Fight Song

Joshua Mohr. Counterpoint/Soft Skull, $15.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-59376-508-8
An unusual take on a mid-life crisis narrative, Mohr's novel is an overwrought yet heartwarming farce that exposes the ridiculous and complicated currents of modern life. Video-game designer Bob Coffen, mastermind of the Disemboweler series, has lost his gumption. Adrift in a meaningless job, disconnected from his kids, and unaware of the depths to which he's failing his wife, Bob reaches a new low when, for his 10th anniversary at work, he is given a plock (a plaque and clock in one) frozen at midnight, a disturbing reminder of his irrelevance. Then, when Schumann, his psychotic thrill-seeking neighbor, runs him off the road, Bob becomes desperate for a new order. A madcap weekend of soul-searching ensues, featuring entertaining and vividly drawn characters like Schumann, obsessed with his glory days; a magician named Björn the Bereft who specializes in marriage counseling; a fast food worker at the Taco Shed who dabbles in drive-thru erotica; and a lovelorn janitor who plays in a Kiss cover band. While Bob's odyssey offers unexpected—often brilliant—confrontations of modern clichés, the plot meanders too far into the bizarre and sacrifices some of the empathy gained along the way. But Mohr's (Damascus) elegant writing and colorful milieu is refreshing, an interesting mix of Charles Bukowski and Tom Robbins, with a cinematic heaping of the Coen brothers for good measure. Agent: Dan Kirschen, ICM. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2012
Release date: 02/01/2013
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FORMATS
Hardcover - 257 pages - 978-1-59376-550-7
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