This is the story of a young man’s development from a man of inaction to a man of action, from a man with no direction to a man with a purpose.
The story is set in the 1960s, but opens with the ending scene some years later. The protagonist is sitting under a cottonwood tree in Rainbow Park on Chicago’s southeast side. He is writing. As he writes, he is approached by a midget whom he recognizes from years ago when he was in the military stationed in Germany. In fact, he has been waiting for the midget for years. The midget pulls a gun on him, and asks if he is ‘the one.’ He avoids the question. The midget asks again, "are you the one?"
The story shifts to the beginning, to the protagonist as a young man enrolling in college. His name is Noel Bodie. Noel is despondent because his options in life are limited, and that he seems to be at the mercy of the forces of life. As the story progresses, Noel comes to realize that one can increase the options available in one’s life, if one but had the nerve to do it. He transforms himself into Al Pearsons. In the end, Noel– now Al– is a new man, a bold man, a man capable of anything. More importantly, he is now a man of wisdom.
Paperback: 314 pages