The week before his 30th birthday, once-renowned New York chef Billy MacPherson learns his restaurant is bankrupt, he’s been evicted from his apartment, and his estranged father has dropped dead. Against his better judgment, Billy returns to Oregon to face the family and friends he callously left behind. During the reading of his father's will, Billy's extended family is left hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate money, while Billy's only bequeathment is his father's beloved 1985 Back To The Future-replica DeLorean. With no restaurant, no money, no prospects, and only a DeLorean to his name, Billy sets off on a journey down the Pacific coast meeting up with distant friends from college, ancient rivals from culinary school, and old flames who still flicker in his heart. All while fighting the terrible—yet, inevitable—prospect of turning 30.
Plot: This entertaining novel moves along at a good clip and is well structured. The beginning is often funny, with the main character finding himself in some awkward predicaments. However, after he leaves his family, the story loses its comedic flair and becomes more serious. The author may want to consider keeping the humor consistent throughout.
Prose: The writing here is straightforward and easy to follow. Dialogue flows well as characters interact. Awkward situations are conveyed to the reader skillfully.
Originality: This is a cleverly spun tale that includes a collectible out of the 1985 film Back to the Future, which is used to visit friends from the past.
Character Development: The novel features strong, consistent characters attempting to find their fate; readers will recognize these people in their daily lives. The author has done a good job of focusing in on the main character as he interacts with others.
Date Submitted: July 12, 2017
What a wonderful find! I will be reading this again soon. I almost couldn't put it down. The character development flows so naturally. Anyone looking for a good read that gives great perspective on the human condition look no further.
Hasskamp's debut beautifully captures that particular moment in life when expectations meet reality. Equal parts coming of age story and great American novel, it'll charm, excite, and offend you, but promises never to leave you bored. Definitely worth the read.
Great read. The writing pulls you immediately in and you automatically become invested in seeing what happens. If you're looking for a tale of redemption, then this is it! The character development and dialogue is right up there with Oscar Wilde.
One-of-a-kind romp through a host of relationships, including significant others and long-dormant friendships. Think: The Hangover but with a one-man wrecking crew. Lots of fun cities, crazy encounters, and conflicts galore. Entertainingly easy to read.
What a debut! Hasskamp's character development and fast-paced, rich narrative style make for a page turner that will not disappoint. Also, his artful depiction of the perfect burger not only sizzles with serial tension but could make any vegan's mouth water!
"A stunning debut!"