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  • By Andrew Salmon
    Aug 17, 2009
    "Thomas Fortenberry's Review From Midwest Book Review" The Forty Club is a very entertaining novella on many levels. It performs well, explores the human, and surprises and prods. To use a nonliterary comparison, this is very much like watching an enjoyable episode of The Twilight Zone. It has the same tweaks, surprises, and yet that quaint, comfortable, old home town nostalgia. That common Americana aspect, of course, serves to heighten the low-level “weirdness” of the tale (using the old Pulp era definition of weird). The contrasts though make it work better, much like how The Green Mile succeeds because it overlays bursts of weird in a concrete, familiar world. Now that I’ve mentioned his work, I’ll go ahead and state that the author Andrew Salmon has a certain knack as a writer which today would most likely be compared to Stephen King. The Forty Club is not overt horror (I suppose that depends on your outlook, especially when it comes to aging), but it has the same... More > qualities of elevated prose and storytelling that make King’s work rise above the usual modern genre drivel. There is real emotion, honest scenes and dialogue, and real expectations and interests are aroused. You begin to understand and truly care about the characters. They inhabit a real world. In this way we can push back beyond King to his own creative roots in Pulp Era fiction, which of course is the offspring of the original master, Edgar Alan Poe. The Forty Club plays much more in the realm of the Victorian Era short story than the modern horror novel, which often ignores the real and fallaciously believes special effects and over-the-top are the hallmarks of fiction. A controlled intelligence and real world sensibility go a very long way in storytelling, and make the moments of the weird explode off the page much more dramatically. Without giving too much away, the story gravitates around Jack Russo’s fortieth birthday and the acknowledged angst and humor that swirls around that mythologized milestone in American consumerism. His workday is afloat in jokes, birthday cards, and wry smiles as the Big 4-0 looms via the ever-popular non-surprise birthday party after work. Of course, before we get too comfortable in Russo’s everyday skin, the camera pans over to Rod Serling slightly offset, or, more so in the case, the story is transformed by the knock of Brad Pitt at the door. As in, Meet Joe Black. That should explain everything you need to know about this novella without totally spoiling it, because the parallels are not at all exact. This is a good solid little tale and a very enjoyable read. You might be able to whip through it in an hour or so, but you will definitely carry it with you for the rest of your life. It haunts in a very subtle way. I guarantee that you’ll never have another birthday without remembering this story. Just for a second things stop. This tale flits through your mind like something out of the corner of your eye and you pause, just a little uncertain, having to look around the room at all your smiling friends and family to reassure yourself there really isn’t such a club... right? [c 2005 Thomas Fortenberry]< Less
  • By ianfc62
    Aug 3, 2009
    "The Forty Club is a five star read" Excellent read, well written and entertaining. This makes the reader look for more to read, and the subject will hit home with many "40 somethings". Very creative and a wonderful way to kill a bit of time reading!! I reccommend it highly.
  • By Esther Heikkila
    Dec 10, 2008
    "Light hearted, but haunting too ... " Although this was a light-hearted, amusing story, I also found it to be haunting and touching, especially how the story ended. It really did ask the question, "If immortal life were really possible, would we actually choose it, especially if it meant leaving behind loved ones?".
  • By Mirjam Heikkila
    Nov 1, 2008
    "A Charming Story For All Ages" I loved this little tale. It takes the fears and hang-ups we all have about getting older and turns them upside down. And the strength of the story is the emphasis on personal choice. Getting old and acting old are two different things and personal choice is a key part of which camp you want to be in. The story itself has a wonderful, light tone yet the underlying theme is quite serious. Watching Jack struggle with his paranoia that the deck is stacked against him is a hoot! I recommend this book to anyone either side of forty. There is a lesson in the book we all need to learn. Great job!
  • By Ian rodgers
    Oct 25, 2007
    "the forty club by andrew salmon" If u like the twilight zone, you will enjoy this book.There is definately shades of Rod Serling. Having just turned 40 myself, I found this book to be entertaining and relevent. The book really makes you think about the second half of your life, and how to spend it or not. All of us forty somethings will identify what the main character the choices he makes. Recommeded to all 40+ who are younger than our years.:)
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Product Details

February 16, 2006
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.39 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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