Saturday, January 5, 2013
Review: Fight Song
4.5 Stars - Highly Recommended / middle age mid-life crisis fiction never looked so good
Publisher: Soft Skull Press
Release Date: February 12, 2013
There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who allow things to happen and those who make things happen. Right from the opening pages of Fight Song, it's easy to see that Bob Coffen is a classic case of the former. Our overweight, middle-aged video game programmer is a victim of his routine, compliantly riding the waves of boredom day in and day out, awkwardly poking fun at himself before others ever have the chance. At home, he suffers a chilly marriage to a wife who is too busy training to break the world record for treading water to show him any affection. His technology-obsessed children barely acknowledge him. His neighbor - an old high school football player - bullies him relentlessly, while at work, he feels the life force being sucked right out of his skull working for a boss doesn't even know his name.
But it all comes to a head one evening when, pedaling his bike home from work, his neighbor takes things too far and runs him off the road. No longer willing to be the world's doormat, Coffen gathers up all of his anger and humiliation and makes a stand against Schumann. This, like everything else he does, crumbles and flops to the grass of his neighbor's lawn as he finds himself, instead, accepting Schumann's offer to become his "life coach".
And so begins Coffen's seventy-two hour metamorphosis from a man who allows things to happen into a "man who makes things happen". In no time flat, he finds himself the head designer of a bestiality video game, co-kidnapper of a marriage counseling magician, and temporary roommate to the company janitor, who also happens to moonlight as a guitarist in a KISS cover band. (Well, no one said he'd make the right kind of things happen, now, did they?)
Joshua Mohr continues to dazzle us with characters that are stuffed to the brim with deliciously wild flaws while keeping things grounded with a healthy dose of humor and heart. Rather than suffering through the depressing tale of a man on the brink of losing it all, we find ourselves on a journey of self-discovery, of finding friends in the unlikeliest of places, of learning the value of accepting help even when you weren't asking for it, and of shedding those layers of dead skin that have been weighing you down without you having realized it.
Be sure to celebrate the release of Fight Song as we bring you a two-week long Fight Song Blog Tour this February. Dates and destinations will be released soon! Hope to see you there.