Title: The Life and Times of Charlie Chance
Author: Jim Rice
Publication: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Creative Minds Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CHARLIE CHANCE is the fictional biography of Charlie Chance, who through bizarre circumstance becomes famous. Thinking this is a fluke, Charlie gets serious about his “art” to not be rendered a phony. He becomes a writer, musician, artist, filmmaker, inventor, financier and poet, who is “eccentric.” When he disappears during a honeymoon cruise and the world mourns his perceived death, he later returns and nobody believes where he’s been. THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CHARLIE CHANCE is Complete Fiction.
I don’t really know what drew me to this book at first. I originally saw it as an advertisement on my kindle screen. I think it might have been the anatomy of a neck drawing on the cover or maybe the birds flying across the front or maybe all of the letters rising out of the book like ashes. Either way, I had to read it. Plus, it is a kindle unlimited book so the free rental was nice.
First off, I loved the fact that most of the story takes place in Detroit, Michigan. I grew up and live in the beautiful state of Michigan. The story starts out with Charlie in NYC with his brother, getting ready to sign a book deal. To Charlie’s surprise, they offer him “$100,000 plus 15% of the royalties for all of Charlie’s 199 notebooks”. He takes the offer and instantly becomes a budding author. Since he has money, he and his friends decide to start a band. They practice and practice and even cut a demo tape. Charlie asks if he can combine his publicity tour for his book with gigs for his bands. Kill two birds with one stone right? Both he and the band take off. Overnight they become household names. Charlie gets approached by a Hollywood Producer to make a movie out of his books. They ask him to be the movie star. This propels Charlie even further into the spotlight. Pretty soon he is tied up in drugs and alcohol. Until a fateful trip to Hawaii. I am going to stop there. I hope that had piqued your interest enough that you want to read it.
This book is neurotic, wacky and crazy. I loved every minute of it. I couldn’t get enough of it. It does take place in the future and by that I mean like Summer and Fall of 2016. Granted that isn’ t too much in the future but enough so that in my mind it is. I had to keep reminding myself that this book is a work of fiction and not a real memoir. The author writes the book in a journal form and, like the character Charlie, is writing a journal. The book is still in chapter form and not in day or month form. While the beginning of this book is quick, easy, entertaining and lighthearted the ending is deep, philosophical and extremely thought provoking. The ending made me really imagine a world where there is no hate. Especially with everything that is going on in the world today, it would be nice if ours was a little more like it.