Pipe Dreams

A Tale of Seduction and Redemption

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 12/10/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I moved to Asia in 1975. Besides a two-year retreat in Sri Lanka, I lived and worked in Taiwan and Mainland China for 40 years. Among the world’s oldest books, the I Ching (Book of Changes), brought me there. Its symbols are on the oracle bones, the most ancient remnants of Chinese civilization, artifacts that pre-date the Bible by several millennia. This great, singular, arguably the most ancient treatise on natural law, has directly or indirectly influenced nearly every great mind in China, and many great minds world-wide. One could say it’s China’s Rosetta Stone. All the archetypes are there.

Pipe Dreams was inspired by the characters I met in Asia who came from all walks of life. China’s opening and rise presented opportunities never before available to Westerners. I ranged from city to city and throughout the hinterland unimpeded. One could interact with the locals without fearing they’d suffer repercussions as a result. We worked together and played together, and, at times, we fought. Overcoming adversity taught me the most about China and myself.

Pipe Dreams is what I learned from my Asian friends and acquaintances. A universal tale, this story is told primarily from a Chinese point of view. I hope that I’ve captured the spirit of the enterprise in a way that both entertains and intrigues the reader. I hope my underlying love and great respect for the Chinese people comes through in spades.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Pipe Dreams: A Tale of Seduction and Redemption by Jeffrey Fischmann is a fantastic historical fiction story with a gripping setting in SE Asia in the 1990s. Nicklaus Blake is sent to China to handle a joint business and he arrives Tianjin, China, full of ambition and promise. But China isn't a forgiving place for a Colorado rancher. Not only is the Chinese culture different, but the people think differently and it is hard to know what to expect. But two Chinese women are about to change his life. Su Ming, his assistant, is very helpful in guiding him to understand the nuanced culture and to deal with people, an intelligent and patient woman. But Li Ping, a courtesan and a woman of exotic beauty, who is running away from a gangster, has him enthralled.

This is a gripping tale with a well-written setting, exploring what China was like in the '90s, with the explosions in development, the complex culture and unique realities like the opium trade. The author infuses the writing with cultural and economic elements that paint a reflection of the soul of the Chinese people. The cultural commentaries combine with hints of spirituality to create a complex world for the reader to navigate. There is so much to relish in this novel, from the romance to the exciting adventures. The characters are exceptionally crafted. They are rich, each reflecting a unique aspect of the culture. The prose is excellent and filled with vivid descriptions. Pipe Dreams: A tale of Seduction and Redemption by Jeffrey Fischmann is a beautiful story beautifully told, a delightful read, indeed.

K.C. Finn

Pipe Dreams: A Tale of Seduction and Redemption is a work of recent historical fiction told from dual cultural perspectives, and was penned by author Jeffrey Fischmann. Written for adult audiences due to its explicit use of sexual and violent content at times, the story follows rancher Nicklaus Blake as he journeys from Colorado to work on a new venture in Tianjin, China. The exploration of the Far East and its cutthroat culture in the early nineties spans through China, Taiwan and South East Asia, with six plot lines weaving through the social, economic and political intrigue of the time. What results is a lavish tale where culture meets personality, and the stakes are high to get what you want from life.

Author Jeffrey Fischmann packs a serious punch with a debut novel filled with literary standard depictions and authenticity when it comes to the culture of the Far East. As well as being an education in the ‘Wild East’ era of the nineties, the story itself gives multiple perspectives on life in China from high and low places, presenting a fully rounded human experience through its interwoven plot lines. The structure begins slow and steady, but as things begin to combine and conflict, the plot really heats up and speeds up as you read further into it, which results in some very satisfying yet shocking conclusions along the way. Overall, Pipe Dreams: A Tale of Seduction and Redemption delivers a fantastic overview of lively and realistic culture whilst also presenting a deep and emotive interplay of human connections.

Rabia Tanveer

Pipe Dreams: A Tale of Seduction and Redemption by Jeffrey Fischmann is the story of a man who came to China to do something tremendous with his life, but he had no idea what fate had in store for him. Nicklaus Blake is a man with ambition and he is smart, so it makes sense for him to go to Tianjin, China to handle the latest business venture. What he wasn’t expecting was the sheer contrast he comes across as he lands in China. If that cultural shock wasn’t enough, he meets two women and they both show him a different of himself and the Chinese culture. Thrust into a world of seduction, money, drugs, and power, Nicklaus Blake has to readjust his life and his perspective to survive in China. In a country where ambition is the biggest driving force, can he succeed?

Pipe Dreams by Jeffrey Fischman is a wonderfully intricate and exceptionally well-written novel. With layer upon layer of plot and interesting characters, the story had me hooked from the very beginning. Nicklaus Blake is a likable character, he is smart yet he is just like us. The vulnerability he feels in a new place and the way he looks for comfort in any way possible is so undeniably human. While Su Ming was a very refreshing character, it was Li Ping who got my attention from the get-go. She is complex, adventurous and ready to take action. The plot itself is fast-paced; the story flows naturally and allows the reader to get invested in it from the very beginning. The characters are given ample time to develop and the story is given life one page at a time. An interesting, well-researched story and a great look at the history of China in modern times.

Ruffina Oserio

Pipe Dreams: A Tale of Seduction and Redemption by Jeffrey Fischmann is a gripping novel with a historical setting in China in the early 1990s. Nicklaus Blake, a young, energetic, and ambitious rancher from Colorado, is sent to Tianjin, China to manage a joint business. Brash and passionate, he is quickly confronted with the reality of a culture shock. China is an enigma, a world with its own unwritten rules and with many pitfalls. His competent and intelligent assistant, Su Ming, might be a sure guide in navigating the complex cultural world but the charm of Li Ping, a highly seductive woman, may spell more trouble for him than good. This adventure takes readers to strange and dangerous places and it features exceptional characters, including gangsters, opium traders, an alchemist, and many others.

Transporting and deftly written, Pipe Dreams: A Tale of Seduction and Redemption powerfully captures strong elements of Chinese culture and history. The cultural and economic aspects of the setting are showcased in this novel. Jeffrey Fischmann's characters are well developed and I loved seeing an American finding his way through the complexity of life in China. It takes a lot of skill to write so much into a novel and still keep it enjoyable. While the material in the novel is well-researched, this author does an impeccable job of transforming that material into a spellbinding story. It is filled with drama and action, featuring characters that are compelling. The novel melds different genres into one story: romance, adventure, and history.

Romuald Dzemo

Pipe Dreams: A Tale of Seduction and Redemption by Jeffrey Fischmann begins with a short prologue that introduces readers to the protagonist's background, a humorous note that predicts what happens in the story. The narrator notes that Nicklaus Blake nearly killed his mother, which was his first act on earth. Raised on the family ranch outside Fort Collins, Colorado, he was a great horseman by the time he reached 20. When he graduated from high school, he worked at his uncle's food processing plant, a job that gave him a solid background in business. So after his graduation from college, he signed a contract with Tree Gold in Los Angeles, accepting a position for China. As excited and courageous as he is, he doesn't know what China is going to be like.

China is a world that will test the protagonist, nothing like anything he has dreamed of, a country with a lot of mysteries and a culture with many nuances. Blake quickly understands that he can't do business the way he has learned in school. The story features a suite of compelling characters. Su Ming is Blake's intelligent and loyal assistant whose presence will provide the guidance that Blake needs to deal with the locals. But Li Ping is another character who is about to shake the very foundations of his world. She is stunning in her beauty but her connections are dangerous. A high-end courtesan who uses him to escape from a ruthless lover and gangster. The story is suspenseful, filled with adventure and sophisticated characters. The author writes beautiful subplots into the story and this creates the suspense that makes it an exciting read. Jeffrey Fischmann paints vivid images of South East Asia in the '90s and explores the realities such as the opium trade. This is a romance with strong cultural and social foundations. A gripping tale that will keep any reader awake through the night.