Bob Sylva has written a book, “The King of Karaoke and Other Stories,” set in Sacramento.
FORMER REPORTER TELLS TALES IN NEW BOOK OF SHORT STORIES
ob Sylva was a Sacramento newspaper and magazine reporter and writer for more than 40 years. He never ran out of true stories to tell. But when he left his job at The Sacramento Bee, he decided to try something different. He wandered around his familiar old beats, the backstreets and faded neighborhoods where he chronicled wonderfully common and majestically marginal
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people. And he let his imagination run free. He began to create stories that feel so plausible and intimate and exquisitely drawn that readers can see the characters blink, take deep breaths and figure out their next moves. Which is another way of saying Sylva did what he does best and made it fiction. To write fiction and make it smart, compelling and dimensional is a tough task, much harder than taking notes and reporting facts for a newspaper or magazine. Sylva was ready for the challenge. But he decided to make things even harder for himself. He started his own publishing company, an imprint to celebrate the beauty of ink on paper. He produced a book trimmed, scored, folded and
bound in the traditional way, a way that Twain, Steinbeck or Cheever might appreciate. Now, the marriage of these goals—a literary achievement and its binding—is moving through the machinery at J. Prassa Printers, a press and book bindery at 23rd and C streets, ready for public inspection and embrace.
The book is called “The King of Karaoke and Other Stories.” The imprint is Encre sur papier, French for ink on paper. I’ve known Sylva for many years, worked with him for decades and consider him the best writer The Bee ever produced. So I can’t exactly be objective. But I think he has produced a masterpiece. “The King of Karaoke” comprises six unique stories propelled by
HE BEGAN TO CREATE STORIES THAT FEEL SO PLAUSIBLE AND INTIMATE AND EXQUISITELY DRAWN THAT READERS CAN SEE THE CHARACTERS BLINK, TAKE DEEP BREATHS AND FIGURE OUT THEIR NEXT MOVES.