A humorous novel about a 60-something-year-old man's coming-of-age.
Reece Roth, lover of Scotch and sex, secludes himself in a Buddhist community far from his work, his house, his two girlfriends, his children and his addictions. Unfortunately, his problems cannot be outrun, and, as his 12-year-old spiritual mentor reminds him, he must face the people he hurt and make amends before he can move on to a higher level of self-acceptance. So he revs his sports car and heads for Joy, Stephanie and the public-relations firm he ditched several months before. When he finally arrives back to the place he once called home–after engaging in a one-night stand along the way and nearly leaving a bar with a most unsuitable date–he finds the women he deserted much changed, his job nearly dissipated and his home still unpacked. Can he find forgiveness and avoid the tempting call of his old bad habits? Satisfaction's Sequel has some great moments, as when a human manifestation of depression argues with Roth's guardian angel, an old, black bluesman who plays some mean guitar. These dreamlike scenes provide both comic relief and a deeper insight into Roth's struggles. However, overall, the book feels predictable, and Roth's character is inconsistent in his malignant meanderings and his efforts toward health. When he returns home he claims to have given up alcohol, but he rarely refuses a drink. He uses habitual profanity and practices extreme violence toward Joy’s new boyfriend, yet describes how mediation has given him a new sense of self worth and equilibrium. Loeb may have intended this pattern to be a sign of Roth's efforts toward growth, but the author should have given readers some indication of this. Instead, his character comes across as sloppily contradictory. Also, needless repetition and slapstick humor add to the impression that the novel has not quite reached its full potential.
A few revisions away from being a fun, humorous novel about a decent man stuck in adolescence.