Becoming is being published as a 26 part series for the Kindle, and as an eight book series in paperback.
To an earlier generation, or two: do you remember your radio and 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, sexually frustrating story. One that might remind many of us of ourselves ‘way back then,’ when God’s most mysterious creation was the opposite sex. Becoming is about life and the often funny, sometimes sad, day-to-day things that stir the memories of our lives. Reminiscent of the Neil Simon trilogy, Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint and the humorous writing of Jean Shepherd in the mid and late sixties, yet it remains uniquely original.
In Part 1: The Lone Ranger and the Mountain Rescue, we are introduced to five-year-old Mitchie in 1939 in an ethnically diverse, lower middle-class neighborhood on the west side of Chicago.
Later, we see World War Two through the eyes of this Jewish youth, and later, lying about his age, joining the National Guard, “’cause girls love guys in uniform” – then accidentally getting caught up in the Korean war at age fifteen.
Becoming follows Mitchell’s life in a series of nostalgic, comical, romantic, sad and – because ‘those’ situations with girls and women rarely conclude as young men hope – vividly described and often extremely funny sexual situations.
Becoming climaxes hilariously in 1955, in Brighton Beach, New York, when Mitchell is twenty-one and a man. Or, because it takes more than age and size to ‘become’ one… the semblance of a man.
ADVISORY: As Becoming covers a quarter-century in the ‘becoming’ of a boy to manhood throughout the years, there are frequent instances of explicit sexual encounters and dialog.
The ‘Becoming’ series on Amazon
The following are links to various posts on social media regarding Becoming. Please feel free to comment on or share them:
March 13, 1950
Norman and Mitchell
“What’s’a matter?” Giving the matches back to Norman. “You out’a juice?” Taking the Zippo from his pants pocket, Mitchell pulled a cigarette from the nearly empty package of Chesterfields in his shirt pocket, stuck it between his lips and lit it… Transforming him instantly, so he thought, from a fifteen year old boy to a man.
“No!” Norman handed the matches back. “Read what it says.”
Taking it, looking at the small, folded square of cardboard:
JOIN THE U.S. NATIONAL GUARD
“So, I’ve seen this a zillion times.”
“Yeah, but did you ever really read what it what it says? Go on, open it!”
Shrugging his shoulders, opening the matchbook, Mitchell read aloud: “Summer vacation with pay. Earn while you learn. Join your peacetime National Guard.” Closing the matchbook, “So?” he handed it back to Norman.
“So?” Come on, Mitch, it’ll be fun… And I’ll tell you something else, something it didn’t say there. Something I know is more important to you then just about anything,” jiggling the line.
“Yeah, smart ass, what’s that?”
“What’s that? Oh, nothing much, except… How’s ’bout girls?”
Seeing the bait “Girls?” The fish swam closer.
“Yeah, girls!” Knowing his friend, Norman knew that when all logical arguments failed on Mitchell, mention… “Girls!” He repeated for emphasis. “We wear uniforms when we take the streetcar to the armory and when we go home. And, of course, we wear ’em all the time we’re at camp, and when we get time off to go to town.” Jiggling the line. “And you know how girls just love guys in uniform!”
“They give us time off to go to town when we go to camp?”
We! “Of course we get time off to go to town! And you’ve heard about girls that live near army bases! How they just ‘love’ to fuck soldiers!”
Closer now, nibbling at the bait. “And we’re going to be those soldiers, huh?”
“Yeah! And if we’re ever going to get fucked,” jiggling, jiggling, “it’ll be then. You still want to get fucked, don’t you?”
The fish, the ‘really’ stupid fish, struck at the bait, grabbing it ‘hook line and sinker’ “Yeah!” and ran with the line. “Of course I still want to get fucked!”
Setting the hook, “Okay, then,” Norman said. “It’s a sure thing! You’n’me are really going to get fucked in the National Guard.”
A storm had blown into Chicago a few days earlier, but there was no wind on this day and the temperature stood at a comfortable 43 degrees.
Though it did not feel it then, and Norman Parminter and Mitchell Lipensky had no way of knowing, another storm was building, a terrible storm, a storm that would take another three months to arrive.
* * *
“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.”
“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!”