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The Blunder: 09/27/08
Brice Lanning has worked at the same advertising agency for thirty years. When the big presentation is taken away from him he goes on a bender. The Blunder by Joe Kilgore chronicles the fallout from that long day of drinking at his favorite watering hole.
The Blunder is written in a style reminiscent of The Graduate by Charles Webb. Imagine Benjamin Braddock twenty years older and working and living in New York City. Kilgore describes Lanning's thoughts and actions with an air of detachment. He's more like a bystander in Lanning's head rather than actually being Lanning.
The book starts slowly. It took me a while to get used to Kilgore's writing style. It takes until chapter 9, "Persona Non Grata" for the novel to hit its stride. If you follow the fifty-page rule, hold out for page fifty-six.
Once Lanning was left to deal with the fallout of his actions, cut off from his family, his job, his friends and his identity, I was reminded favorably of The Twenty Dollar Bill by Elmore Hammes. Brice Lanning takes the place of the bill and like it, does end up back where he started very much a changed man. His journey also affects the people he leaves behind and the people he meets along the way. Unlike The Twenty Dollar Bill we actually get to see the results of his presence play out.
The Blunder is Joe Kilgore's debut novel. I look forward to see what he writes next. Check out his website.