The Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Until I was invited to an author reading at the local Barnes and Noble, I had never heard of Robert Jackson Bennett. I checked him out online and what I found piqued my interest enough to read one of his novels before the event.
I got the invitation on Sunday and the reading was on Wednesday so in the interest of time I bought a kindle edition of The Company Man on Sunday. I am not sure why I picked that one over the other 2 or 3 I saw, but it worked out well as I had a good time reading the book.
He mixed genres that I like and struck emotional and storytelling chords that resonated with me. That said for some reason I don’t go overboard in my praise which I sometimes do after an enjoyable reading experience (which this was).
I am probably unfair, but my mind (that tricky little devil) did sometimes identify the genre strands a little too precisely. I thought I could label the Philip Marlowe character, the HP Lovecraft section and even the Sookie Stackhouse seasoning. So it is probably unfair, after all there are plenty of hard boiled detectives that came after Marlow and Sookie certainly wasn’t the first character to be overwhelmed by telepathic overload, and who hasn’t imagined some ancient entity buried in the earth's depths. But that is just how my mind worked and even with that occasional distraction I had a good time.
On a side note I wonder if literary people debate where genre turns into cliché? Maybe that is what tripped me up, I wasn’t quite sure if the story was getting a little too close to this possible line.
In any case, I bought his new book at the reading and got it signed and it if it wasn’t quite so long I might have jumped right in. But I thought The Company Man was definitely good enough to encourage me to read another Bennett novel.
The Wordspace Dallas (http://www.wordspace.us/WSblog/) reading event was small but pleasant and those Wordspace people asked some kick-ass questions which got some great answers from the author. I didn’t ask anything since any question I had would have been something juvenile like “What does the ending of your book mean?” So it was better that I kept quiet.
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