SOMETIMES I’M SO SMART I ALMOST FEEL LIKE A REAL PERSON
by Graham Parke
No Hope Media | 2017
Genre: Fiction / Millennials / Social Angst
Review Source: Kindle copy provided by the author in exchange for my honest review
A lot has happened since you left, Eric.
For one thing, I had to deal with this really bad break up. Not one to waste time, I immediately turned to my oldest and dearest friend: Google. After…countless generations suffered this fate before me…[all searching] for the best way to deal with the rejections, the heartache, and that longing to spend the days with [The One], it should be known by now.
…opening paragraph in the preface
First off, I loved this book.
As Harold begins to describe his story, it is obvious from the get-go that it’s going to be somewhat of a Debbie-Downer. However, the author has found a way to make loneliness and love-sickness amusing and entertaining. The book is written in a funny self-deprecating style and has the reader flipping pages to see what emotional hole Harold will dig for himself next.
Harold is a 30 year-old socially challenged accountant who still lives with his mother. Together they share a raucous relationship tempered with love. They rarely see eye-to-eye on anything. His mother is fond of reminding him that it is her house. Harold is quick to point out that he pays rent like any boarder and expects his privacy. Sparks fly and doors slam. The house creaks with secrets that neither one wants to admit are there.
Mom recognizes that Harold has social issues and presses him to date or make friends but goes about it in all the wrong ways. Yet her interference does reap rewards in its own way. Here’s one of my favorite lines:
“When I arrive [home from work], Mom’s already complaining. Sometimes I think she starts before she even opens the door, perhaps warming up by telling the wall to stop slouching and stand up straight.”
The failure to find the answer to his love-sick blues on Google leads Harold to set up his own YouTube video blog. He first calls it: How to get over someone in 600 easy steps. After reflection he changed it to 27 simple steps to happiness. Each carefully scripted message is a 5 minute vblog narrated anonymously by disguising his face with a Zorro mask and adopting the online name of Leverage.
Despite his hope to spread his “wise-isms” anonymously, he is discovered by several of his followers. Each discovery leads Harold down another road less traveled in his life. One of his followers, using his “wise-isms” becomes a rival to Harold’s best hope for love. The charming and flirtatious sales clerk, Emma, at the Ye Olde Peanut Shoppe strings Harold along by tweeting all day but giving him the Heisman when pressed for a real date. He becomes so obsessed with Emma that he begins imaginary dialogues with her.
Harold’s wild emotional roller coaster relationship with Emma goes from heart pounding infatuation to friendship fatigue. He eventually finds out about her boyfriend and the futility of his hopes. When she continues to text he begins weaning himself away from her.
So that was Part One of my story, Eric.
I hope you understand why I had no choice but to divert all mental resources away from “attracting The One” and on to something much more important.
There’s less snark and more heartfelt substance in Part Two. He has discovered that what he felt for Emma was just a pipe-dream. Now having cleared his mind of mischief he faces several issues in his life that were in limbo. If I elaborate, it would be a spoiler. Best you find out things for yourself. The tone becomes more serious but no less engaging.
The book ended with a few loose threads but not enough to detract from my overall enjoyment. Aside from the quirky repartees, I liked that Harold “found himself”.
Recommended to any reader who love quirky and comical characters.