We’re All Damaged

Matthew Norman. Little A, $24.95 (234p) ISBN 978-1-5039-3337-8
In Norman’s engaging and often funny new novel, Andy Carter is having a bad year. His wife has left him for a good-looking paramedic, he ruined his best friend’s wedding, lost his white-collar job after breaking down at a meeting, then ran off to New York from Omaha to become his new boss’s “third-best bartender.” Now his grandfather is dying, and he needs to go home and say goodbye. But home has changed; as a result of his mother’s growing success as a right-wing radio star (she’s being groomed for the majors at Fox News), his parents moved into a McMansion in a neighborhood patrolled by a supercilious rent-a-cop named Don Johnson. Then he meets a friend of his grandfather, a young woman named Daisy, as quirky as an Aubrey Plaza character, who takes him on as a personal project even as he continues to exhibit endearingly bad judgment. Daisy, though, is less a character than a plot device, and her backstory threatens the narrative’s blend of irony, physical comedy, and redemption. Even so, Norman (Domestic Violets) manages to pull on the reins by the end, resulting in a satisfying read. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/25/2016
Release date: 06/01/2016
Book - 978-1-5318-3595-8
Paperback - 268 pages - 978-1-5039-3338-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-3596-5
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