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Old Bob

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first registered 25.03.10

last online 16 mins ago

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about me

Robert Hartstein was born in the Bronx, New York in 1946. His grandparents were among the first wave of Eastern European immigrants who migrated to this country after World War I. He was orphaned at the age of six and during his early years, both in New York and California; he grew up enduring the ignorance, indifference and bigotry of his adoptive parents. Much of what he experienced as a youth established the basis of his personality which, in turn, formed the basis for this book.

While parts of this story are based on Robert’s life, other parts are based on the reconstructed memories of people and places in time that made up the world in which he struggled to survive. Similarities among the people and events in this book to actual people and events are coincidental and should not be construed as an accurate portrayal of specific instances in time.

Robert is a retired labor relations manager with over forty years of service in the public sector. He has worked at all levels of local government—city, county, and state. He studied business administration and behavioral science in the California State University System and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Manpower Management. His education was interrupted by a two-year tour of duty in the United States Marine Corps.

After receiving his Honorable Discharge, Robert married the former Cynthia Brown, his wife of forty-three years. They have two grown sons and three grand children, all living in California. Robert and Cynthia split their time between the beautiful Coachella Valley in Southern California and the majestic Russian River Valley in Northern California, where they pursue an active outdoor life and, of course, where Robert continues to write.

My cover design is by LJ Rutledge, an author on this site (SHADOW PUPPET).

favourite books

For One More Day - Mitch Albom
Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
The Tender Bar - JR Moeringer
Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott

my websites


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my books


Robert C. Hartstein

A PLACE IN LIFE is a fictional memoir about the life of a boy told through a series of catastrophic events and failed relationships.

Young Joe grows up quickly after learning his father won’t be returning from the Korean War. On the same day, his mother is killed by a speeding car. Forced to endure the sterility of New York’s child protective institutions, he is pulled cross-country and finds himself fighting to overcome the old world bigotry of the immigrant family who adopts him.

So begins Joe’s journey. We are led through Joe’s childhood, adolescence, formative years, through Vietnam and beyond. Unsettling yet honest, the story examines a plain spoken love story and complex relationships between a fathers sons. We see Joe experience hardships, both common place and unusual—while the common issues connect us, the unusual situations make this story a unique and compelling read.

Readers will respect Joe for his courage in the face of adversity, be disappointed in his judgment and celebrate his successes. He grows into a complex man, but we come to understand him completely and emphatically.

A Place in Life is an unflinching commentary on the best and the worst that we are capable of, and the tenderness that keep two people together in the face of all odds.


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Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 1 day ago

Bob, How are things with you? I have "The North Korean" available on....

PhilippaS wrote 6 days ago

Hello, Bob. Thank you for backing Eulogy of Elliot - it's a WIP and ....

BunnyHopwood wrote 8 days ago

Hello Bob, Thank you for backing Red Running River, I hope you cont....

espiteau wrote 9 days ago

Okay Bob, thanks for looking into the Social Potion. Good luck with y....

Kathryn Ferrier wrote 13 days ago

Hi Bob, Oh yes, I agree about writing in first person. The reader ca....

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my comments


I wrote 26 days ago

This is just a quick note about your book. Every book doesn't have to try to be the great American novel. This is comfort food for the eyes; the kind of book I would keep on my night table so I could read fifteen or twenty minutes every night before I went to sleep. Very nice. - Old Bob view book

I wrote 29 days ago

Writing in the first person is never an easy way to start. The biggest pitfall is using too many personal pronouns; especially to start a sentence. Hope I didn't scare you. You seem to have a promising story. I'll have to read past the technical issues to the meat. Will revisit later. - Old... view book

I wrote 44 days ago

So, you write in the first person. So do I. Nothing wrong with writing more narrative and less dialogue if you're writing about yourself. This may not be perfectly literary, but it is a refreshing bit of honesty and reality. Old Bob A Place in Life view book

I wrote 722 days ago

Wow, you're right. It doesn't read like a romance, at least in the beginning. I can't believe that Michael is so much like Joe. The story is so real, or at least it resonates that way with me. There's a lot jammed in the first "chapter", I'd try to separate it a little and tighten things up.... view book

I wrote 862 days ago

Okay, Donna...I put your book on my shelf and I'll keep it there while I'm reading it. I've read two chapters so far. I'm no writing guru, so take my comments for what they're worth. I think you did a splendid job getting into the head of a twelve year old. You think and talk like a kid and th... view book

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