I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Friday, November 14, 2008

ROCKET MAN by William Elliott Hazelgrove

Pantonne Press, Inc.
Chicago, IL
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary Satire
ISBN: 9780615213071, $19.95, 374 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"Dale Hammer is trying to find his part of the American Dream. But he just can’t keep up. In a story of hilarious consequences, we find Dale in one week accused of cutting down the sign to his subdivision, plagued with a father who has come to live over his garage, and on the hook for being the Rocket Man of his son’s Scout troop. While the price of the American Dream has become nothing short of being rich and famous, Dale heads for the catastrophe of Rocket Day with one mission–to give his son a sense of independence, and in the process, find himself."

Let me say right off...William Hazelgrove is a consummate, educated writer; however, I did not care for the narrating protagonist, Dale Hammer, whose nine-year-old son rightly classified him as a "doofus"–my thoughts precisely. To qualify for the "doofus" title, Dale demonstrated throughout his self-centeredness, selfishness, ignorance, and attitudes of disdain for order and other people. That the Rocket Day event should redeem him in the eyes of his son and wife Wendy–an intelligent attorney–is unbelievable.

Wendy says, "You are bad at logistics, work, organization, and you whine and are like a child, and you can be the biggest jerk I have ever known. But I never married you for those things."...

"Why did you marry me?"..."

"So I would never be bored."...

Well, I guess wife Wendy wasn’t so intelligent after all if fear of boredom was her reason for marrying this doofus, and if the heart of this novel was all about ‘independence’, I think it missed the mark.

Kaye Trout - November 14, 2008