The Man Who Dared To Dream
Don. F. Zullo
Reviewed by Daryn Watson for Reader Views (7/13)
“The Man Who Dared to Dream” by Don F. Zullo is a well written story about a lonely elderly father of three grown children. After being absent from his children through divorce, the “old man” as he is known, lives a life of solitude and regret for the many poor choices he has made.
His existence is quite sad, consisting of lonely days in his tiny apartment or going out to the local park. The old man comes upon some black birds, with one in particular showing a small area of white on his feathers. This particular blackbird intrigues the old man to the point of obsession. He begins to feverously sketch his new winged friend.
Meanwhile, the old man begins to recall many deep-seated childhood memories of hurt and loss and regret. These include memories of how difficult he made his mother’s life by not obeying her and causing trouble, to the deep hurt his abandonment caused his children.
Eventually, the old man is institutionalized (with the initiation of one of his children) due to his fascination with the birds. The old man claims he does not belong in the institution, but no one will believe that his birds are real. Despite his insistence, the old man almost finds himself in a full-scale psychiatric hospital but a twist of fate saves him from going to live in a padded cell.
The old man also falls in love with a resident of the hospital named Cutie. His intense feelings for her give him hope that someday he and Cutie can leave the hospital and return to his home to live out their lives together. His excitement is tempered by his intense dreams of despair that he will be punished forever due to his past “sins.”
Despite the old man’s roller-coaster existence, he wins over the hearts of the hospital staff that goes to bat for him.
Don F. Zullo does a great job with the flow of the book and I found “The Man Who Dared to Dream” a fast read. I did have some trouble with understanding Cutie’s speech impediment but overall I would recommend this book. It is an inspirational story for those who have trouble letting go of the past.