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The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood Paperback – January 16, 2013
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"Verdict: An ambitious, enjoyable read with a superb ending that changed my interpretation of the entire text." -- IndieReader.com
"The close-to-the-bone novel captures perfectly the intensely solipsistic nature of a certain type of author ... a clever and surprising twist." -- Kirkus Reviews
"The actual story was humorous, and the character of Simon, while not especially likable, drew you like a car accident might. You just could not help but wonder what he would do next." --Literary R&R
"A very good novel that was humorous throughout." --Red Adept Reviews
"Simon is such a character that I couldn't wait to find what he did next."
--Great Books Under $5
"Overall a very good and funny read." --Ashton the Book Blogger
About the Author
Scott Semegran lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, four kids, two cats, and a dog. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English. He is a writer and a cartoonist. He can also bend metal with his mind and run really fast, if chased by a pack of wolves. His comic strips have appeared in the following newspapers: The Austin Student, The Funny Times, The Austin American-Statesman, Rocky Mountain Bullhorn, Seven Days, The University of Texas at Dallas Mercury, and The North Austin Bee. Books by Scott Semegran include Sammie & Budgie, Boys, The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood, The Spectacular Simon Burchwood, Modicum, Mr. Grieves and more. He is a Kindle bestselling author.
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Top customer reviews
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This novel tells the story of a man on a trip to New York to promote his soon to be published first novel. He takes a small detour to visit an old Junior High friend. The entire story is about this trip and the people he meets on the way.
The book is told entirely from Simon's viewpoint. Simon is not a very likeable guy; as a matter of fact, he is a self-centered, pompous jerk. But for some reason, it's pretty fun to be inside his head, mainly because he is an inadvertant, oblivious jerk.
The storyline does go off on tangents now and then, but they are fairly short ones. In these, you will learn Simon's views on smoking, cleanliness and going to the bathroom, just to name a few. There were times that I laughed out loud.
Simon has an opinion of each and every person that he runs across, even tangentially. Even when he kind of likes someone, he finds reasons to dislike them. His opinions are mercurial depending on events in a particular moment.
The ending was not well told. I would have rather had more explanation. Although, you can extropolate what happened, I like my ends tied up a little more neatly. It was almost more like you would end a short story rather than a long novel.
Character Development: 5 Stars
Simon's character was the only well developed personality in the book. That's as it should be as it was told solely from his viewpoint. The author never `cheated' so that Simon or the reader knew more than what Simon should have. The author did a terrific job of painting Simon. He was predictable only in that the reader gets to know him so well.
Writing Style: 4 1/2 Stars
This author has an interesting voice in that you feel like you are listening to Simon's every thought. Even though he's mostly just a regular guy, his thoughts run rampant in all directions, never leaving the reader bored.
There was a particular quirk that was annoying: the repeated usage of "what" surrounded by commas. Sentences like the following were scattered throughout:
I enjoyed this book, what, like you've never enjoyed a book?
I don't know if the issue was the punctuation or just the interjection, but it was distracting.
Editing/Formatting: 4 1/2 Stars
The editing could have been better as there were a few instances of missing punctuation and a missing article, like `the' or `an'. However, they were not so numerous as to spoil the reading experience.
The Kindle formatting also suffered a bit with no line or page breaks between chapters. You might see a number at the end of a sentence, with the next line being the beginning of the next chapter.
Overall: A very good novel that was humorous throughout.
Rating: R for language. This book is filled with bad language. I seriously doubt there are many pages without at least one cuss word.
Like any proverbial train-wreck, I had to keep reading. I know I was doing so to see if he would eventually get some come-uppance. But then I realized this was much more of a fleshed out character than I had anticipated. It was not only fun to explore the mind of this egotistical, self-centered writer, but it was also fascinating to view his interactions with other people while his thoughts meander from sheer panic to extreme confidence as he constantly judges himself as much as he judges others. These thoughts eventually contribute to some interesting choices/decisions on his adventurous trip to his book signing in New York.
A humorous and actually thought-provoking book since it actually gives you another viewpoint into the mentality of a character you would normally not read about. A great read!
Sure, Burchwood is egocentric-despicable, even. Admittedly, his lengthy monologues often irritate more than intrigue, crippling the novel's weightier themes. Yet his ill-fated journey, while occasionally long-winded, is strangely captivating.
Semegran's tragic cast of characters struggle to confront disappointing realities: the impossibly optimistic Jason fights to salvage what's left of his disintegrating marriage, while Patty Green-Burchwood's childhood flame- scrambles to make ends meet as a stripper at "Cinnamon's Big Boobie Bonanza." Even Burchwood himself-trekking from Montgomery, Alabama to New York, New York-ultimately discards his delusions of grandeur to find his dreams in shambles.
"The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood" weaves a heartrending portrait of lowered expectation: of a man eschewing, and ultimately embracing, mediocrity. Semegran deftly unmasks the divide between adolescent expectations and adult realities, and does so using Burchwood's crass, profanity-laden commentary-though at times readers will crave a little less Simon, and a little more everyone else.
Reviewed by Sonia Tsuruoka
**IndieReader gives this book 3.5 stars**
Most recent customer reviews
In the mind of the main character you get to experience the laughable side of a jerk.Free Book ReviewsRead more