Its the 1980s and for Wall Street tycoon Rooney, life is good. Tons of money, tons of women, fast cars, world travel, and literally anything he wants, when he wants. But when the world comes crashing down, can he pick up the pieces of his shattered life?
Coming into this novel, I had high hopes. Perhaps the highest hopes I've had about a book in a very long time. Robert Goolrick is easily in my top 5 authors as I've loved every work of his, simply devouring A Reliable Wife and Heading Out to Wonderful. But half way through, I was wondering why I felt so empty about this novel? Rather than read in a traditional narrative chronological style, the book starts out with him poor and alone. Chapter after chapter, he tells of stories from his past, making the book read more like a set of short stories than a novel. The story is loosely tied together by some recurring characters and events, but as a whole I began to wonder if this all would tie together. Surely Goolrick had not written his big flop... had he?
The sense of loneliness and brokenness the reader can sense in Rooney shines brightly. This is where Goolrick hits a grand slam. About 70% into the book things begin to merge together for the home stretch. Having been amazed at his previous endings, I had great expectations for this one. Unlike his prior endings, this one lacked that big twist, but his ability to be one of today's most complete and talented authors screams from the pages. Goolrick takes what seems like a man rambling about his life and wraps it all together, ties it, and presents the reader a beautiful gift of a novel. What I like most about the ending was that it was true. Nothing was forced to work, nothing was pushed aside to make way for a fake ending. The ending was simply an ending but in some aspects a beginning as well.
Overall, this was a great book but I would say it was my least favorite of Goolrick's, but the competition in that race is stiff.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.