4 out of 4 stars
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How would your day be if you met a couple of your grade school friends after a decade? Would you be able to connect, laugh, and have fun? That would be an exciting day if one had a unique bond with his/her grade school friends. These must have been the thoughts going through the mind of Mateo Monda when he wrote Midtown Madhatter.
When he received an invitation to attend Jackie Collins’ wedding, Pete Walsh left Guadalajara for New York. The two had been friends since kindergarten. After grade school, they parted ways since they went to different high schools. However, their friendship did not die. The story revolves around the lives of Pete Walsh and all his close childhood friends. The book is divided into several chapters. Each chapter gives a detailed account of the main activities of Pete Walsh from the time he received the invitation letter to the time he returned home after the wedding.
The author brought together different characters based on their childhood relationship. The story goes back and forth, as the author seeks to take the reader to the roots of their relationship. However, through the first half of the book, I felt like I was being bombarded with many characters who seemed to appear from the blues. In the second half of the book, I was already familiar with the characters. I was in for an entertaining ride as the characters took the stage to unleash more of their dramatic activities.
Several themes are covered in the story. They include alcoholism, drug addiction, friendship, social segregation, dysfunctional marriages, and parenting. For instance, the main character, Walsh, struggles with both drug addiction and alcoholism. Consequently, his marriage is very unstable. He has also kept some dark secrets from his wife and family. Through his brilliant characterization and plot of the story, Monda shows that the kind of friends that one keeps determines his/her personality.
The author has a great sense of humor. It made the story very enjoyable to read. Mateo Monda has also employed suspense as a literary tool to keep the reader glued to the pages of the book. It was not easy to predict the next turn of events. This makes the book ideal for people who love books that are full of drama, suspense, and humor. However, it would not appeal to anyone who is easily offended by the language of alcoholics and addicts, such as the F* word.
Although I was skeptical about this book due to its title, it did not disappoint. The author served an entertaining read through his brilliant choice of characters, plot, and diction. In addition, I believe the book was professionally edited. Out of its 289 pages, I only noted two mistakes. Therefore, I give Midtown Madhatter 4 out of 4 stars. It is nothing short of an amazing read.
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