Title: Midlife Crisis
Author: Rob Rosen
Publisher: Fierce Publishing
Length: 182 Pages (Kindle)
Category: Mystery, Comedy, Contemporary
At a Glance: Humor, like so many other things, is such a subjective concept, but when it comes to authors who write it well, Rob Rosen doesn’t disappoint.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Jack is thirty-five and single once again. He is not, as he is quick to point out, going through a midlife crisis. Still, it would be nice to have a partner, and so he sets out on an adventure to find the one-time love of his life, Bing, a man he hasn’t seen in more than fifteen years, a man who has seemingly vanished off the face of the planet. With the help of his family and friends, not to mention the family dog and his high school bully, he goes searching for Bing, only to unearth an ages-old mystery that puts them all in grave danger. In this hysterically funny tale, the question remains right on up to the surprise ending: can we return to our past in order to better our future?
Review: Midlife is a state of mind. Oh, I suppose if you’re planning to only live to the ripe young age of seventy, then thirty-five is the point where a well-timed crisis might hit, but piffles I say. Jack isn’t going through anything more than the regret of lost love. Crisis? What crisis?
Okay, maybe a little crisis of the existential variety. But that’s all.
Jack Nelson’s luck with relationships has been what you might call…crappy. When his latest stab at romance goes belly up, the only thing he can attribute the disaster that is his love life to is that he must still be pining for Bing O’Malley, the one that got away, the boy who left for college right after high school graduation and was never heard from again. They never broke up in any sort of official way, you see, so how can poor Jack move on if he’s technically still in a relationship with Bing? Sh. Just go with it. They never broke up. It’s been a decade and a half. Whatever.
So, as that infamous Sicilian Vizzini once said, you go back to the beginning, which is when Jack decides to spend the summer at his parents’ house, in the hopes that he can track down Bing–the one man on the planet who has no digital footprint. None. Not even a MySpace profile, for God’s sake. And this is where the fun of Midlife Crisis begins. At the beginning.
As Jack and his utterly delightful mother, Brenda, whom I adored (in case that wasn’t obvious), begin asking questions around town, hoping to discover Bing’s whereabouts, they uncover a few unexpected details—namely, no one seems to want to answer their questions. But that doesn’t stop them, and they soon find out that not only has Bing gone AWOL, but his dad, Carl, is missing too. And, the more they snoop, the more it begins to appear that Bing’s mom may have died under the sketchiest of circumstances. Rosen teases out this novel’s multiple mysteries, leading us into and out of big clues and dead ends, all while watching Jack chase the elusive past like a dog chasing his tail. Or some tail. Actually, it’s a bit of both. Jack’s little head gets a lot of attention and admiration, truth be told.
What we readers get in Midlife Crisis is pure comedic romp–not to be taken too seriously, and seriously funny–part mystery and part satire with a heaping helping of hilarity to add to the romantic conundrum our horny hero finds himself in the midst of. There’s more than a little nostalgia to go along with the danger afoot as Jack and Brenda delve deeper into the sleuthing, and they get some help from a colorful cast of side characters too—Dad and his faithful companion, Chompers the ever flatulent dog; Jack’s BFF, Monroe; and Jack’s former high school bully, played to perfection by Dave, who has a surprise or two to lay on Jack, which makes things fun and interesting.
Humor, like so many other things, is such a subjective concept, but when it comes to authors who write it well, Rob Rosen doesn’t disappoint. I laughed more than a few times, chuckled a few more, and grinned nearly the entire way through this book. Antics. There were antics in this novel, for sure. But, there were some truly touching moments as well. Jack may be the walking poster boy for the perpetually randy, but once he realized he was ready to plant his flag and stake his claim, he did so for keeps. There were some red herrings and surprise revelations to keep the mystery entertaining too, so read this one when you’re looking for a good giggle or three.
You can buy Midlife Crisis here: