People are Talking

Rave Reviews:

“In the early 1920s, when I was the three- year -old child star ‘Baby Peggy,’ the hero of this book was cast as the villain in many of my two-reel comedies. Despite his fearsome persona (and the fact that he stood over eight feet tall), Jake did not frighten me. Instead, we established a warm professional friendship. Later, when I moved to another studio, I was upset to learn that Jake had become a sideshow circus ‘freak.’ I sadly envisioned my gentle giant trapped inside that cruelly demeaning existence. Then, six decades later, I was astounded to learn the miraculous ways Jake had changed his fate from his nephew, author Andy Erlich. Reading his story has been an inspirational journey for me, as it will be for every other reader, especially those who, until now, had believed a handicap as great as Jake’s could never be overcome. But as this fascinating book reveals, he was a uniquely courageous soul who proved to be a giant in more ways than one.”

~Diana Serra Cary, author/film historian and former child star, “Baby Peggy”


“A giant has lived among us, and Andrew Erlich has captured his heart and soul in his memorable novel of the life and times of his uncle, Jake Erlich. Born to immigrant parents in El Paso, Texas, Jake challenged humankind’s darkest thoughts, coming to terms with the bitter reality of prejudice, judgment and self-debasement, and finally arriving at joy and power that communicates to us from beyond the grave. The adventures of this gentle giant will open a thrilling pathway to life in the raw, a life haunted by one word: normal. In telling his uncle’s story, Andrew Erlich has brilliantly uncovered the misfit in us all.”

~Stella Pope Duarte, author of If I Die in Juárez


“Andrew Erlich’s true-life novel about a shy man trapped in an oversized body is an inspiring, larger-than-life story that teaches us that character defines us, not our size or physical limitations. Jake overcame so many challenges in his life with dignity, grace and artistry. He is an example for all of us.“

E.B., Phoenix


“Although The Long Shadows focuses on Jake, it’s also a story about his immigrant parents and their struggles to give him and his brothers a satisfying life. This is something every parent grapples with, particularly when their child is different from other kids. This wonderful book shows that, with love and support, you can help a child overcome almost any challenge. It’s truly an amazing and inspiring story.”

J.R., Chino Hills, California