Sammie and Budgie

Scott Semegran. Mutt Press, $15.99 trade paper (292p) ISBN 978-0-9997173-3-2
Semegran’s third book in the Simon Adventures series is a meandering, stream-of-consciousness critique of the relentlessly confusing world narrated by a harried single father of two small children. Newly divorced and living in Austin, Tex., Simon Burchwood is raising Sammie, his third-grader son who is on the autism spectrum, and Jessie, his athletic first-grader daughter. Simon is an unsuccessful novelist who works as a network administrator, and to get out his frustrations, he denigrates everything from the pediatrician’s wardrobe to roadside attractions and punctuates every revelation with the pathological repetition of “It’s true” to reassure the reader. Sammie has an imaginary parakeet friend, Budgie, and, whether real or a figment of his doting father’s pride, can foresee the future. The plot eventually extrudes out of the babble when Sammie prognosticates that his Alzheimer’s-stricken grandpa in San Antonio is dying. Although Simon and his cantankerous Army colonel father are estranged, Simon, the kids, and nanny Natalie decide to visit him in his nursing home, where complications ensue. Simon’s paranoia, pessimism, narcissism, and misogyny may irritate readers, but the saving grace is Simon’s genuine devotion to his children and stable role as protector and provider. This novel will primarily appeal to those looking for stories focused on family dynamics. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2018
Release date: 02/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 292 pages - 978-0-692-92692-5
Hardcover - 294 pages - 978-0-9997173-0-1
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