Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Human Bobby: A NovelThe Human Bobby: A Novel by Gabe Rotter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Gabe Rotter's "The Human Bobby" is not quite as good a book as his "Duck Duck Wally", which I have reviewed on Goodreads (see the review). The first 80% of it reads as a spellbinding mystery, but the solution of the puzzle, although clever, is not satisfying. I admire the way that the "loose ends" are tied, yet I feel somehow cheated. This is the plague that affects most mystery books I have read - a fascinating setup and then a dud of denouement.

The book cleverly starts with Chapter 31 and only then we are given Chapter 1, where the story of Robert Flopkowski begins. Coming from a blue-collar Brooklyn family, Bobby works his way up to graduating from USC medical school and becoming a successful Beverly Hills pediatrician. His beautiful wife, Ava, loves him, and they have a wonderful baby son, whom they both insanely adore. Happiness in its purest form. Some people are just so lucky.

And then Bobby loses everything. Completely everything. He becomes homeless in Los Angeles, and quite happy about it. Had I stopped reading at the about 80% mark, I would have probably rated the book with almost fours stars. Alas, the denouement, although clever and quite plausible, is disappointing.

"The Human Bobby" is a very well-written book. It is one of the very few books that I read in one night. I strongly recommend it for its extreme readability. Except for the ending, though, it has very little depth. Interesting, clever fluff.

Three stars.

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