25 Nov 2014

Review - Bummed Out City by Scott Burr

Title: Bummed Out City

Author: Scott Burr

Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: At almost thirty years old David Moore is living the unremarkable life he always equated with failure: instead of going on book tours and giving readings he’s scraping to pay his bills; instead of meeting with producers and selling the movie rights to his breakout novel he’s arguing with his girlfriend about whether they should get a dog. When an unexpected visit from his deadbeat dad upsets David’s fragile financial balancing act it sets in motion a series of domestic disagreements and ill-advised reactionary reprisals whose compounding repercussions threaten to unmake the tenuous structure of David’s mundane life: the life that David, focused only on that life’s disappointments, may not appreciate or fight to salvage until it’s already too late… 

The publisher provided me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My thoughts: Boy, did this book surprise me. I don’t read many contemporary novels but now I’m happy I decided to give Bummed Out City a chance.

I think the main reason why I liked this book is that it was honest and I could relate to the situations that certain characters found themselves involved in. Not necessarily because I once went through situations like those, but because they were life-like and I can imagine them happen to me or to anyone around me.

Virtually there is no plot in this book. Our protagonist, the not so successful writer, David Moore, is struggling to find his place in the world, to find his goal in life and to find answers to his questions. He thinks his life is already over, even though it hasn’t even started yet.

Bummed Out City is a coming of age novel. This statement might sound weird after you find out that the main character is 29 years old, but this fact makes it no less true. David hates the idea of responsibility and since he cannot deal with any amount of it, he’s stuck. He rather sinks in self-pity than lift a finger in order to move forward. And of course as a result of his behaviour things go wrong: his girlfriend is mad at him all the time, he finds himself without a job and thus he runs out of money; he’s drifting.

To be frank, I can’t say I liked David in the first half of the book. I felt sorry for him, yes, and wanted to be on his side, but most of the time his inability to change things, his negativity and passivity annoyed me. However, later, when everything fell apart around him I started rooting for him and wished he would make it. The ending didn’t disappoint, I liked how realistic it was.

With Bummed Out City I stepped out of my comfort zone, but I didn’t regret it for a moment. I recommend this novel to everyone who would like to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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