Over the summer, Harry Patz (BC '91) approached me about a novel he was writing -- a coming-of-age story set against the historical backdrop of New York City in the early 1990s. I admit to being a bit skeptical about the whole thing at first. With my own post-BC professional career kicking off more than a decade after this time period, I wasn't sure how relatable the storyline was going to be.
Well, as I'm sure you've guessed, the hook is that the novel's protagonist, Mark Amici, is a Boston College alumnus, as are two other main characters. Not only that, but the novel, set between 1991 and 1994, includes a number of references back to the Heights: the rebirth of Boston College football under Coughlin, the 1992 Penn State game, the 1993 Notre Dame game (including quotes from Phil Mushnick and Mike Lupica's accounts of the game), as well as men's basketball's run through the 1994 Big East Tournament en route to the Elite Eight.
The fortunes of the Eagles during this time are central to the story, and Mark's mood is often tied to the athletic success and failures of our alma mater -- something to which I think we can all relate. Since I wasn't yet a Boston College fan during these years, it was interesting to read about the football and men's basketball teams of the early 1990s. I also got a laugh reading about the old technologies like downloading email on a 14.4 modem for 25 minutes.
The novel is available for purchase on Amazon in hardcover ($29.99), softcover ($18.99) and Kindle ($9.99), as well as through Apple's iBooks. Overall, it's a pretty fun read and I hope you'll consider supporting a fellow alum and long-time football season ticket holder.
New fiction by Harry Patz, Jr.
Against the historical backdrop of New York City in the early 1990s, The Naive Guys: A Memoir of Friendship, Love and Tech in the Early 1990s is a hysterical yet poignant coming-of-age novel. Mark Amici embarks on a challenging journey through the postcollege world, where he struggles to emerge from his sheltered upbringing to a life of sex, love, friendship, and career success.
Fighting through the bad economy of 1991, Mark takes an entry-level sales role at a growing tech company, Fishsoft, at the dawn of the Internet Age.
Living at home with his gruff uncle, mother, and older sister, Mark pursues his aspirations with a trio of wingmen, Pete, Sally, and Kostas. His quixotic search for love, his desire to truly understand his family, and his pitfalls through corporate machinations all provide a humorous glimpse during an uneven period of life transition.
Interwoven with key moments of the times, including the Bill Clinton and Rudolph Giuliani electoral victories, the first World Trade Center bombing, OJ Simpson, and New York's NBA Knicks and NHL Rangers simultaneously in their respective finals, The Naive Guys tells the story of one man's journey to uncover and fully understand his identity.