Sunday, March 1, 2015

How Many Lives Does It Take To Appreciate What You Have?

Repeat by Neal Pollack employs the stock plot devise of a man who gets to relive his life (think Ground Hog Day) until he gets it 'right.'

Brad Cohen is feeling pretty down on the eve of his 40th birthday. Life did not turn out the way he expected. He was a bright kid, went to the right schools, got the job of his dreams...then tanked. An agent contacts him; she thinks that his one book is Hollywood material. He uproots his 'witch' herbalist wife and their two girls for the Coast, only to end up writing scripts for a lame cartoon show. After ten years he is still hawking TV show scripts to unreceptive ears and living in a hellhole of an apartment while his wife supports them with her concoctions.

Cohen's wife brews up something special for him. He wakes up in-utero, with the mind of a 40 year old man, unprepared to relive his life from the beginning.

Cohen endeavors to make better choices this life round, and for the next hundred or so lives, for he has been stuck in a perpetual time loop that runs from 1970 to 2010. Yoga is the only thing that brings him peace during his last lives.

The ending recalled to mind A Christmas Carol: he wakes with an attitude adjustment, and it was accomplished in one night!

Satirist Pollack is often funny. Sometimes the joke goes on too long---such as Brad's 40 year old interest in sex being stymied in a prepubescent body. I am not sure if this treatment of the repeated life has much new to say, but I did enjoy it and it was a light, quick read. It left me with a positive attitude, an affirmation of life. And that is priceless in these complicated and bewildering days.

I received the ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

by Neal Pollack
Lake Union Publishing
ISBN: 9781477821336
Publication March 24, 2015

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