Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Book ~ "My Year As a Clown" (2012) Robert Steven Williams

From Goodreads ~ With My Year as a Clown, Williams introduces us to Chuck Morgan, a new kind of male hero - imperfect and uncertain - fumbling his way forward in the aftermath of the abrupt collapse his 20-year marriage.

Initially, Chuck worries he’ll never have a relationship again, that he could stand in the lobby of a brothel with a hundred dollar bill plastered to his forehead and still not get lucky. But as his emotionally raw, 365-day odyssey unfolds, Chuck gradually relearns to live on his own, navigating the minefield of issues faced by the suddenly single - new routines, awkward dates and even more awkward sex.

Chuck is a writer in his forties and has been married to Claudia for almost 20 years.  Claudia has been out of town for three months on an archeological dig.  As he is driving her home from the airport, she tells him that she has met someone else and is leaving him.  Chuck is devastated.  What follows are details of the next 365 days as he tries to figure out how to be single and live on his own with his two cats.

We get to know his friends, the dates he goes on, his family (brother, mother and stepfather), neighbours and even a weed-smoking rabbi who Chuck helps to record a CD.  We read about his pain, hurt and confusion as he deals with his new life and trying to get his focus back with writing.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it. When I first got this ebook, I thought I would be reading about how Chuck dealt with his life change by becoming a clown ... seriously.  You can imagine my surprise when I discovered this wasn't so.

I enjoyed the writing style.  It was written in a conversational manner from a first person perspective (Chuck's) and I felt like he was talking to us and telling us his story ... he is quite honest in his pain at times.  The language and activity is at times for a mature reader (there are quite a few F-bombs).  The only thing I had an issue with is that the author talked about football a lot.  I get that it was an analogy for his loyalty and commitment (he cheers for a loser team) but it was too much for me as I don't like football.

There is quite a variety of characters that Chuck surrounds himself with and most of the interactions are funny ... like Jimmy (his self-absorbed brother), Simon (the rabbi), his mom (she advises that he should take dance classes to meet a girl), Rachel (a girl he dates), etc.  I didn't like Claudia and had no sympathy for her (I'm assuming I wasn't supposed to).  I don't understand why there was such an issue with her demands for what she felt was owed to her ... she left Chuck for another man so why should she even get anything?

I think this book would appeal to both female and male readers.  I would recommend this book and look forward to others by this author.

5 comments:

Masshole Mommy said...

This sounds really interesting! I'd like to read it.

Robert Steven Williams said...

Thanks Teena for taking the time to read my novel. You made some insightful comments and I'm very appreciative that you are recommending it to your readers.

All the best,

Robert

Robert Steven Williams said...

Maybe your mayor needs to read my book!

Teena in Toronto said...

Tru dat, Robert :) Our mayor is indeed a clown!

Teddy Rose said...

Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm so glad you enjoyed My Year As a Clown!

I agree about your Mayor! He is making a real clown of himself!