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by Johnston’s David Aiello nominated for Pulitzer Prize
By Jane Fusco
David Aiello invents characters that are complex, multi-faceted and maybe even a bit unsettling. He weaves facts and fiction so masterfully that the reader will have to determine what is real, and what isn’t.
His second novel, the political thriller, “Twilight’s Last Gleaming, A Cautionary Tale”, is a candidate for a 2017 Pulitzer Prize in fiction to be announced next spring.
“I never expected that,” Aiello said.
“Twilight’s Last Gleaming, A Cautionary Tale” takes place in the near future in the fictional city of Silver Verde, California. “It’s the kind of place that doesn’t exist anymore,” said Aiello. This futuristic America is on the verge of social and economic collapse as socialism and fascism have forced their way into a once democratic way of life.
William Raymond “Billy Ray” Blu, is a disgraced special forces Marine who becomes the target of a government conspiracy and is wrongfully imprisoned. He knows something he isn’t supposed to know. After a botched assignation attempt, his band of brothers orchestrate his release and help him attain the redemption and revenge that is hovering just above his soul.
“People can identify with the plight of this main character,” Aiello said.
Aiello explains that in the book, “There are a lot of disturbances underlying our society. The U.S. is headed in the wrong direction and something catastrophic is about to happen.” America’s influence on the world stage is declining. Its enemies no longer fear the once mighty country and its allies have all but written it off.
Shades of George Orwell’s 1984 transcend the storyline as Big Brother is monitoring every aspect of American life. As one government agent asserts, “Certain liberties and freedoms that the American public have taken for granted will have to be modified or surrendered in order to protect the people from themselves and outside influences.”
“The world is falling from without and within, much like the Roman Empire,” Aiello said.
The story is told over a span of 10 years through flashbacks and mystery that underlines the beginning and end.
“I want the reader to think that this can really happen,” he said.
Aiello, a former English teacher and reporter, conducts extensive research before outlining a novel, and draws upon history and his own experiences growing up in Johnston and on Providence’s Federal Hill.
“I think of writing as tackling important issues in an entertaining way,” he said. He added, “I write as if it is a movie going on in my head.”
Aiello also wrote the acclaimed novel, “Man on a String”, and is completing “Bonded Vault”, based on the true story of a secret mob vault robbery in Providence, due out next year. His goal is to write 10 novels.
“I don’t know if I will live long enough to do it, but I want to,” the 63-year-old said.
The Kindle version and paperback of “Twilight’s Last Gleaming, A Cautionary Tale” are available on Amazon.