Reviews: What They're Saying
5 Star Review
“ IMMORTALITY THROUGH SEDUCTION” - TIFFANY SCHOGER
***** IMMORTALITY THROUGH SEDUCTION *****
With the scene in the tinctured, all glass house in Los Cabos Mexico, Goldberg has mastered the art of seduction. With one long kiss.... The ONE and ONLY's Rene Sorrell drew my soul through his lips until I swooned. This novel lives up to its promise. Romance is not disposable sex. It's not a flip your Zippo lighter's flame for immediate burning gratification. It's eating an artichoke bite-by-bite. That's what author Stuart V. Goldberg gives us. Slow detonation. Unlike so many other pop, faddishly-misguided graphic novels that strip their characters raw, LESS IS MORE. All of the king's horses and men of recent sensual fiction haven't been able to replace IMAGINATION. Recent mania has spurred a revival in cartoon art. One comes to mind. The iconic Playboy Magazine cartoonist, Shel Silverstein, drew a perfect example of what I mean. His sketch showed a lamenting suitor kneeling before a naked woman in a nudist colony. The caption below read, "Could you just put something on? That's Goldberg's art of seduction in this riveting novel. He even tells us the name of it in art. Pentimento.... The artist takes a palette knife to his work, and strips off all the layers of paint, one-by-one, to get to the artist's original charcoal sketch. Just when the world-class-puppeteer, Rene Sorrell, thinks he holds the master-carpenter's tools, Saira DuFour takes them away from him. The chapter (or shall I say scene...since it visually jumped off the page like it was on a eighty-foot theater screen) where Saira DuFour turns the tables on Rene in his office, runs her hand under Rene's chin and tells him, "No man shaves that close." She messes up his perfect, fell-off-a-wedding-cake-hairstyle and retorts, "A three hundred dollar haircut; that's my share of the rent every month." Then...stripping him with a litany of materialistically-kinesic observations, she asks, "Who are you with out all of this?" You gotta' love it!
5 Star Review
“hidden treasure” - K.O. "K.O."
I so enjoyed this novel! I am an avid reader of novels and "The One and Only" did not dissapoint. It had adventure, romance and a sexy intriguing story line that kept me wanting more.
5 Star Review
“FICTION THAT'S TOTALLY BELIEVABLE !!!” - Victoria Kaplan
All of us would like to be in the position at some time in their life to NEVER have to think about putting a price on the value of our DESIRE. While reading The ONE and ONLY it allowed me to experience a life of passions through wealth, desire, love, and unbridled OBSESSION. When you are obsessed about something, it is living a life without boundaries. In the that way the world is now, with the stark reality of unhappiness and limits, I reveled in the ability to free float through Goldberg's novel and experience a BELIEVABLE FANTASY.
5 Star Review
“Fantastic” - A. Trace
Enter the world of Rene Sorrell and you will NOT want to leave! From the detailed descriptions of the surroundings, to the exciting, complex relationships amongst the characters, to the twists and turns of the plot, this fantastic, fast-paced, captivating story will take you on a breathtaking journey and leave you wanting MORE.
It's the kind of story that would appeal to men and women alike; a perfect balance of the different sides each character possesses.
The author's sensitivity touches you and his passion just sweeps you away and grabs your attention and interest until the very last page.
This book will stay with you long after you finish reading it in a way that few books can.
5 Star Review
“POWER WAITS ON THOSE THAT EARN IT” - Joshua Herrendorf
I'm in the commodity pit every day. Supply and demand creates the price of something, its worth to the world. I can think of no finer visible example than the opening of this book. The author, Goldberg, doesn't bandy us around waiting to give us a feel what his story is all about. He hits us with it, and I LOVED IT. Thunder may make the noise, but lightning does the undisguised work. Like a trader in the pit with a hot hand, Goldberg's Rene Sorrell immediately delivers us with a flash bolt of information. We gotta' love Rene Sorrell, he knows no law but how to prevail. He's the quintessential commodity trader. Ruthless, but strangely respectable...and enviable. This is a guy that knows how to make something not just rare but beyond a price. Limitless, he feel nothing succeeds like excess. All of us traders have those days in the commodity pit where you ask yourself.... What is a soybean? Why are we trading it? Why does everybody want it? Then when all the shouting, commotion, and desire starts up all around you -- the competitor takes over. You don't want to compete with Rene. And...you can't compete with this book. It takes over your life. You feel like you are Rene Sorrell. Just like him, you start to desire nothing so much as that which you can't have. I'm tired of reading about hard times. Every minute I was in The ONE and ONLY WORLD I loved it! There is no reader on this planet that's going to know what's in store for him or her. I was hooked on where the author, Goldberg, took us with this story. And, especially the fantastic finale. It stayed simple and exquisitely unrivaled. Rene Sorrell knows the price of everything and in a bizarre, enjoyable way the value of nothing. This book is a one-of-a-kind. SOLD!
5 Star Review
“I saw it as I read it” - D. Deubler
The author wrote the novel with such impeccable descriptors that as my eyes read each word, my mind saw the scene perfectly down to the last detail. Its one of the most original stories I have read in a long time and takes you on such an unexpected journey, loaded with complex characters and the authors imagination for epic backdrops. Picked it up and couldn't put it down, and just when you think you figured out where the story was going, the floor falls out from beneath you and takes on wild ride. Enjoyed it all the way to the last word. Look forward to more creations and insights from Stuart V Goldberg.
5 Star Review
“An excellent read” - William Raines
I opened this book while seated in an airplane on my way to Florida. I was hooked after the first chapter. It's a page turner. Before I knew it the seat belt warning light came on and I was disapointed that I had to put it away. I finished the book by the pool.
It's captivating, intriguing and very well written. The story is fresh with twists and turns that carries your imagination to new and exciting places. I highly recommend The One and Only. You will not be dissapointed.
5 Star Review
“Captivating and Original” - Daniel E. Winton "Danny G
Gripping from the first page to the last. This story is instantly a classic as it grabbed my attention from the instant I heard its synopsis. All humans can relate to the desire to pursue individuality, but Goldberg takes it the the nth degree in this story of love and lust for more than meets the eye.
5 Star Review
“Wild Exciting & Romantic” - Marshall J. Rasof
***** TRANSACTIONS AND ENDINGS
As an accountant, I loved this book. An accountant's eye is unlike any other's. It's unforgiving. By habit, an accountant searches for everything to fit. This novel set up so many wild expenditures of thought, that I couldn't imagine them all being paid off. But, they meticulously all were. To an accountant, the world is full of tangible things. Yet, Goldberg's creation of Rene Sorrell was both a frustrating one for me, and a challenging one. I like to see things in black and white. I like to see things coming. Rene Sorrell's mind deals with the invisible, that frustrated me. But, if accounting is a keeping of balance, then Rene Sorrell has mastered it. His vision and systematic acquisition of art, it's knowledge, and the power to use it kept me up all night reading Goldberg's book waiting for the author to take an expense that was not accountable. The ONE and ONLY paid off every debt.
It intrigued me that the author entwined a love story in a universe of accountability. The relation between love and suffering is just like what we do in accounting. Deduction and Disallowance. The test of of a man's mettle is how he behaves when he gets denied something he wants. Rene Sorrell is sort of like a primal animal amidst the art world-- unbridled, gigantic, always seeking new ways to use his strength. His accountability is to no one except his solicitation of God. God changes not what is in people, until they change what is in themselves. I reveled in reading the consequences of Rene Sorrell's change.
Marshall J. Rasof, CPA
5 Star Review
“ENJOYING EVERY METICULOUSLY WORDED-PAGE” - Michael Tetrick
***** "ENJOYING EVERY METICULOUSLY WORDED-PAGE"
Life has finally slowed up enough for me to write a review to tell the rest of the readers how much I loved this novel, The One and Only! Wow, I enjoyed every meticulously worded-page and each action-packed scene, finding myself caring deeply about the complex cast of characters that filled the pages of Stuart V. Goldberg's wonderful book. The beauty of reading a really good novel is that they often take us to exotic destinations, on thrilling adventures, and expose us to unforgettable characters that help us see the world in which we live through new eyes, richer thoughts, wider perspectives, and deeper meanings.
This book took me inside the lives of the super-wealthy, with their fast cars and beautiful women - searching for the universal nourishment of life that's cherished by all: love, family, friendship ... someone to love and someone to love us back. TOAO had me from the first Bentley drive to the European art gallery to the ... date diverted jet into Los Cabos ... that fateful unfinished skyscraper ... the fiery auction at a remote Austrian castle ... to the very unexpected ending.
Congratulations to Stuart V. Goldberg, I know that this labor of love is just another "new beginning" chapter in his lifetime of successful endeavors. As an author, future director, and movie producer of The One and Only his vision and passion for the finer details are like no other ... only one person could have written this amazing book. I can't wait to see the movie and can only hope that it is half as good as the original.
5 Star Review
“THE ONE AND ONLY” - Jerome Bailey
If a man has a talent and doesn't use it, I think he has failed. There's a fine line between brilliance and insane-eccentricity, and Rene Sorrell has erased the line. And as a reader of this book, I wouldn't want it any other way. I love this guy! And his cars! And what he pulls off! A master of influence in the art treasure arena, Rene Sorrell's exercise of power is unlimited. But just like his 240 MPH, flat-out Bugatti, whose tires burn off in fifteen minutes, Rene yearns to live for the moment so eternal that it approaches immortality. And he does a great job of it. The author, Goldberg, paints such a captivating picture that we ride along right next to Rene in car, our stomach in our throat, feeling and craving every thrill. Although you'd might almost wince expecting Rene Sorrell next to wash his hands in champagne, he's the hero of the every guy's dreams. Money for him is an aphrodisiac which allows him to do things other men dare not dream of. Yes, for awhile, Rene Sorrell seems to have everything he wants. He's got the three friends he needs: A faithful friend, a dog, and ready money. His moment comes though, when one possession after another isn't enough. We wait for it. We revel in it. We suffer for him.
As an African American man, I applaud the author, Goldberg, for not cramming down our throats another flaxen-Hollywood Barbie Doll leading woman. On the contrary, he gives us two wonderful heroines-of-color. Saira Dufour and her magical, side-kick roommate Tookie. Saira is like a Stradivarius violin whose untuned golden strings are masterfully tightened and wound by her bedrock best friend, ebony-skinned Tookie Mills. Keeping Saira in check, Tookie rapid-fire drills, "Do you love him? Have you ever felt this way before?" Limiting Saira's silence, Tookie drills Saira again, "You can't think about." Great relationship. I want a Tookie. And...speaking of firsts, after reading this book and the sensational boar hunting scene.... I'm going to be the first black man to go boar hunting
5 Star Review
“MAGNIFICENTLY UNPREDICTABLE!” - Sara N. Maitlen
If we are always spinning our own fates, both good and evil, you would think there would be some flaw or pattern to recognize. For even the smallest commission of a vice seems to come back and bite us. But in this book, Rene Sorrell's thumbprint is morally invisible at times. That's what drew me in. The lawlessness of it. In the wildest sense, his ability to be able to play God and get away with it. This story is about what one man will do for his obsession. It fuels his whole emotion. Yet, morally does it give him the right to do anything he wants?
So, if the best way to define a man's or woman's character is to seek out the ONE particular moment that defines them. The ONE moment they feel most deeply and intensely alive -- Rene Sorrell exemplifies that person. His cry is always "This is the real me!" Or is it...?
That's the alchemy the author, Stuart V. Goldberg, gives us in his novel. Rene Sorrell wants to possess the work of God in order to give him his eternal moments. We are pulled onto his ride, too late to question the morality of it. We live in Rene's truth. And then Goldberg deals us a card denying it, spinning us out of control. But, everybody likes the thrill of a roller coaster. The One and ONLY methodically cranks us up...up...and up...and then drops us unannounced with the unforeseen. So, is there one imperfection or sin in Rene Sorrell's agenda that gives us notice? Beware...you won't see it coming.
5 Star Review
“Uniquely original!” - Justin B.
It is hard to overstate the originality of this novel's intricately crafted plot, and the clever twists in which it culminates. From the moment one begins reading, it is impossible not to think this book should be a movie - an impression ultimately borne out by the fact that the author originally wrote the script with the inspiration of casting George Clooney in the lead. One can easily picture the Oceans Eleven actor playing the role of a globe-trotting billionaire in search of fulfillment that money cannot buy.
The One and Only is the story of Rene Sorrell, a jet-setting natural gas scion, who has dedicated his life to procuring the world's rarest and most expensive treasures, only to discover - through his love of a fiercely independent woman - the emotional void left by his pursuits.
At first glance, the plot premise - rich man who has everything but true love - would seem like a storyline we've heard before, most notably in The Thomas Crown Affair or Sabrina. However, it quickly assumes many more layers of depth, and (frankly, brilliant) depravity, as the protagonists' character flaws manifest themselves. Rene harbors a psychotic obsession with holding treasures "in infinity"; he believes that owning the only extant example of a rare object is to possess its entire history and future, and through that command of its provenance, confer onto its owner a (twisted) sense of immortality. The object of his affection is Saira Dufour, a fledgling Manhattan art auctioneer with every bit his sophistication, wit and charm. Saira, once an orphan who raised herself up out of poverty to become a well-educated connoisseur, is possessed of such a deep-seeded sense of abandonment that she ardently refuses to let herself need, or be loved by, anyone. There is a fascinating interplay between the fractured psyche of a man with a singular bent of possessing unique treasures, and the fatal insecurities of his muse bent on denying herself love.
After an exquisitely orchestrated courtship that whisks Rene and Saira from the skyscraper canyons of Manhattan to a sun-drenched, Miesian glass beach house in Mexico, to Europe's most exclusive chateaux, the two unite in a seemingly pre-destined romance. But with Rene's limitless resources at her disposal, Saira undertakes to investigate her family history and lineage, only to discover she was born a twin. While she seeks to reunite with her long-lost sibling, the plot assumes a certain psychodrama as Rene must decide whether to accede to his obsession with uniqueness or allow himself to be consumed by his love.
As we learn that Rene has secretly stolen, connived, and killed to protect his grasp on exclusivity, the irony is not lost on the reader that a man who defines himself by his possessions has discovered that the sole salvation for his inner emptiness is a woman who defines herself by her independence (and her will not to be possessed). Rene suffers an almost-Hitchcockian flaw of being both incomplete without Saira's love, yet unfilled without uniqueness.
One wonders what motivates Rene. Is he covering some inner insecurities by maintaining control over collectible objects to a fault? Is he trying to create a secret legacy? Or is he simply oblivious to his own loneliness? It's only at the resolution that the reader discovers the true impetus for Rene's obsession with immortality through art, and appreciates its transformation into immortality through love.
5 Star Review
“Worthy of the title” - David Sargent
Novels don't usually sell themselves-- this one did just by the design and information the author conveyed on the front and back cover. Coco Chanel said, "When you leave the house, always take off one thing." Less is more. The picture on the front cover was so simply conveyed, yet esoteric, that it provoked my curiosity. Further, every book nowadays has its back cover emblazoned with redundant, over-used, meaningless adjectives of hollow praise. Like apartment signs everywhere claiming to be "deluxe"; or like canned laughter on TV sitcoms. I loved that this author maximized his back cover for the important stuff we want to learn when we're spending our hard-earned after-tax dollars. The ONE and ONLY's back cover totally sucked me into the collector's obsessive vortex.
During the Great Depression, while people stood forever in bread lines, they still flocked to the movies for escapism. Things hopefully will stay a little better now than in the late 1920's. Just like back then, the same as now, people want to escape from the thumb-press of economic blues. This novel's opening the closed door of the obsessed billionaire collector's-world was just what I needed to stop worrying about Commonwealth Edison extorting me for the balance of my electricity bill; or the first week of the month when my rent is always past due. Great escapism. I loved it! I want to be Rene Sorrell. I want to live in his home. Drive his car. Rock his boat. Fly his plane. I loved that this nonpareil gunslinger in the collector's world made no excuses -- he just did everything according to his unique style. And, thanks to Goldberg for not creating the stereo-type, Hollywood-pulp, blue-eyed-blonde leading female. His Saira DuFour's ethnic blend was exquisite. Or shall I say, exquisitely flawed? Finally a chick fessing up to a crucible of life's psychological damage -- yet totally delicious. It even made her more likable.
While the phrase has enjoyed colloquial status for ages, Goldberg's "The One and Only" is a work finally worthy of the title. Vivid, vivid, vivid! Plot twists and turns to give an ambulance-chasing, personal injury lawyer emotional whiplash! I felt like I was watching a Hollywood epic movie -- the way the real director's (who could grow facial hair) made them. With every chapter, I felt the director's lens pointing me exactly at what he wanted me to see, hoping to see...and fearing to see. A carpenter's power-sander stripping all the emotional baggage we unwittingly carry, it offered great insight into the moral dilemmas we all face. Don't tell my mom or my EX -- it made me cry. I highly recommend this read.
5 Star Review
“The title speaks for itself” - Natalia
The One and Only speaks the truth about it's title. It is without a doubt a unique, fascinating and one of a kind novel. For the women who read this book, I advise you not to read it before any important event because your makeup will be running down your face from the tears that you will shed from reading this beautiful love story. But this book is not just for women. Guys, there are countless action, history and suspense chapters that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It is a book that both men and women can enjoy together. The way Rene Sorrell, the main character, captivates Saira is truly a love that runs deeper than anything I've ever read in a book. Where in the world are there more men like Rene, and where do I find one? The last few chapters of the book will have every emotion provoked: sadness, happiness, hope, fear, love, compassion, and countless others. The One and Only is truly a little bit of everything all rolled into one, making it a story anyone can and will enjoy. This novel is being made into a movie, and in my opinion, they can't crank this movie out fast enough because it will be among the best!
5 Star Review
“They ought to make a movie out of this book!” - Doug Simons
The One And Only is an extraordinary novel reminiscent of classic Hollywood film noir. It contains all the elements necessary to capture the reader's interest immediately, and hold one in the edge of their seat, as if staring at Cary Grant in Hitchcock's "Suspicion" upon the screen. He may be a dastardly character. We don't yet know. Yet his likeability makes us hope he is the man we want him to be. As with any hero, we are inclined to overlook his flaws.
The protagonist in The One And Only, Rene Sorrel, holds within his complex persona all the elements of a prototypical Greek hero/anti-hero. His rise to enviable success and riches from disadvantaged and humble beginnings, are what classically draws in the reader and forces them to unwaveringly stand in his corner and cheer for his success.
His style, tenor, dogged pursuit of perfection, and willingness to risk it all in pursuit of those things he holds most dear and most valuable, not merely from a monetary standpoint, but more importantly from a desire to obtain those things uniquely beautiful and rare from the artistic hand of human endeavor, give him a likeability that is hard to resist.
When his passion and singlemindedness inevitably lead to obsessive pursuit, and the inevitable achilles heel, the reader continues to root for him, as classic Greek mythology would dictate, since no reader is without sin and without excess, and thus we are led to support a man with significant faults because we see ourselves in his unflinching tanacity. Or, atleast we wish we saw ourselves in such enviable singlemindedness.
The book carries us from country to country, through exciting and dangerous pursuits, peppered with characters fond and nefarious, all the while drawing in the reader as though he was part of Rene's inner circle of friends and compadres circling the globe searching out the world's finest antiquities and avoiding peril at every turn.
In the end, however, amidst all the history, all the action, all the deep friendships with an old, loyal buddy, and friendly adversaries, in its essence the book is a great love story. One man seeking out the material things he believes he loves the most, only to find that real love has always eluded him, and once found, recognizes that he may really have only been seeking that rarest of things all along.
5 Star Review
“Let's hope it isnt the one and only !!!” - ALAN R YALE
Readers live in two worlds. This one and the one of their imagination. Especially with the way the world is going lately, The One and ONLY is a magic carpet ride. Spinning the world before my feet, it enticed me with the complicated weave of its character's unmanageable desires. The book's main characters, Rene Sorrell and Saira DuFour, were like a modern day Romeo and Juliet. Romance and severe complication. Rene Sorrell leads a life that wants for nothing. Yet, it's not enough. Although one can find fault with another who strives to live in a domain of imagined-perfection, Rene's pursuit of the rarest things in life kept me rooting for him. In a way, Goldberg's main character is looking for himself and searching out everything else in the world for the answers. Saira DuFour gives it to him. Saira is Rene's gift to himself. Yet, this obsessive love unravels him...and equally her. To their benefit and ours.
I also really found comfort in the Love-Saboteur quality of Saira Dufour's character. There are a lot of people, (and couples) that are like that. Just when they get what they want, they don't know what to do with it. My God, does she have a character arc. I don't want to spoil the plot, but keep an eye on her.
Lastly, it's Goldberg's unnoticed banana peels that he lays out for the reader to slip on later. Just when you're wondering why he sets a up scene, an event, or even the slightest nuance a certain way...he detonates the land mine later on. WOW! What an ending. Buy the book. There's none like it.
5 Star Review
“Finally something original!” - Emy Smith
I am a slave to a good story, seldom putting the book down when I should, and meeting the morning sun on more than one occasion, lost in the spell of the story.
Unfortunately, we have lost the artistry of imagination; Literature and it's step-child Hollywood have spawned the stillborn operation of everything derivative. The run-of-the-mill romance, the stereotypical hero, the routine villain, the senseless comedy, the oh-so predictable drama - mimicry by imitating prior success seams to be the bane of our existence. Good guy gets wronged, gets back, gets even. I have had it... For those that think that there are only seven original plots - The One and Only is the eight. God knows where Goldberg came up with his non-conforming characters. Each one was an indulgence that I got lost in - complex, eccentric, idiosyncratic, quirky, troubling....
I travel a lot. I took Goldberg's book with me, not before long I was lost in the whirlwind of different places different countries. The book twists and turns, especially the ending.. oh my God, that boar hunting scene.. I could taste it.. I must have been obvious in my enjoyment because the guy next to me persuaded me to part with my book, as I finished it by the time we reached Milan. Oh well, I can always get another copy as this may be one of those books you want to reread a few times.
The main character is trilling mix of opposites. As a woman and someone professionally involved with clothing and design, I have an appreciation for a man's sartorial elegance. I have always felt that distinctive style is an expression of one's passion and ambition. Yes, Rene Sorrell is a dandy, but I liked it. He seems to enjoy using it as a protest against mediocrity. Each faculty of Rene Sorrell's soul and resources are bent on his worship of beauty and the pursuit of one expression of perfection.. ONE AND ONLY.. that's what this book, it's storyline, bizarre plot, and even more psychologically complex characters are. Once you pick it up, be prepared to stay up all night until you finish it...
5 Star Review
“Great Read” - Ellen Rue Rosenbaum
This review is being written by my better half- Gary as he was the recipient of this book!
The One & Only is a fast read with unexpected twists. Goldberg's descriptions of the high-end luxury world are quite vivid. His character development was done in a masterful way to allow the reader to feel as if he was in that moment. For example, the boar hunting expedition in Tuscany came to life off the page. It held my interest because of the continuing plot changes. Read the book on a flight to Europe...you will feel as if you were on a quick flight to New York. Sorry the author doesn't have a 2nd book for my return flight. As a clothier for luxury menswear, it is refreshing to find an author with a passion for the finer things in life and happens to be a dapper dresser as well.
Buy the book...firstname.lastname@example.org
5 Star Review
ONE great book!!! - Roger Welp
We all seem to spend our lives searching for someone like us. The ONE and ONLY mirrors my life in that Goldberg put two opposites together. And, WOW, do these opposites attract. For once, a passionate love story through a man's eyes...or rather obsession. Bottom line... You come into this world alone, and let's face it -- most of our existence is spent alone. Yes, we live as we dream -- alone. If a man could actually live without limits, each and every one of us would probably choose to live like Rene Sorrell. As much as Rene borders on deity in his world, the author found a way to keep him real. Funny enough, as Rene sought his way through ten countries of the world on his spiritual odyssey of acquisition, I became obsessed too. As fast as Rene Sorrell's boats, planes, cars, and motorcycles rocketed through the story, the book's whiplash twists and turns went faster.
Goldberg hit the theme of being alone in life with another note. Brothers-in-arms. Someone to share life with. The sublime float of the Mafioso-loyalty of a best friend/brother. Being adopted, I absolutely loved the relationship Rene shared with Don Frye. For me, it was the bedrock fiber of the book. Me and my brother/best friend against the world. All my life I wished I could've had a Don Frye. Goldberg gave me that brother. I didn't want to let him go. I still can't. When is the movie?? This book captured me more than anything I've ever read. Like pearls on a strand, each chapter came alive as I read it, and I couldn't put it down. I understand Rene Sorrell; I found my ONE and ONLY. He's right. It's like holding infinity in the palm of your hand.