When he’s not pulling pints for the clientele of Red Bank’s Dublin House Pub, bartender Brandon Zenner (seen here in 2014) puts in long hours at his laptop, conjuring fictional worlds. His third novel in little more than two years, titled “The After War,” debuts this week. It’s a post-apocalyptic story based on an idea Zenner had almost two decades ago, when he was a 16-year-old student at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, and it’s available as an e-book here. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Red Bank bartender-turned-self-published novelist Brandon Zenner, seen here in 2014, is in the running for a contract with Kindle Scout, an Amazon program in which readers vote on which works get published. An excerpt of the Dublin House barkeep’s second novel, “Whiskey Devils,” may be previewed and voted upon here. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
For 11 sunlight-deprived years, he’s slung drinks and traded banter with customers at the Dublin House in Red Bank. And for a good chunk of that time, he’s spent his free time in a dim, prosaic Red Bank basement, typing away at a windowless desk near a clothes dryer.
But until earlier this year, when he self-published a 294-page novel titled “The Experiment of Dreams,” Brandon Zenner kept his literary ambitions to himself.
“I never told anybody I was a writer,” Zenner told redbankgreen recently. For one thing, “sports is big in a bar. Writing is not,” he said.
Besides, “it’s just easier not to have to talk about it” and instead just do it, he said.
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
The unassuming building at the corner of Ridge Road and Avenue of Two Rivers, with its boxy, fire-red brick facade and smallish patch of pavement for visitor parking, doesn’t quite do its innards justice.
Perhaps you’ve blown past it on your way to burger night at the Fromagerie, or you’re a snowbird who hasn’t stopped in for a while. It might be hard to figure this is a place where you can read an autographed print version of Benito Mussolini’s autobiography under supervision or a digitized bio of Il Duce on a Kindle. Or a place to buy locally-made jewelry and student art. Or to take a laptop and pull in free wi-fi while you watch sleepy Rumson go by.
This is the revamped and renovated Oceanic Free Library, fresh off a multi-month overhaul.