13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
"You can't always care about what you do, and how you behave.",
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This review is from: Willing (Hardcover)
If I had to express one thing about this book it would be: Wow, this man can write! By why stop there? I heard Scott Spencer on my car's radio the other day when tuned to NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and even though I arrived at my destination, I stayed seated with my seatbelt in place just to hear him read more excerpts from this unusual story, Willing. This is a book that goes by quickly, even though the structure (a complete lack of dialog punctuation) requires you to read slowly. A writer's writer, Spencer is a master of description and has a keen wit filled with gritty, streetwise originality. From the initial description of his narrator, Avery Jankowsky, to every curious character leading up to and embarking upon an around the world sex tour, which is the heart of this dark tale, possibly the only thing short-changed is the answer to the question, who was the man doing pushups in room 420 of the Hotel Christofer? Other than that, this story holds nothing back.
Avery is a freelance writer in his late 30s, who has just discovered his young girlfriend has been unfaithful. Already damaged by being raised by four fathers and a self-centered mother, he accepts an opportunity presented by his Uncle Ezra to sleep with beautiful women in a series of Nordic countries. It's a $135,000 gift, which leads to a book opportunity that will have enormous financial benefits--thus solving his previous fate of being poor. As if that were the basis of all his problems.
As the trip unfolds, Avery learns there is a very high price to pay for the decisions he's made. "Even the milk from our mother's breast comes with a bill that we are eventually meant to pay." And his mother, Naomi, makes this all very clear. Avery tries to justify his lapse into debauchery by telling himself things like (the headline of this review), "you can't always care about what you do and how you behave;" however, it's Naomi who shows him the exact opposite is true.
This is excellent work and I give it my highest recommendation.
Michele Cozzens is the author of It's Not Your Mother's Bridge Club
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 26, 2008 11:36:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 26, 2008 9:17:18 PM PDT
betty l. dravis says:
Based on your in-depth, entertaining review, Michele, I'm willing to buy "Willing." Sounds like I'll soon be embarking on a cool reading adventure into the "darkness" of this author's mind. Keep your computer humming as you create these fine reviews. :)
Posted on Mar 26, 2008 5:48:06 PM PDT
Linda Bulger says:
It would be a rare $135,000 gift that comes with no strings attached. I'm not surprised there's a high price for Avery to pay! Your review it a great little story in its own right, Michele. As Betty says, very entertaining.
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