Are You Happy Now?

Richard Babcock, Author
Richard Babcock.. Amazon Publishing, $14.95 trade paper (398p) ISBN 978-1-61218-671-9
Reviewed on: 10/29/2012
Release date: 11/06/2012
MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-5256-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-5270-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-5242-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-5228-5
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John Lincoln, floundering in his job as Executive Editor of Chicago's Pistakee Press, dreams of a more literary life in culturally vibrant Manhattan. But first, he needs something to force him out of his doldrums, put him in the good graces of his stuffy boss, Byron Duddleston, and deliver the success his parents have been waiting for. Enter new editorial assistant Amy O'Malley, a fresh-faced graduate eager to present her short stories to a "real editor." Lincoln encourages her to expand a story drawn from her research into human sexuality and the ensuing sexually-charged manuscript draws them into an affair that distracts Lincoln from the sad state of his marriage. But once Duddleston learns of the inter-office relationship, Lincoln suddenly finds himself without mistress, wife, or employment. Yet he still haphazardly attempts to resuscitate the novel he inspired Amy to write, while one of the only people he hasn't lost—his kooky best friend, Flam—provides some much-needed levity. In telling his story of missteps and missed opportunities, Babcock refuses to provide the solace his characters crave, deferring to pragmatism over youthful ambition. A smooth, winning plot that only occasionally strains too hard to be humorous makes up for an overly-grumpy protagonist. (Nov.)
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