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Thursday, August 15, 2013 12:08 AM

“A Regular Guy” by Mona Simpson is about a father who is a millionaire named Tom Owens. Jane comes into Tom’s life, born out of wedlock, raised in communes, and now thrown into his care by a mother who is no longer capable of providing it. Tom is not ready for this responsibility.

The author has won critical acclaim as well as various writing awards for her previous two books, so I thought her third novel would be good. It’s not.

I do not like Simpson’s writing style — at all. I muddled through the pages; it was really like trying to walk through mud. It is flowery and full of unnecessary phrases and she often uses words that she seemingly plucked from a thesaurus and threw in just because she thought they sounded eloquent. I have nothing good to say about her writing style.

As far as characters go, I can’t say I have much good to say here, either. None of the characters were likable: from the distant father, Tom, to the broken daughter, Jane. I tried to like the characters, at least one of them but I couldn’t. I think it’s because Simpson didn’t develop any of the characters enough. There was nothing about any of them that made me want to care.

The plot is interesting. Only because halfway through the book, I decided to Google it and see if I could find any background on it. What I found was, Simpson is the sister of the late Steve Jobs. This book is based upon him and his family. I found that interesting and although I went back to reading, I didn’t enjoy the book any more than I had been.

So, no, I do not recommend this book. I do recommend the essay Jobs’ daughter wrote about the book. Her name is Lisa and you can find that online. She writes about her thoughts of her aunt writing this book, and that essay is very good and well-written.

I would say unless you’re a huge Steve Jobs fan, skip this book. Read his biography instead.


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