David and Friends

Real Time is a remarkable, Danté-esque odyssey in which historical characters make a full-frontal assault on the author's everyday life. 

This rare blend of spiritual memoir, philosophy, parable, and history combines a modern "scribe’s" search for meaning with insights into the human condition. In the process, it turns conventional views of everything from war and sexuality to evolution and reincarnation totally upside down—without making anybody right or wrong.

At the same time, its conversational tone and wry sense of humor make the book accessible to believers, non-believers, and free spirits of all ages.

Chapter One- Rubens (pdf) Harriet Tubman (pdf)

Author of the Meditations, a classic of Stoic philosophy, Aurelius was a Roman emperor from A.D. 161 to 180. He struggled to maintain peace in the kingdom as the empire began its famous decline and fall.

During the 1692 Salem Witch trials, 200 people were jailed and 20 were executed. Bishop, a tavern owner, known for her independence and “flashy” dress, was the first to be tried and executed.

Darwin’s Origin of the Species and Descent of Man presented a radically new theory of how life on earth evolves. In the process, he challenged many traditional religious and scientific beliefs.

Marilyn Monroe’s sensuality, humor, and poignantly tragic life have made her far more than just a movie star. A half century later, her story continues to be both mysterious and mythic.

Before the Civil War, many slaves took the “Underground Railroad” to freedom. Well, Harriet laid the tracks. For more than 70 years, she fought for equal rights for blacks and women.

In the 12th Century, Yoritomo led the Minamoto clan to victory over the rival Tairas and established the first Japanese shogunate—a government ruled by powerful Samurai warriors.


With appearances (both literal and figurative) by dozens of famous, infamous, and relatively unknown characters from history including: Marcus Aurelius (121-180): Roman General and Stoic Philosopher. Bridget Bishop (d. 1692): Salem "Witch"; The First to Be Executed. Charles Darwin (1809-1882): Naturalist; Developer of Theory of Evolution. Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962): American Actress and Cultural Icon. Harriet Tubman (1820-1913): American Abolitionist; The "Moses of Her People." Minamoto nó Yoritomo (1147-1199): First Japanese Shogun…and dozens of other historical characters.

For publication rights, comments, and more information please contact: david@realtimethebook.com

About the Author

David Blistein graduated from Amherst College way back when, where he learned to write fiction and drink whiskey with novelist Robert Stone.

Realizing he actually had to make money—and finding that his logging, carpentry, and publishing skills left much to be desired—he began a career as a freelance copywriter, eventually owning a regional advertising agency. He began working on Real Time in 2004.

He and his wife, Wendy O'Connell, live in southern Vermont.


I’ve been waiting for this book since 1974...

...when I heard my buddy Dave read a very simple, deceptively transcendent short story. Since then we’ve shared a passion for history, the mysteries of the human heart, and rapid-fire one-liners.

While I’ve become pretty well known for following these passions, he’s been quietly waging his own private Holy War on the English language. After all these years, I'm glad he's finally bringing his incomparable insights and extraordinary heart into the world. 

Ken Burns
Documentary Filmmaker

[ excerpt ]

from a chapter on the biblical Jezebel:

My increasingly fragile pretensions of normalcy crumble as the two Jezebels shove me interrogation-like back in my chair and begin pounding on my chest. Glaring spitfires, they raise their voices and thunder: “When gods become weapons and women become coin, everyone suffers. To that we’ll be happy to testify in the days ahead.”

Then they’re gone. Totally gone. Leaving me in crash position—knees pulled up, arms over head — surrounded by fractal swirls of gasping thoughts, whispers of terror, and the secret thrill of someone who thinks he may have found the keys to the kingdom.

Who am I kidding? These are not figments. They’re as real, wise, and powerful as anyone I’ve ever met. I’m finally ready to own this thing. But I refuse to be possessed. And somehow, I’m going to have to figure out the difference.

Sanity be damned.