Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Never judge a book by its cover

The old adage goes 'Never judge a book by its cover.'  It actually refers to making assumptions about a person based on their looks, but in this case you can take it literally.  The back blurb of The Bull Years intrigued me but the cover didn't grab me at all.  It looked like it was going to be the life story of a Russian porn star.  Luckily for me I ignored my assumptions and decided to give the book a read.  You know what they say - assume makes an ass of u and me.  I would have been an ass if I didn't read this book based on its cover.  The Bull Years was surprisingly good.

Not being one for reading fantasy, vampire novels, horror and science fiction, The Bull Years was exactly what I like - realistic fiction.  Realistic Contemporary Fiction.  The story is written from the points of view of four well-developed, utterly believable characters.  They are brought together by Steve Levine to participate in his 'Life Project.'  They have to go back into their past and confront one life-defining night at college which split their friendship and drove them apart.  The story covers two decades of their lives, interweaving each character's story together so that you end up with an excellent commentary of a generation.
The sad fact of life is that the grandiose dreams you had at college remain just that.  Grandiose dreams.  Life is full of disappointments, relationships and jobs that never work out as planned.  Phil Stern manages to portray that brilliantly in The Bull Years.  While some parts might be a little dark, it is spiced with a wicked sense of humour that will have you chuckling out loud.
The last paragraph of the novel was quite poignant.  "So never think it’s too late, or that your own life ultimately doesn’t matter. Because who knows? You, all of you reading this Note now, could become the next Bull Personalities for some future generation, just as Steve, Dave, Sophia, and Dave have for us today."
The message is clear.  Don't let life's disappointments deter you.  There was a reason you were put on this planet.
The Bull Years is available on Amazon as a Kindle book.


Writing Innovations said...

This was great. A great read too! Thanks for hosting Cindy :


Cindy Vine said...

Was a great book to read, BK!