Tuesday, July 1, 2008

April Fool-John Neufeld

April Fool
John Neufeld
Grey Swan Press, Jul 2008, $16.95
ISBN: 9780980037739

In affluent Connecticut semi retired political campaign consultant George Willett envies his late dad; his father remarried late in life after his first wife died. Hypochondriac George, who rushes to emergency rooms and doctors as a way of life though he is physically healthy, is bored with his spouse dutiful Peg and even considers hiring a hit man.

He especially wants to rid himself of his wife when he meets author and writing instructor Valerie Herrick in New York City. They begin exchanging warm emails as she lives in Arizona. He also considers coming out of retirement to work the California recall governor initiative though his memory of the odious Bushwhacking of the Cleland campaign in Georgia still leaves a bitter aftertaste. However, first before he can regain his lost youth this Boomer needs to rid himself of Peg.

This odd contemporary character study focuses on an aging eccentric boomer who lives comfortably, but regrets his major choices in life starting with Peg. After meeting Valerie, he decides she is the person who will make the rest of his life worth living, but he understands he must rid himself of Peg. An incredibly developed character somewhat at the expense of the overall plot, fans will not like George, but will empathize with his disappointments in himself that he manifests with his anxiety attacks and his projection of blaming Peg. George’s political work cleverly sets the time just before the California recall ballot in this deep well written but difficult tale that sets a high quality bar as the boomer books begin.

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