The title, a quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet
, is extremely apt and sets the mood for this poignant story. Andrew is a man haunted by many things, but mainly by his obsession for Leigh Mallory, his first love. Abandoned by his drug-addict mother at the age of four, his life has been marked by one disappointment after another. Now approaching forty, he sits drinking in a seedy motel and recalls his loves, his losses, his regrets, and the sins of his youth. He also contemplates suicide.
I have been following the author on Tumblr for a few years and was excited when I found out his book had finally been published. Unfortunately, I was in for a big disappointment. There is no doubt that the author knows how to write. The language is rich and beautiful and compels one to keep reading, even though the plot is barely existent and the book consists mainly of the stream-of-consciousness musings of a middle-aged drunkard. But that's not my complaint. Those of you who follow my reviews will know that nothing annoys me more than poor editing. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst-edited books I have come across. I would go so far as to suggest that no one other than the author read the manuscript before it was published; it doesn't even appear as if the author himself re-read it. It puts me in mind of Chuck Wendig's quote referenced in one of my recent blog posts: "Just yarf it up". The author did just that, but then he didn't clean up after himself.
Formatting and proofreading problems include: no paragraph indentations, overuse of commas, lack of apostrophes, incorrect punctuation in speech, incorrect word usage, spelling mistakes, lack of capitalization, inconsistencies with names (Corey/Cory, Rachael/Rachel), repetition. Other problems: the narrative jumps around with not enough indication of time and place, making it extremely difficult to follow; there are too many characters, making it hard to keep track of who is actually important to the story; I couldn't follow the action in the New Orleans incident, a pivotal event in Andrew's life; there isn't enough character development to explain Andrew's obsession with Leigh Mallory. It's a great shame there are so many problems with this book because the writing is beautiful, the narrative is compelling, and the story is heart-felt. My note to the author: get your book edited and republished.
Warnings: coarse language, drug use, alcohol abuse.