About the book, My Year as a Clown by Robert Steven Williams
Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.
With My Year as a Clown, Williams introduces us to Chuck Morgan, a new kind of male hero—imperfect and uncertain—fumbling his way forward in the aftermath of the abrupt collapse his 20-year marriage.
Initially, Chuck worries he’ll never have a relationship again, that he could stand in the lobby of a brothel with a hundred dollar bill plastered to his forehead and still not get lucky. But as his emotionally raw, 365-day odyssey unfolds, Chuck gradually relearns to live on his own, navigating the minefield of issues faced by the suddenly single—new routines, awkward dates, and even more awkward sex.
Edited by Joy Johannessen (Alice Sebold, Michael Cunningham, Amy Bloom), My Year As a Clown will attract fans of the new breed of novelists that includes Nick Hornby, Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perrotta. Like others in that distinguished group, Robert Steven Williams delivers a painfully honest glimpses into the modern male psyche while writing about both sexes with equal ease and grace in a way that’s both hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time.
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Click through to read an excerpt via the Issuu Reader
My Thoughts on the First Chapter:
Robert Steven Williams is a fantastic writer. That was my first thought as I zipped through, not just the first chapter of My Year as a Clown, but the first FOUR. He’s a fantastic writer and this is a fast read. I said to myself. Hey, I’m a writer, too, and an improvisational actor. When I talk to myself, it’s not crazy, really.
But back to chapter one. This book opens with Chuck racing in his un-air conditioned car to meet his wife, an archaeologist, at the airport. He’s running late, and doesn’t want her to wait, but when he gets there, she rebuffs him. Within 24 hours, nee, within, ten, their marriage is essentially over.
That should make Chuck seem pathetic, and it is, in a way, but he’s written to be very real, if a tad more self-aware than most of the men I know, and what follows is the day-by-day chronicle of his life over the next year.
I’m not sure what I was expecting when I started reading. I knew the ‘clown’ part in the title wasn’t literal, and I vaguely remember an explicit language warning when I signed up to help promote this title, but unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last ever, there’s really nothing offensive in this book. Is there cursing, well, yes, but not for the shock value. Just because…don’t faint or anything…people curse from time to time. (I’m told in the South and parts of the Midwest that word should be written as ‘cuss’ but as ‘cuss’ is obviously an elision of ‘curse’ I’m using the word my Jersey-Girl-turned-California-Girl-turned-Texas-resident is most comfortable with.)
But back to my review. I was instantly engaged with Chuck’s story because author Williams writes in a very accessible, almost breezy (except that’s a bit girly for this material) style. We see everything from Chuck’s eyes, from his interaction with the cats and the neighbors, to his reaction when a rabbi refers to a singer as being “hot” and then reminds him that “we’re not Catholic.”
This isn’t really a ha-ha comedy, but the voice Williams uses in this book is decidedly wry, and I found myself clicking on the ‘purchase’ button to buy the whole copy. (Hey, they Kindle version is only $0.99 at Amazon, at least today.)
Goes well with: Cold beer and pepperoni pizza.
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This spotlight is part of a blog tour. You can see the entire tour page at the Pump Up Your Book tour page.
Thanks so much for the kind words and review. Went through a lot of drafts on this book, and I must also credit Joy Johannessen, my editor. She edited The Lovely Bones and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with her on My Year as a Clown.
Happy Holidays and I hope you enjoy the rest of the book. Please let me know.