The Review Board

Where Honesty Never Ends.

Truth Unleashed on Falling Up

fallingupFalling Up by Brian J. Bromberg
Amazon | Website

Note: This work was submitted to us in exchange for an honest review.  Possible minimal spoiler to add emphasis to some expressed points.

Greetings everyone!  The Review Board here to discuss Falling Up by Brian J. Bromberg.

First let’s look at the thoughts of Mini Truth.

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Truthful Takes

Can you say “Nonstop giggles”?

That’s exactly what this story does. Imagine if you will, a person that has everything, yet complains all the time. That is Gregg Freeman. He’s a white collar individual with dreams of being a writer, but with a horrible case of writer’s block. So, what does he do? Complain about everything.

tumblr_lvojhd6xAT1r4zjwbo1_400What a terrible thing it is, when you want to write but have nothing to write about!

Suddenly, Gregg feels like he’s found a solution to his problem. As per the “suggestion” of his good friend, he decides that he needs to ruin everything in order to find success in the writing world. Not that his friend actually suggested it, but simply said that sometimes misery serves as a muse.

I must say, it’s always interesting to me to read stories about writers, written by (obviously) writers. Mostly because when you read a story such as this, nine times out of ten you’ll find that the story, while fiction, is also biographical. That isn’t the case with Falling Up. And if it is, then I would have to take my hat off to the author as basking on an adventure such as this would take some serious nerve. (Giggling)

Other characters in the story include Alvaro, Annette and Cindy, and Gregg’s father. Even New York City played part, it seemed alive and much like a character.

Following, you’ll find my thoughts about the story in the form of pros and cons.

As for Cons, there is only one:

Thumbs-down

  • There were some small intervals in which the story seemed a bit too narrated—what that is attributed to is the fact that it’s a first person narrative. So, sometimes the main character Gregg goes off on a tangent. But it wasn’t all bad, because he always made you laugh, or kept you engaged.

So, that’s it for Cons.

Now the Pros:

Thumbs-up

  • This story is chock full of dry, sarcastic, and sometimes cruel hilarity. There were points were I felt like the main character went out of his way to make insults fancy. It had me laughing out loud. Here are a few tidbits:

Page 91:

Shut up, Judas. I should have let Earle break you in two. Of course I know The Witching Hour. It’s a crummy little countercultural rag written by snot-nosed kids and published by slightly richer snot-nosed kids, all believing they’re the first ones to come up with the idea that the ‘establishment’ is ‘uncool.’”

Page 102:

The shower seems like a closet, the closet seems like a kindergarten cubby, and the living room is separated from the bedroom only by a soiled rice-paper screen. This place isn’t worth $485. It’s hardly worth $4.85.

Page 229:

‘I am not doing anything on purpose! That’s the difference between you and me, coño! Real artists don’t spend their time plotting and planning, and looking in the goddamned mirror! This game is all yours! I never told you to screw over your friends for your career! Does that sound like something I would say?!?’

Well, not when he puts it that way, no.

I swear to you, that I could practically see Gregg’s face as he says that last line, I couldn’t contain the laughter. This is also very funny to me, because in being Hispanic, I know exactly how Alvaro looks when he’s reprimanding Gregg, as well as exactly how he sounds. Just genius.

Now, back to my bullet points.

  • Sometimes I wanted to reach out and slap Gregg, but I believe that, that was precisely the point.  So, it’s all good.

slap

  • Each character was well developed, very believable and pertinent to the story line.
  • What do you need a villain for when the main character is such an antagonist. He’s his own villain. It’s great.
  • Character chemistry was terrific.
  • Syntax was on point.
  • While it’s a lengthy book, it’s so entertaining that it makes for a fast read.
  • You find yourself really caring about the characters and the story, as while it is a work of fiction and a comedy it’s absorbs you.
  • While the ending wasn’t your typical “happily ever after” I certainly feel like it fit the story best.

All in all, this is a great story, and I highly recommend it to anyone that wants to stray from the norm, and indulge in a little laughter and well balanced entertainment.

A word of caution; there is some bad language, sexual content and drug included in the story, so I suggest that this be read by adults.

Survey says… 9 Stars!

9stars

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Now let’s get observations from the Unleashed One.

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Unleashed Speaks:

In my reading list lately, there has been an array of intense reading.  Falling Up was a welcomed break from the hodgepodge of seriousness into situations that are a mashup between pursuing one’s dream, the shambles of interpersonal relationships, sarcasm, and comedic drama.

I am going to start with the cons since there are so few of them:

Cons

Money or no money: There were a few times in the narrative where the main character Gregg would speak of emptying his bank account.  Was he destitute constantly during those early segments of the book or was it mainly all part of the shenanigans?  Occasionally, it was difficult to discern.

Get Out of My Place: Gregg’s actions tended to get him kicked out…a lot.  Yes, my funny bone was rather tickled but went to the well with this scenario almost too many times.

“Strange Tea” Plot: Just curious.  There is one scene where an rejected author puts some extra seasoning in the tea meant for the edition who jilted him but someone else received the poison instead.  How did said person know which cup to put this strange mixture in?  The thought process wasn’t really revealed but it was one of those moments in the work that made me scratch my head.

Observation that may be seen as a con to others

Not a Win for the “Tidy Resolutionists”: For readers who love a “happily ever after” or a “tidy resolution”, Falling Up may fail to deliver.  Yet this is more than an observation than an actual con because the ending to this work added even more realism to the story for me.

Now it’s time for the Pros

Pros:

Title: I’m a stickler for cool titles.  For me it makes the work a bit more memorable.

Cover: The cover does well in giving a hint of what’s to come for the main character.  Each object represents a small part of the story.  It can be a juggling act between providing a nice cover that relates to the story and not giving too much away visually.  In this case, the performance was a successful one.

Giggles in every chapter: There was never a dull moment in Falling Up.  Whether it was through dialogue, Gregg’s own actions or the narrative itself, there was not a single chapter where I didn’t have a LOL (laugh out loud) or WTHWHT (what the hell was he thinking) moment!  That was one of the main things which kept me turning the pages.  It reminds me of a comedy show where a comedian’s punch line delivery and crowd reaction are spot on.

Pristine Presentation: Flaws in spelling, grammar and punctuation were practically zero.  Sentence structure extremely smooth.

Succinctness and Romancing the Words: What a fantastic melody when both are incorporated and make sense! Falling Up was a great soundtrack in my admiration for both styles of writing.

Interesting Characters: Quite a few of them got my attention (the main character, obviously, but we will get to Gregg in a bit)~

  • Alvaro: He was my favorite character.  There was something loveable about him.  Perhaps his outspoken nature or the way he added extra letters to Gregg’s name.  Whatever the case, he made me smile.
  • Cindy: I’m not an advocate of some of her mannerisms but I had a soft spot for her.  I could tell she was really trying to be a better person for herself and for Gregg.  Plus, she kept believing in Gregg even when other people did not.
  • Dad: A great cheerleader for Gregg whenever he was down and out.  He reminds me of a coach who is trying to keep the players inspired when it seems all is lost.
  • Gregg: I had a love/hate relationship with the main character but he’s the stuff which made for splendid reading. I hated how he treated Cindy, the moment he betrayed Alvaro and the debauchery with Kip.  Yet, I loved his tenacity to chase after the life he thought he wanted, the banter between the secretary at VidKidz (Gladless) and himself, along with the conversations he would have with the “imaginary” Annette.  Overall, I cheered that the destination was worth all the carnage, since as a person who writes as well, I could relate to all of his internal debates as it pertains to who he wants to be and his existence.

Side Stories Did Not Steal the Show: The side stories that were a part of falling up did not steal the purpose of the main character’s plight but added layers to his story.

Realistic Dialogue: The dialogue was in alignment with the time frame and primary location of the story.

Since Mini Truth and I seem to be on the same wavelength, the amount of stars this gets mirrors that as well.

9starsOverall TRB Verdict: 9 out of 10 Stars

I definitely recommend Falling Up for readers who love a bit of comedic drama and for anyone who has chased a dream while incorporating extreme measures.

Thanks for checking out The Review Board.  Feel free to like, share, subscribe, and comment.  Have a terrific day!

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About nolabels

I have an appreciation for the unique, love for all types of art, and fierce attractions to brilliant intellectuals (from book smarts to street smarts). Lover of humanity but feel humans have lost their way, just trying to stay true to myself as conformity threatens to take me away. Simply one head, many crowns: Author. Reviewer. Columnist.

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This entry was posted on October 9, 2014 by in books, e-books, October, reviews and tagged , .

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