The One-Eyed Man by Ron Currie (4 out of 5)
If you expect a shiny, happy novel, you obviously haven’t read Ron Currie before. Have you ever met someone who takes everything so literally that you want to punch their lights out? Meet “K”, the guy at the center of the book. He’s lost in a protracted cloud of grief after losing his wife Sarah to breast cancer. His grief has taken the form of him taking every single thing or question posed to him TOO LITERALLY. One day he’s at his friend’s arguing over the wording on a bottle of antibacterial handsoap and breaking a window in the process, then taking the same bottle into a Total Foods store and asking a beleaguered clerk, a firebrand named Claire, a host of questions that get her fired. Then he’s stuck at a busy intersection when the “Don’t Cross” signal won’t flash “Walk” despite his pushing the button. He stands there for hours, happening to look up and see a girl at the coffee shop he was heading to being held up by a gunman. He goes against his inner voice, crosses the street, knocks on the window, gets shit, and saves the day. In the hospital, he’s visited by Claire, his friend from Total Foods, and Theodore,a strange, over-the-top flamboyant television producer who wants to make “K” the star of his new reality show. K decides to go along with it as long as Claire is hired along as his manager. What is the premise of this reality show? Theodore puts him in the middle of highly controversial and stress percolating situations and he just reacts by taking everything too literal. As predicted by anyone with a grain of sense, he ends up in some pretty serious situations. And as expected, the American viewing public eats it up. Remember, these are the people who made the Kardashians a runaway hit. A second season is ordered, K continues to court imminent disaster by letting Theodore book him into higher volatile situations, and Claire tags along for the ride, drinking herself into a new zip code while trying to be a voice of reason. Finally, the success train gets stalled on the tracks big time when K decides to go to a highly dangerous gun rally in Texas, despite Claire’s begging him not to. Things come to a head and the novel comes to a close which will leave the reader mad, sad, yet ultimately satisfied. Believe me, it’s one of those books. It makes you question how the human mind and soul processes grief, and how far one human being will take endurance to finally get back to the land of the living. So if you’re looking for a satirical, yet emotional book about life, love, death, Einstein and Besson, and chance, this is the book for you.