Good for Nothing

Brandon S. Graham. Tyrus (F + W Media, dist.), $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5072-0162-6
Flip Mellis is a hapless middle-age man, fat and lazy, fired from his job, kicked out by his fed-up wife, and wallowing in self-pity and failure. He can’t even commit suicide. Graham’s second novel (after Missing People) is a quirky and grim portrayal of a man’s life circling the drain; he knows it but is powerless to change anything, despite his empty words of hope. There is dark humor here, and the story is by turns hilarious and poignant. Flip stumbles from one goofy misunderstanding to another, chowing down on Lucky Charms and beer for breakfast, and burgers and glazed-donut shakes for lunch, convinced that “thinking never helped anything.” He ends up living at the dumpy Lakeside Motor Court (the location is unspecified), planning for a job interview he knows he will blow, and promising his shrink that he won’t try to kill himself for at least one more week. Flip’s other dilemmas include deliberately damaging a police car, shoplifting, exposing himself in a bar, and making bad deals in a pawn shop. In this tragic comedy, nothing Flip does or says turns out well for him, and the laughs are all at his expense. Graham’s message is clear: don’t be like Flip. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/2016
Release date: 01/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-5072-0163-3
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-5072-0161-9
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