignant story that lingers in the memory and makes one hope the characters that Eric left behind will find a rewarding, happy life as they continue the human experience; while Eric is getting one of his remarkable parties ready for them to enjoy when they come to share with him the next experience after the human experience. This is a thought provoking novel.


  1. Thanks for sharing this one. I agree– a poignant read and one I’ll remember.

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