Top critical review
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on May 21, 2012
Simon Burchwood is a hard-bitten, wannabe novelist teetering on the brink of literary stardom. Yet a brief sojourn in Montgomery, Alabama challenges his haughty façade-and the "meteoric rise" that has continually eluded him.
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**