Books by Cameron Stracher

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 9, 2013

"Essential reading for runners both competitive and casual."
A focused survey of three unmatched American long-distance runners. Read full book review >
THE WATER WARS by Cameron Stracher
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2011

An unlikely premise isn't the weakest feature of this illogical, contrived and poorly blocked-out eco-thriller. In this devastated, Mad Max-style future, North America has devolved into warring, depopulated regions, and nearly all of the planet's fresh water has melted into the oceans, become polluted or is tightly controlled by tyrannical governments and corporations. Teenage Midwesterners Vera and Will trek through this blasted landscape to rescue their kidnapped friend, Kai. Despite having no idea who took Kai or where they went, Vera and Will stay tight on his trail thanks to fortuitously timed help from rough-cut but heart-of-gold Water Pirates, casually murderous terrorists and a remarkably well-armed freelance desalinator. After repeated miraculous escapes from captivity or death, Vera and Will are led straight to an offshore platform where Kai and his father are being held, overhear all the political and corporate kingpins discussing their plans and get away. In a bewildering denouement, they somehow liberate the world with a televised geyser that springs from an untapped aquifer that Kai has found using psychic abilities. Huh? The high body count may keep bottom feeders engaged. (Science fiction. 11-13)Read full book review >
NONFICTION
Released: Nov. 11, 1998

What do lawyers do all day (and many nights) to earn the big bucks and the ill-favored reputation? Stracher (The Laws of Return, 1996) answers with an animated description of his life as an overworked, overpaid associate in a big New York firm. Ever since lawyering seemed to change from an honored profession to a tough business, the sole object of the game has been billable hours (read "huge fees"). Many firms, particularly the big "white shoe"outfits with major corporate clients, regularly transmute the lives of recently minted lawyers, their associates, into billable hours. Counselor Stracher describes his two years with such a firm (really a composite of several, and representative of many). His own point of view while employed as a biggie was much like that of a hamster on a treadmill: He tells of foolish, wasted, pointless work. But in law, there's no such thing as too much preparation. And if all-nighters were required, it was usually the associates and paralegals who ate cold pizza into the wee hours—often to support what the author supposed were positions of little merit. Documents, of course, abounded. Lawyer Stracher, in his brief, takes us on a quick tour of the back office, introducing us to quirky colleagues and offering a mini-primer on some black-letter law. Nowhere, though, does he document the unethical practice mentioned in his title. Rather, the mores and manners, foods and fashions of typical swashbuckling lawyers are dissected with skill and humor. Stracher's heart lies in the writer's art, not the art of litigation. He's now an "in-house" litigator with a major network, not—as lawyers joke—an "out-house" attorney in a private firm. A jaundiced but eloquent report on law's current habits. Read full book review >
THE LAWS OF RETURN by Cameron Stracher
Released: Oct. 10, 1996

Seemingly autobiographical debut by Manhattan-based attorney Stracher tells the story of Colin Stone (Hebrew name Chaim, for his late grandfather), raised as a secular Jew by his intellectual parents. Colin, a lawyer, whose WASP-ish first name is something of an albatross to which characters refer several times, is an uneasily divided soul who spends the length of the story struggling to define himself as an American Jew (or Jewish-American). This theme is laced tightly into the more conventional concerns of the bildungsroman, as the book follows its protagonist-narrator from his bris (the ritual circumcision of eight-day-old Jewish males) through to his final assertion of Jewish identity in the face of bigotry in his law firm. Along the way, Colin discovers sex, drugs, and the tenuous ties of friendship. A typically horny teenager of the 1970s, he spends a lot of time wooing and pursuing women, with mixed success. He endures an equally checkered series of best friends, the most sympathetic of them being his gay southern college roommate Dirk. Stracher tells Colin's story in styles that careen wildly from a shopworn magical realism—the infant Colin comments sagely on his mother's copy of Freud; he has two encounters with a mysterious, ``foppish'' angel, the second on a visit to heaven—to a vaguely Philip Roth satirical bent (without the bite or smarts of its model), and then on to an endlessly riffing string of one-liners and wisecracks. A mirthless and out-of-control imitation of Lenny Bruce/Lord Buckley monologues. (First printing of 25,000; author tour) Read full book review >