3 out of 4 stars
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You Dear Sweet Man by Thomas J. Neviaser is a book in the psychological/paranormal mystery genre. It is slightly difficult to slot this book into any one genre since the storyline and execution is quite unusual.
For Bobby Fastow, life was a struggle to make ends meet comfortably. As an over-worked blue-collar worker, there was nothing exciting in daily routine, which consisted of primarily working for his wife and kids. Until one day, an advertisement caught his eye. There was nothing striking about the woman in the advertisement, elegantly perched on a desk in an office. Yet the woman caught Bobby’s fancy, and seemed to reach out to him from this virtual world of the poster.
Charlie Hamilton, the CEO of BurgerBlast Inc. was gunning for a new angle. He made up his mind to revamp the brand completely, and shift from quick and easy, to fit and healthy. He could imagine ‘FitnFast’, but how to sell his concept to consumers? Why, through an innovative and visually stunning advertisement! When Samantha walked in to be the face of that advertisement, Charlie and his team had no idea what they were facing. Who is Samantha and how does she have a hypnotic hold over men around her?
This book is pretty out-of–the-box, and hence, difficult to really categorize. This is also one of the reasons, which makes it so intriguing. The characters, major and minor, are so well developed that the reader is totally enveloped in their world. I could not stop myself from pitying Bobby’s dull, aimless, almost-unappreciated existence. The manner in which his story develops, its almost makes sense for him to fall prey to his fantasies, especially how the author hints at the escapism underlying his fantasies.
The story switches between the lives of Bobby and those at the ad agency, primarily Charlie’s. The connecting thread between these opposite worlds is Samantha. Her mysterious motive is at the center of the plot. The book explores the different shades of ambition, be it Charlie’s ambition to reach the pinnacle, for which he is ready to do anything, or the ambition to succeed expressed by other characters, or Samantha’s desire to be desired; I found all these aspects quite fascinating.
What was not so appealing was the flow in the story. Though the story kept flitting back and forth between the characters, there was a certain element missing in the plot line, and it was more evident in the second half, where the story seemed rushed. The climax, especially, was dull, and could have been written better. Overall, this book is engaging, if somewhat dark. Readers, who are on the lookout for something different in the psychological mystery genre, should give this one a try. I rate it 3 out of 4 stars.
You Dear Sweet Man
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