The highly anticipated book by first time novelist Jason Hefter has hit the nearest book store or mobile device near you. In its earliest incarnation, this story was pitched as a screenplay. Like the work of many young writers, it dived in and out of hands throughout New York, Hollywood and then found its way back to the east coast. As the writer became more sophisticated a novel was born. Today he presents us with Hump Day.
The cast of characters consists of average Joes who haven’t lived up to their potential. They have jobs they don’t want. They take solace in divey bars and fantasize about their next sexual encounter. Their routines are less than desirable. Disgruntled office worker to bar flies to drug addicts all the way to the unintelligent, they weave their way through a day that becomes less ordinary as these strangers cross paths.
So how do you make a cast of sad morally questionable characters into a story line you can’t put down? Hefter not only succeeded, but did it to the point where this reviewer needed to read the story again to truly believe what she read. Stifling, “No he didn’t!” became impossible. This novel could be renamed…” an unfortunate series of events connecting people with little to no redeeming qualities.”
Hefter appeals to those secret cob-webby recesses of the mind we all like to keep hidden from the public, regardless of how successful we are. His characters are so verbally well illustrated they become neon caricatures of unbelievable proportion. From the dumb to the sadistic to the just plain sad and unfortunate, their comic features and personalities weave seamlessly to create a story you can’t put down.
It instills the fear of being or becoming losers in an entertaining way. The author masterfully makes puzzle pieces out of the hours of a random Wednesday, to create a narrative in the style of some of my favorite movie directors. Like Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarentino, a non-linear tale of unrelated characters whose destinies just happen to cross, unfolds on a random Wednesday. It is a windy, hilarious, surprising and sometimes gag inducing story. These characters, none of which you would want to run into in a dark alley, are contradictorily well-developed they keep the reader turning pages. I personally found myself forcing a book mark into the crease to get a good night’s sleep.
Hefter had me at, “Nothing can adequately prepare us for the inevitable disappointment of becoming adults.” These words hit a chord in my gut. I knew I was in for something a bit dangerous and exactly what I was in the mood for. A little dark tone never hurt anyone.
The fun doesn’t end when you finish the book. If you look up the author on Twitter and Facebook, you also gain a fan. He is an appreciative artist and reciprocates the attention he gets in the form of silly Hump Day nuggets of wisdom. So not only do you get the honor of reading a funny/ dark novel of an up and comer, you also get to feel like you are part of a community. Way to go, Mr. Hefter, it’s a good read and I can’t wait for the next one.