Fiction - Drama
288 Pages
Reviewed on 01/14/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Richard Wold is a business owner and consultant. He currently lives in Gurnee, Illinois.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite

When Stan Foster washed up on the banks of the Hudson River, he had no recollection of jumping from the George Washington Bridge, only of falling and then of being alive. Stan by Richard Wold is the story of his search to rediscover who he is and why he had jumped from the bridge. He washed into Abigail’s office at the psychiatric ward at the Catholic hospital where she began to try to help him put the pieces of the puzzle together. Having feelings for him, however, caused her to send him to a different psychologist. This person leads Stan to believe that he is actually Satan inhabiting the body of a dark artist. As Stan struggles with the visions that he sees whenever he touches people, and his overwhelming desire to bring out goodness and light, he is conflicted and veers to both extremes. Abigail simply can’t allow Stan to slip through the cracks; there is too much good in him. Along with the two therapists which seem to be coming from completely opposite sides of good and evil, Stan’s agent Lilith is pushing him to the darker side of his art and trying to wield her influence over him as well. Which force will win out? Will Stan discover who he is on his own or will he attempt to repeat trying to take his own life again?

The depth of exploration into the good and evil of the soul are expertly undertaken in Richard Wold’s novel Stan. As you turn the pages and explore deeper into the mysteries, the emotions of pain, joy, fear, and confusion grip your own soul and you find yourself fighting right alongside Stan. The intriguing sideline to this is the effect that it has on Abigail as she, too, is struggling at first on behalf of Stan, but it is her own struggle as well. Deep, intriguing and full of soul-searching, Stan will hold you captive up until the very last word and beyond.

Tina Stanciu

Stan, written by author Richard Wold, is a book about a man’s journey to recovering his memory and finding himself. The book begins by presenting Stan Foster, a New York artist that survives a suicide attempt, and finds himself in the hospital, not having any memories about the past self. Trying to learn more about how he was, Stan starts to believe that he is living among the mortals as Satan. To help him find out the truth, the author introduces Abigail, a psychiatrist that tries to help Stan figure what his past and why is he having these feelings. It is a story about good and evil, a story about the human nature and how it can play tricks on you and make you question your entire existence.

Richard Wold does an amazing job with the portrayal of his characters in Stan; he turns the book into something more than a somewhat crazy man’s search for his past life and memories; he turns the book into a battleground for good and evil, God and Satan, mankind and its torments. It is a story that makes you want to read it cover to cover without putting down the book, the author’s writing skills having much to do with this. When encountering these type of mystery books readers want to be involved into something more than meets the eye, they want to be drawn into a story that is not what it seems to be and that what Richard Wold does with Stan. He creates a world of attractive madness, a world of unanswered questions and provocative mysteries that involved he reader and also makes him wonder about the way he looks at life.

Stan is the perfect book if you want to get lost in a not so perfect world, if you want to read something different than what you usually read. The battle between good and evil is as old as time, and many authors have tried to tackle it in various ways, from theater plays to stories for children, but this book puts it into a very personal and different perspective.

Lit Amri

Stan Foster’s suicide attempt by jumping from the George Washington Bridge failed. Surviving with bruises, fractured ribs, and a sprained ankle, Stan suffered amnesia and is plagued by disturbing images of death and horrific acts. He doesn't even remember the reason he jumped in the first place. Admitted to a psychiatrist ward, Stan meets Dr. Abigail Petrus, a vulnerable but supportive woman. When Stan said something regarding Abigail’s secret, dark past, the doctor becomes more intrigued with the man who is hard to diagnose. Who is he? How did he know about her family’s secret? Stan is a contemporary fiction laced with supernatural elements by Richard Wold.

The cover art itself is already an attention-grabber. It is a clear hint what part of the story is all about. The writing style is not overly ornate but straightforward and adroit, making the reading smooth without any tangential flaws. The protagonist, Stan Foster, is truly an enigma. Undeniably Wold knows how to build an exciting and tense plot. As the story unfolds, Stan’s identity is revealed bit by bit, like a solving an intricate puzzle. Lilith comes into the picture and seems to provide a big piece of the puzzle for Stan and Abigail. Stan is an artist, a brilliant one, and Lilith is his agent. The pious connotation of heaven and hell is deftly written, and readers will enjoy a great journey of intrigue discovering Stan’s past, identity, his relationship with Abigail, and what really he really wants.

I could have finished my reading in one sitting. Yet for Stan, I paced myself so that the thrill of unveiling the mystery didn't end that quickly. Overall, Wold’s work is a brilliant literary piece of the supernatural, redemption, and love.

Jack Magnus

Stan Foster, the title character of the dramatic novel Stan, by Richard Wold, is a man whose attempt at suicide has somehow failed, even though he did jump from the George Washington Bridge. When he comes to, bruised and shaken, on the dank and dirty riverbank, he has no idea who he is or why he jumped. The police officers who find him have him sent to a psychiatric hospital for observation. It is a strange and disquieting place, filled with wailing, sobs, and screams at night, but his sessions with Doctor Abigail Petrus are a welcome distraction. She's trying to help him recover his memory, one fragment at a time. An art therapy class at the hospital strikes a chord with Stan, whose art is recognized by a high-powered agent, Lilith, and so Stan moves back into the flat where he's worked and lived. Abigail is conflicted by her duties to him as his doctor and her growing emotional attachment.

Richard Wold's Stan is a stunning and exciting debut novel about evil, love, and the power of redemption. Stan and Abigail are both scarred by their pasts, and Abigail must reconcile her psychological training with her beliefs and emotions. Is Stan hopelessly delusional and dangerous, especially to her? Stan, likewise, has to come to terms with who and what he is. Their attempts to resolve their problems and strengthen the bond they both feel so strongly are orchestrated like an intricate and tempestuous ballet. I was quite surprised by the power and intensity of this novel. The artistic images and descriptions of Stan's other region are masterfully crafted and contrast beautifully. Stan is a fabulous read and very highly recommended.

Faridah Nassozi

Stan by Richard Wold is a story about the events following Stan Foster's suicide attempt. Stan has no memory of who he is but instead starts having intensely horrific dreams and he is not sure whether they are dreams, hallucinations, or forgotten memories. He starts seeing a psychiatrist, Abigail, in an attempt to get to the source of his troubles. Abby is drawn to Stan in ways she has never experienced with a patient before and tries everything to help him. Things get complicated and Abby recommends another psychiatrist for Stan. Stan is, however, not prepared for what the new doctor tells him about who he really is and the things he has done. He tries to push Abby away, but soon realizes that he cannot be without her. But will she accept him, knowing who he really is? Can he overcome his past and be the man he now wants to be?

Stan is a well written story with events that will give you chills and warm your heart at the same time. It is a combination of drama, romance, paranormal, and violence. The story has some very dark and twisted scenes but Richard Wold carefully balances them with the lighter side of events and the love and romance between Abby and Stan. The plot of the story is so unpredictable and takes twists and turns that you never see coming. Stan is a story about redemption, about the power of love, and about forgiveness. Richard Wold delivered a suspense-filled story that kept me captivated from the first page to the last. Once I started reading Stan, I did not want to put it down until I finished the book.