Craig is a young man of promise and ability, which he is - choking on bong hits and vodka shots. Like many bright slackers, he glides through school but can never quite launch a grown-up life and career. What does he care? His parents are always there to rescue him. He spends his nights conning his way into exclusive nightclubs, championship locker rooms and sold-out concert VIP areas. His brushes with fame and celebrity make him feel like he matters, too. As his adventures grow grander (the Grammy's, the Stanley Cup, the World Series, the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame, the Summer Olympics, The Kremlin), he cannot see that his life is built on a crumbling foundation of ever-expanding lies. He is bouncing from job to job, stealing his girlfriend’s ATM card and dulling his pain with more pot and alcohol. When he fails the bar exam for a third time and his parents threaten to cut him off, he has no choice but to confront himself. After wasting a month in a residential-treatment program, he finds his way to Dr. Arthur Knauert (Dr. K), a street-smart New York psychiatrist with a unique understanding of addictions and how addicts can rescue themselves. Dr. K traces the issue to Craig’s inconsistent nurturing and his refusal to take responsibility for the choices he makes. The doctor demands that Craig begin performing “esteemable acts.” Craig stumbles at first, but soon takes to Dr. K’s demanding prescription. Craig gradually turns his life around, coming to find his salvation in this new set of life-affirming principles. His friends and family start to notice, as do Pope John II and Rabbi Mechachem Schneerson, as Craig establishes personal audiences with them. Gratified by his progress, Craig begins to share them with other lost souls. When Dr. K comes down with terminal cancer, Craig fears he will be lost again. But in a deathbed conversation, Dr. K gives Craig the confidence and wisdom he needs to carry on. As new challenges enter Craig’s life, he is at last prepared to confront them—with openness, honesty and Dr. K’s esteemable acts.
Set primarily in New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Moscow, the main action occurs in the late-1980 and 1990s. Chief characters are Craig and Dr. K, supported by Craig’s parents, brothers and friends. Cameo appearances by many top celebrities include Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Jack Nicholson, Donald Trump, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Madonna and Dion.
The book builds with detailed descriptions of Craig’s many celebrity incursions— including his how-to techniques. The meaning and insight arrive gradually as he comes to see that by seeking proximity to the famous he is actually wasting his own precious life. Lost and despondent, he continues to fall until he finds Dr. K, who shares a way of living that turns everything around. The tone is inspirational and often humorous.
The book will appeal broadly and be of special interest to several segments: Young adults attracted to colorful coming-of-age stories. People in recovery from alcohol, drug and other addictions. Readers drawn to backstage celebrity stories from the 1980s and 1990s. Fans of self-help and personal-improvement books. Written in fast-paced, accessible prose with a funny, self-deprecating edge, The Uninvited as a feel-good story with a message that creeps up on you. The con-man and celebrity stories pull you in, but it’s the deeper insights that will stick with you.