DUES: The Coming of Allie Cohen

A Novel

By Arnold Heller

God sends a Messiah who does not fly through the air, walk on water, or hurl lightning and thunderbolts.   The Prophet’s mission – the Lord’s Einstein of human relations research – is to teach the people how to live in peace and freedom by embracing virtues of mutual trust, cooperation, and love.  The people are challenged by the Almighty to Behold and Exalt the Prophet in a common state of Awe, but will they even see, or hear Him, let alone listen and follow Him?

Dr. Allie Cohen, a successful educator, develops a statistically valid prejudice reduction treatment for global application.  Allie; married to pregnant Sarah, his beloved angel of the hearth, also writes ‘The Lesson’, a best selling novel that is made into a major Holocaust-themed film.  Meteoric success begins driving a wedge in to Allie’s idyllic life with his beautiful red-haired wife, a gifted reading teacher.   

God promotes Allie by teaming him with Carole Herman, the most popular Jewish actress and singer in the world and his angel of beholding.  Carole falls in love with Allie; he joins her on a good will tour for President Reagan and becomes a global force for justice and compassion but the peace missions tug at his family bond.

As Allie’s importance and influence grows, strains between him and Carole form just as his family life stabilizes.  Things worsen with Carole when Allie switches from direct action for improving human welfare to growing a huge philanthropic fortune for direct investment in the lives of the poor and oppressed. 

In the end, the Lord and Special Angel Gabriel, the narrator, empower Allie to transform Atlanta into a model metropolis for all citizens, regardless of race, religion, sex, or gender preference.  A rainbow cast of colorful characters and their dreams intersect with Allie Cohen and drive the explosive conclusion.     

Dues: The Coming of Allie Cohenis an almost biblical love story that will make us laugh, cry, and take stock of our lives.  The author takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster and trip around the world that will leave them thinking about where America is headed as a society and how the world is evolving.     

Notes about the author:

Dr. Arnold Heller was born and raised in New Jersey and graduated from Pace University in New York and Georgia State University in Atlanta where he earned a Ph. D. Dr. Heller has been a career educator, writer, businessperson, and traveled the world. His vita and legacy of work is featured on www.arnoldheller.org. DUES: The Coming of Allie Cohen is his debut novel.  


Author’s Note

Dues: The Coming of Allie Cohen is a work of fiction and should be read as entertainment and nothing more.  Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.  The portrayal of real life people has been carefully presented with affection and generosity; their use along with real physical places, politics and politicians, historic and economic events is for the purpose of realism and believability. 

The author respects all other faith’s beliefs about their Messiah or Prophet and how or why their First or Second Coming or other manifestation might happen.  This novel is just one example of why God might send a Prophet, in this case an educational specialist and how his life and times might unfold.

It is fun to essentially play with an idea – God sends a Teacher, His Einstein of human relations research, to facilitate peace on earth and it is taken to a logical conclusion.  Believers of all other religious faiths and their Messianic qualifications should not feel negative, slighted, or threatened. 

The novel is a serious intellectual pursuit of a mystical and magical subject and explores many past and current social problems.  Discussion of weighty and controversial issues and topics has been balanced with broad presentation of humor and exploration of contemporary sexual themes and behavior.  The fields of education, publishing, film production, music, politics, and business are examined and hopefully enrich the reader’s experience.

Dues serves as a mirror of American and global society and explores racial dimensions that demand authenticity in the portrayal of black culture and American realities.  The author despises the use of any racial slur, is an advocate for all of the peoples of the earth to live in peace and harmony, and personal web site www.arnoldheller.org is a testament to my respect and appreciation of cultural diversity.  Readers interested in the author’s personal beliefs are encouraged to navigate the International Business Education drop down and access Intellectual Equality of the Human Species, one of eight units that foster intercultural understanding and global cooperation. 

The novel’s depiction of the black experience requires authentic speech and dialogue patterns between principal characters, specifically their use of the word nigger.  The author deplores use of this word and hopes it will be excised from the vocabulary as soon as possible.  But a portion of black society does freely use the word in their everyday conversations; Eddie White and Lesotho Xeranga, composite characters, sprinkle it liberally into their daily speech.   

The writing of the book – started in 1979 as a timely novel that covered the next decade through 1988 – ceased for 25 years then recommenced Oct. 6, 2013 and was finished Dec. 15, 2016.  Twelve years of writing and double that for marinating required transformation of the book into a period piece and to play fast and loose with historical fact and reality. 

A classic example is Atlanta Mayors Maynard Jackson (1973 – 1981), Andrew Young (1981 – 1989), and Bill Campbell (1989 – 1997) who served as City Council President under Jackson and Young: They all became Mack Thomas who does not exist and is a composite character.  Allie Cohen, the protagonist, serves as Atlanta’s first Metro Mayor 1988 – 1989, a short national experiment. 

The author has tried to accurately reflect the period the book covers – the last decade of the Cold War and the Reagan Administration – and meticulously present the cross currents and tensions of the times.  My hope for the reader is to be entertained, informed, and possibly enlightened.  I want the reader to enjoy the book, laugh out loud a lot, and maybe learn a little bit about an important American decade in the process.   

My hope for the reader is to be entertained, informed, and possibly enlightened. I want the reader to enjoy the book and maybe learn a little bit about an important American decade in the process.