Many are Invited by Dennis Cuesta

Published: October 6, 2022

Celestial Eyes Press

Pages: 254

Genre: Psychological Fiction

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Dennis Cuesta is a native of California; and attended the University of Michigan and remained in the Upper Midwest during his early career. Stuck in Manistique is his first novel. Dennis and his wife did get stuck in Manistique once, long ago. The interrupted trip served as inspiration for the book.

A housewarming party ends in tragedy. . . Steve Galanos, a native Midwesterner, reflects on his time in Northern California during the 1990s, a time when the two-digit year emerged as the Y2K problem, the burgeoning Internet fueled the expansion of the New Economy, the dot-com bubble created unseen prosperity and real estate frenzies. Yet it’s a housewarming party, held in late 1999, that affects him the most.
At the request of John Goertz, a group of technology managers and executives gather in a conference room. Listening to the presentation is Steve Galanos, who is suspicious of Goertz’s approach and the dramatic way he describes the problem. Goertz tries to convince his audience that a disaster awaits them unless they immediately address the two-digit year in the company’s distributed systems and compiled code. It’s 1994, well before anyone has heard of the term, Y2K.
A promotion to run the newly-created year 2000 compliance program earns John more skepticism and envy from Steve, yet the two have much in common and soon become good friends. A few years later, John leaves for a startup and their lives trend in different directions.
By the time John cashes out from a successful IPO, gets married, and buys a house in Los Gatos, his friendship with Steve has waned. It’s at John’s housewarming party where latent animosity and lingering distrust finally come to a head.

“Tragedy yearns to be mourned and remembered and mourned some more.”

Steve goes through the motions, doing just enough to get by without being dinged in any radar. When a new guy shows up with big ideas and gets recognition, Steve isn’t thrilled. Making waves is rarely a good thing. When the two become friends, Steve keeps his jealousy and resentment hidden, or so he thinks. Until the night of the housewarming party.

This was an unusual book. Well written and interestingly presented, but unusual. I enjoyed how the story was told, and I found the characters engaging. This was almost like a voyeuristic look into jealousy, resentment, and ego.

Steve was likable, and he had decent enough qualities. But he didn’t want to do anything to change his situation. And he resented his friend John who did. Steve felt like things just happened in John’s favor, but John also took risks and made the moves to make things happen.

John had the motivation to make things happen. He took risks, he made moves, and it paid off. He wasn’t perfect, but he wasn’t a monster.

The storyline for this book stays pretty level, nothing too crazy happens, but the plot is engaging and entertaining. I was captivated by the pure presentation of humanity that was presented on these pages.

This is an emotional journey, and I can’t decide if I am happy with how things ended or annoyed that I still have questions. The humanness of this book is so realistic.

I enjoyed this story more than I expected. The writing was well done, and the plot was unique.

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