IN A CHICAGO MINUTE by Mike Lubow

IN A CHICAGO MINUTE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A debut collection of short reflections on time, life and being a regular guy.

In this collection of 64 “literary tidbits,” Lubow, a former creative director at an ad agency, reflects on a wide range of topics. The pieces are each meant to be read in about a minute; the author provides word counts for each one, with the highest hitting just 160 words. All originally appeared as part of a series on the “Guy Page” of the Chicago Tribune from 2004 to 2008. The author draws on his background as a writer of short television spots to succinctly express deep, meaningful ideas throughout this collection. The tone is conversational and direct, often addressing subjects in everyday life. Some are short stories that reflect on particular points (a father and son roll malted milk balls into a crowd to see which get stepped on, leading the father to think about the nature of luck); others are short reflections about such subjects as how hard it is to feel nostalgia when things keep coming back into style. Still others use a second-person perspective to draw readers into the experience; one begins, “[Y]ou’re with your dog in the vet’s crowded waiting room,” and goes on to describe how dogs accept their differences more readily than humans do. Some themes come up repeatedly, including various aspects of being a “guy” and the nature of a minute (what one can do in 60 seconds or how a minute can feel long or short depending on what’s being done). The book also critiques specific TV shows and books, such as Blue Collar TV, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink (2005). Most of these wise little pieces, however, are general and relatable for both sexes, who will likely find truth, comfort and humor in them.

A clever, humorous collection.

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0615626819
Page count: 142pp
Publisher: Two-Fisted Birdwatcher Books
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2013




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