Where Honesty Never Ends.
The Man Who Loved Too Much: Book 1 by John Rachel
Amazon Author Page
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
This is the story of Billy Green. When he was just turning four, his father tried to throw him in the trash. He was a smart kid but that just seemed to create enemies.
His mom did everything to protect him. But this was Detroit, armpit of the wasteland! Catholic school didn’t help much, except the time he got his first kiss from an atheist nun. Home life was dismal. Was his father capable of anything but drinking beer and farting? And what was with that neighbor who made puppets and tried to molest Billy? Golly! Detroit was sucking the life out of him. At such a young age!
Then adolescence swirled around him. Like water in a toilet bowl. High school was a B movie. Only without a plot. So finally he did something about it. Billy ran away… to college. Cornell University. That was a good move for sure! He studied hard, lost his virginity, met the love of his life. Things were definitely looking up! What could possibly go wrong? Isn’t that what we always ask?
Hello and welcome to The Review Board. In today’s review, our very own Harmony Kent examines “The Man Who Loved Too Much” by John Rachel.
This is the first book of a trilogy, and not a standalone novel. The ending is abrupt and leaves a lot of loose threads. It feels as if we have the beginning, and perhaps some of the middle, but not an ending. When I read the last line, I felt cheated. I’d put all this effort into reading the book, and by the finish I was left wanting. The revelation in the final two pages wasn’t a surprise at all, as I’d already guessed this from early on in Billy and Natalie’s relationship and the tension surrounding Pam.
The book opens strongly and follows Billy green, a precocious toddler who becomes a smart kid. His home life is screwed up, and the love of his doting mother is all that saves it. Although, I find it quite a stretch to believe that he would turn out anywhere near well-adjusted with such an aggressively indifferent father and a mother who dotes on him and gives him everything he wants, to the point of indulging his aversion to school by keeping him home. Added to that is all the crazy stuff he got exposed to at school (when he finally began attending), and you have a recipe for one screwed up kid, no matter how clever he might be. This also makes it highly unlikely that he would reach college in such a naïve state. His highly politicized viewpoints at a tender age also feel forced and detract further from the believability of his character.
The narrative is told in third person close and mostly from Billy’s viewpoint. Any POV shifts are given their own section, and so head hopping is avoided. Unfortunately, spelling errors and missing words litter the text, and sentences like the following drive me nuts: ‘After all, they had just had been as intimate as two people can be.’ When mistakes as basic as this are made, it shows me that not even a cursory read-through has been performed.
Some parts of the book felt engaging and had me chuckling aloud, and yet others had me as bored as could be. The author puts in a lot of detail, but for me, a lot of the college stuff could have been trimmed significantly without detracting from the plotline or story arc. On occasion, a line or phrase would stand out for me, such as: ‘You learn as you go along. It’s not what you deserve or don’t deserve. You just get what you get. The important thing is to live.’ It’s pithy and to the point, and an important message.
At first, I thought this would be a coming of age tale, and then I thought that Billy would find out the truth about his girlfriend, or that they would split up and something would happen from that (especially with the title of the series), but by the end of the book, none of that had occurred, and I don’t know what the point of the tale is. Perhaps book two might shed a little more light? Hopefully, you don’t have to wait until book three. Not that I cared enough about the characters, not even Billy, to wade through the sequel to find out. Sorry, but this is a take-it-or-leave-it read for me. It gets 6 out of 10 TRB stars, which equates to 3 out of 5 stars on other rating scales. This basically means that it’s one up from ‘flip a coin and take a chance if you dare.’
Well, there you have it. Thank you Harmony, for your thoughts and excellent feedback on “The Man Who Loved Too Much: Book 1”. Also, thank YOU dear reader for visiting. Don’t forget to like, follow and subscribe. Good day.