Reviews

Praise for Sisyphus Wins

Sisyphus Wins is a profoundly honest and personal novel about what it was like to grow up gay in a staunch Catholic family in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and beyond.  Jonathan navigates his way through the treacherous course of self-discovery and eventual self-affirmation through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood in the context of unyielding religious and traditional values that were often best at inflicting dehumanizing shame and guilt. No matter your creed or philosophy, this is an important book to be reflected upon and discussed.

—Rev. Joseph Holub, retired pastor,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Jonathan’s coming-of-age as a gay boy raised in a Roman Catholic family in 1950s Pennsylvania is both disturbing and brave. Creating moods matching the high elevation of the Colorado Rockies and the low elevation of Pennsylvania, Fabyanic alternates between the life of the self-actualized adult Jonathan and the broken boy Jonathan. Every detail is thoughtfully placed to offer the reader a heart-wrenching and intellectual experience through Fabyanic’s use of Christian imagery and a modern twist on Joseph Campbell’s monomyth. This read is a journey worth taking.

—Nanci Hubbard Morse, International Baccalaureate
English Teacher/Coordinator Summit High School, Frisco, CO

A sobering story of one man’s struggle with himself, his family, and his church. Jerry Fabyanic’s Sisyphus Wins is a real page-turner even when the reader is afraid of what the next page will reveal. Jerry masterfully dances back and forth between distressing life events, deep philosophical ponderings, and lighthearted experiences. The reader is ultimately left wondering where the line is between truth and fiction.

—Jason C. Steinle, author of Upload Experience

Walking back through the ‘50s,’60s, and ‘70s with Jonathan is both nostalgic and painful. Like many Catholic children, he grows up in a parochial environment that offers comfort and structure to those who adhere to its rigidity. His emergence as an adult who is different than his siblings leads to self-doubt, fear, anger and loneliness. The journey to Colorado and up many mountains leads us all to a self-examination of who we truly are.

—Sen. Joan Fitzgerald, former President of the Colorado Senate

Mr. Fabyanic tells one story of those who have grown up scapegoated and hemmed in by bigotry and conservative religion. Like no other I have read, this book demonstrates the pain of being forced to choose between a life of cowardice or one of shame and self-destruction. Through Fabyanic’s masterful storytelling, the reader travels with Jonathan Slovanco on his heroic journey to wholeness.

—Sean Guard, Dept. Chair and Teacher Leader for
English Language Development at Aurora Central High School

Sisyphus Wins is the honestly told story of Jonathan Slovanco, who must ultimately discover who he is and how he fits into the world as a gay man. Feeling separate from others does not work for him, yet tradition and all he knows comes into question when he ultimately decides that the truth will set him free. This truthful book shines a light on the obstacles faced by modern gay men. Family, religion, and universal knowledge all must be reckoned with. This is a remarkable read.

—Dr. Marilyn Buehler, Retired IB English Teacher,
and Advocate for Multiculturalism with Through Each Other’s Eyes
Intnl. Center for Cultural Education

Amazon and Other Reviews

“Jonathan Quest” – Brilliant! Jerry is a wonderful story teller, his linking of the present with the past causes this novel to shine with meaning and leaves it in the reader’s mind when the book has long been finished. Jonathan finally finds the courage to make the choices which reflect his own desires.

“Got to Climb a Mountain” – One man’s journey from self doubt to self realization, through internal and external conflict, and from comfort and security to risk and revelation should resonate with anyone who struggles with their own mountain to climb. The lines of reality and allegory blend and blur as you travel with Jonathan through his journey. The title itself give a sense of optimism for a positive outcome. And the symbolic cover strikes a cord with anyone familiar with the Colorado Rockies.

“Fabyanic Wins” – Who was Sisyphus? He was a Greek king who was condemned to repeatedly roll a heavy rock up a hill in Hades only to have it roll down again as it neared the top. In SISYPHUS WINS, a newly published novel, the protagonist, Jonathan, is continually plagued by modern day taunts, bullies, society, and siblings as he struggles to “find himself” in a strict Catholic family. It is a coming of age story that is funny, tragic, honest, thoughtful, inspirational and emotional as Jonathan wrestles with the challenges of being “different” in the ‘50s, ‘60s and beyond. Jerry Fabyanic, the author and retired teacher, cites history, the Bible and mythology in this tale, not only of survival, but of the triumph of love, perseverance, friendship and pride. A must-read for modern adults!