Becoming

An American Mid-Twentieth Century Becoming-of-Age Serialized Story

 


Do you remember listening to your radio – Captain Midnight, The Lone Ranger, Junior Miss, and Let’s Pretend? The first time you inhaled a cigarette? Your first swallow of hard liquor? The thrill of the first exploration of the body of your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife… your own body? Your first orgasm?

Do you remember when as a people, we loved America, and showed it?

Then you might be ready for a nostalgic, funny, romantic – and sexually frustrating – novel. A novel that may remind many of us of ourselves ‘way back then,’ when God’s most mysterious creation was the opposite sex.

Becoming is a story about life and the often funny, sometimes sad, day-to-day things that become the memories of our lives.

 


Becoming is being published as a multi-part series for the Kindle, and also as a set of paperback books. Please note that as the series covers a quarter-century in the ‘becoming’ of a boy into manhood, there are frequent instances of explicit sexual encounters and dialog.


When I decided to review this book, I was worried because number one, I rarely have time to sit down and read a book as long as this one and two, because I stupidly felt I’d never be able to connect with anything in it. I’m female, Christian, grew up in the country, and the time period was before my time. I was wrong, wrong, wrong! The subject matter is timeless, the characters so genuine they jump from the pages and into your heart, and being the mother of boys—I could even relate to the male point of view.
      The story begins in 1939 on Chicago’s west side and follows five-year-old Mitchie for the next seventeen years of his life. A true coming of age story told in graphic detail. And the humor—did I mention the humor? I found myself laughing out loud many times. I especially loved when the humor came at a time when it was totally unexpected, the way it is in ‘real life’. I can’t say all I’d like to say about the book because it needs to be experienced first hand and I don’t want to spoil that experience for the reader by saying too much.
      Mr. Lichterman is a talented storyteller with a beautifully unique writing style and strong voice. His characters are delightfully flawed, giving them an unsurpassed charm and authentic quality. Becoming transcends all gender, ethnic, and geographical backgrounds, so no matter where you’re coming from, if you love truly great coming of age stories, give this one a try.
     My one complaint is I felt the book ended too soon. I was sad when reading that last page and know these characters will be with me for a long time.” – Willow (A Working Girl Review)


On the Kindle

Part 1: The Lone Ranger and the Mountain Rescue

1939-1944 – The War Effort

Americans were asked to: Search their cabinets, drawers and boxes. Rummage through their basements. Forage their sheds. Comb their attics. Find anything—anything—that might be useful to the War Effort.

They were collected by: Adults in cars, trucks, and horse‑drawn wagons. Children dragging factory‑manufactured or homemade orange‑crate wagons.


Part 2:  The Sentence

1944-48

With fingernails screeching down the metal partition, falling to the left, his shoulder thumping against the door, kerploop, his right foot splashing into the bowl, Mitchell suddenly found himself standing with one foot in the toilet and the other on the floor. Oh, shit! What do I do now?


Part 3: The Girl with Green Teeth

1949

Tall, almost as tall as Mitchell and, Olive Oyl, reed thin. She looks like Olive Oyl! Instantly bringing the picture of Olive Oyl from the Popeye comic strip to mind. Wearing the same blouse, skirt and shoes that Lisa wore, obviously a uniform from some parochial school, whereupon Lisa’s neck hung a small silver crucifix, upon Gina’s neck hung a huge wooden crucifix. Probably to keep vampires away, Mitchell thought. That’s if any vampire would want to put his teeth into that neck. Gina’s pasty complexion accentuated the shadow of grime that went from behind her ears and down and around her chin, and there were streaks from dribbling water that ran beneath her chin and down her neck.


Part 4: Matchbook Words

1949-51

Going south the first two days, the boys had gone ashore nineteen times and the girls had been either too young, too old, or not pretty enough, and besides, the scene changed constantly and just because their “dream boats” weren’t there on the outgoing trip didn’t mean they wouldn’t be on the beach when they rowed back in a few hours, so why tie yourself down with anything less than what you really want? Which was, what else, but a long-legged, big-busted Miss Jewish America of 1949… or a fairly reasonable facsimile.

On this day, the third in Union Pier, they planned to explore north, towards the unknown.



Free downloads

As part of our promotion of Becoming by Mark Lichterman, for a limited time we are offering these free downloads.

Part 1 – The Lone Ranger and the Mountain Rescue

download .mobi

Part 2 – The Sentence

download .mobi

Part 3 – The Girl with Green Teeth

download .mobi

Becoming: Book 1

The complete version of the first paperback in the series. Contains the first three Kindle episodes.
download PDF


Readers’ reviews of Becoming

“Wonderfully well written it paints a life picture at times through eyes of both humor and disappointment. I was reared in the rural south but this work transcends ethnic and geographic boundaries so that we can easily identify with Mitch, especially in his quest to lose his virginity. Mark’s wit and great sense of humor comes through in a style that holds ones attention long after putting down his book. You just know this has to be Mark’s story and that of those who experienced life with him. This is indeed a book worth reading for the sheer enjoyment of remembering the way we were and those people who made it interesting.”

 

*

“As one raised in a Chicago neighborhood around the same time Lichterman grew up in his, I found this coming-of-age novel very reminiscent of my own childhood and adolescence. However, to enjoy this book, one needn’t be from Chicago (or Peoria, for that matter), nor a child of the same era. The scenes, characters, experiences, relationships, conversations and events in this book are vividly and brilliantly depicted in a way that will awaken fond, fearful, and passionate memories in the reader fortunate enough to acquire this gem of a book. It is a poignant, humorous and timeless tale that moves along at a satisfying pace.”

 

*

 


Paperback

For those who prefer paper, the Becoming series is also being released in paperback. The first book is now available – it contains the first three parts from the Kindle series – 1) The Lone Ranger and the Mountain Rescue, 2) The Sentence, and 3) The Girl with Green Teeth.

330 pages
$17.99
ISBN 978-1978226876

– See it on Amazon

– Download free PDF



More readers

“You just know the author either lived next door or maybe on the next block `cause that’s the way things were growing up in the late 30s, 40s and into the `50s. There was no TV showing “things” or a computer to “Google” what a boy needs to know. It was just day-to-day wonderment and exasperation to face. The story was so close to my younger years that I started to bet myself that he would add other happenings of my life, and he sometimes did. O! The fun, anger, bitter joys of your growing years that the author brought back.”

 

*

“Loved the book. It brought me back to an earlier time and I loved being there as “a fly on the wall.” I found it easy to empathize with Mitchell. He gave me great insight into “coming of age” from the prospective of a boy. I wish I could have read it when I was growing up…could have let me understand that those “cool” boys were just as insecure as I. A must for us old folks and certainly a good read for everyone!”

 

*


To be advised of new instalments of Becoming as they appear, just enter your details below, and we’ll let you know.

For feedback and questions, please use the contact form.