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Friday, November 20, 2009

John Gorman Combines Love with Comedy for Literary Novel

Shades of Luz
By John Gorman
Published by All Things That Matter Press
Genre: Fiction: Literary
ISBN 098409847X

Reviewed by Jen Ochs Originally for NY Book Cafe

Shades of Luz is a whimsical love story with a touch of comedy. Gorman’s quirky little novel is certainly entertaining for those with a sense a humor. Packed with suprises, Gorman displays his skill as a writer with this refreshing, yet somewhat unusual coming of age story. I would say Gorman’s writing is compatible with Ben Winters and his quirky novels, Pride, Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

This story centers around Benny, a graduate school dropout. Without his graduate degree, times are tough. While he is selling stuffed animals on the street, he comes to meet Luz. Benny falls for Luz and falls hard. Luz, although periodically in and out of Benny’s life, attempts to persuade him to go back to school and finish his thesis. Then there is Mungo.

Through a strange series of circumstances, these two become a big part of each other’s life, as Benny is forced to work for Mungo, who is an underworld bookie. We are then thrown into the bizarre world of thumb-wrestling, however, with Gorman’s descriptiveness, one would think it was an MMA competition. Nevertheless, through it all, Benny’s heart is set on Luz. Benny and Luz are subsequently reunited at his family’s house, as the two of them share a memorable holiday dinner that neither of them will soon forget.

Gorman manages to keep this story going. Although many of the themes in this novel are a bit peculiar, and at times, a little eccentric, he does a fine job in keeping the interest of the reader. The characters are certainly rich while Benny is on his quest to get his girl. For a quick humorous fiction fix, Shades of Luz delivers!

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