By Mark E. Klein
Sometimes heroes appear when we least expect them. Thanks to author and physician Mark E. Klein, FRANKLIN ROCK (Greenbriar Publishing; January 2021) has arrived just when we need him most.
One-part Siddhartha and one-part Forrest Gump, undergraduate student Franklin discovers that he has been chosen. In one extraordinary moment—a brief but crystal-clear glimpse into the future—Franklin learns that his life is to be an adventure unlike any other. Professor Charles Niemeyer, a Gandalf-like mentor, begins to skillfully guide Franklin along his journey. But before he has the chance to teach Franklin what he needs to know, Professor Niemeyer suddenly dies, leaving Franklin a blank book with a remarkable title: Franklin Rock: The Man Who Fixed the World.
Now on his own, Franklin must navigate towards his surprising destiny. Along the way, he encounters some wonderful characters. A mysterious man named Govinda who seems to know more about him than Franklin knows about himself; Maurice Burnside, a humble, elderly cancer patient who teaches Franklin life’s most important lessons; Lori Constantine, a beautiful woman who can see his heart; and some of the greatest minds of the 20th century all make their mark on Franklin.
Franklin’s time-travels provide clues to his destiny. “If you pay attention, Franklin,” Professor Niemeyer tells him, “You can see the future in the past.” The professor’s words prove to be prescient.
Beautifully written, FRANKLIN ROCK is a novel of adventure, comfort, and compassion. It is a healing balm and a ray of hope in our darkest hours. As Franklin grows in understanding, so does the reader, learning surprising lessons about time, our world, and the meaning of life.
As Franklin’s best friend Henry Clay King explains: Franklin Rock’s story is a tale of hope and redemption, but Franklin is not the beneficiary of that hope and redemption. He is the source.
MARK E. KLEIN M.D. is a physician and author. His career has been centered on caring for others, whether they be patients, colleagues, or strangers. He is always a teacher, sometimes of new medical technologies to other physicians from around the nation and the world, other times of those even more important issues of life that none of us can avoid. He continues to practice medicine in Washington, DC. Franklin Rock is his third book and his first novel. He has four children, four grandchildren, and lives with his wife in the Washington, DC area. Visit him at markekleinmd.com.
By Mark Klein
Greenbriar Publishing; January 2021
- Each moment exists forever, not just in our memory, but permanently in its own unique place in time. That is why it is at least theoretically possible to visit the past. Moments of time are like records in a jukebox. After you play a record, it doesn’t disintegrate. It simply returns to its permanent and unique slot, ready to be played again and again.
- This means that in a very real sense no one ever dies. This fact is extremely comforting. We never lose anyone. We are with them for eternity in each of those moments we spent together. We are actively living each moment of our lives in perpetuity.
- There is nothing new under the sun. Every experience, every thought, every fear or concern that we have has been had by millions before us. The story of life is the same as it has been since the dawn of man. Only the set changes. There is a reason we must repeat what everyone before us has already experienced. It implies a purpose to each of our lives.
- Death is not to be feared. As long as you have learned the required lessons it doesn’t matter how long you live. The number of days one lives is secondary. Longevity is not the goal, nor is it indicative of a successful life.
- Relationships are the real story of life. Maurice Burnside responding to the question of what the most important thing in life is: “Franklin, I can just say that I’m pretty sure it’s all about the people in our lives.” “When you begin to worry more about other people than yourself, when you place their troubles ahead of your own, the burdens of your own life instantly lighten.”
- It is both foolish and unnecessary to worry about our choices. There is no such thing as a best or right choice. That is because any choice we make will be influenced by the billions of other choices made every day. There is no way to know the outcome of any single choice. Yogi Berra was correct: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Make what you think is the best choice, and then don’t perseverate.
- There is no single way for things to work out. Choices made by you and others will simply create a different reality. Like a train heading down the track, switches are thrown, and the destination may change. No one destination is better than another. Each will yield a different set of events, but since the goal is always the same, each has the potential to get you to where you need to go.
- Each of us has a mission: to go from low to high as a person. That means learning love, empathy, and compassion, and we learn these through every single relationship we develop, from the most casual to those most dear.
- Everything always works out the way it should. Learn to let go. Each of us needs to focus on the mission.
- Free will, if it exists at all, is limited. That is because the billions of other choices and decisions made by the rest of humanity will collectively determine the outcome of any choice or decision you make.
- Franklin Rock moment: When a hint of the mystery of the universe is suddenly and unexpectedly revealed.