Book Review: Circle City Blues by Susan Wells Bennett
It’s not all that hard for a novelist to make me smile. A chuckle, a grin or an occasional laugh can be induced by quite a few writers. But honestly, it’s not that easy to give me a bout of ROFLMAOPIMPWTIME* that lasts for two hundred pages. Susan Wells Bennett has done just that.
Declan “Mac” McDougal and his wife Kirsten have been long haul truck driving for about a year, after Kirsten persuaded Mac to quit their jobs in Phoenix, Arizona and sink their life savings into a rig. As Circle City Blues opens, Kirsten informs Mac that she has decided to leave him to take up with a man she met in an online role playing game. As the novel progresses we follow Mac through his life as a trucker as he criss-crosses the country, hooking up with Rocky– a young mechanic who proves to be a much more suitable driving partner, and stumbles into romances with two different women, including a rich and famous novelist to whom he sends a fan letter that gets much more of a response than Mac would ever have hoped for.
Bennett does an excellent job of depicting the trucker’s milieu and showing her readers what the country looks like from a trucker’s perspective– continually driving by at 65 miles per hour. The characters are well conceived and three dimensional, and the reader is drawn into caring about Mac as his life is transformed and he and the reader together wait to learn if he will end up with the nurse from Texas or the author who lives in many different places. And always, Bennett’s writing is laugh out loud funny. I have to confess that I was very taken with this novel; honestly, I read it in a single sitting and then re-read most of it again as I wrote this review. If you enjoy comic novels about modern, believable characters Circle City Blues is Very Highly Recommended.
*Rolling On The Floor, Laughing My Ass Off, Pissing In My Pants, With Tears In My Eyes