Cohen offers an entertaining debut novel about sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll, and getting older.
Conor Fitzpatrick is the widowed manager of a rock band in Los Angeles. He’s been depressed since his wife passed away unexpectedly nearly a decade ago, and he’s gotten in the habit of drinking too much and avoiding dating. But when his niece, Chloe, comes to town for an internship, she decides to get her uncle back on his feet by setting him up with an online dating profile. Cohen’s novel chronicles Fitzpatrick’s attempts to navigate the online dating world as he simultaneously tries to resurrect his stagnant career in the music industry. It also follows Chloe as she makes her way up from lowly intern to assistant at a prestigious motion picture production company. Cohen’s wonderfully entertaining book grapples with relevant issues, such as the difficulties of aging, the challenges of the entertainment industry and the ways that people cope with grief. There’s some beautiful, poignant prose here, particularly when Conor finally starts to come to grips with the death of his wife: “It’s been ten years, he thought. She’s not on vacation. She’s not doing errands. She’s gone. Gone....If he quit drinking to excess and embraced some semblance of a healthy lifestyle, he might live another forty years. How did he want to live them?” Cohen is clearly well-versed in both the music industry and online dating world, and he cleverly implements humorous allusions to both. The book’s only weak points are its occasional spelling and grammatical errors, which detract from the otherwise compelling narrative.
A fun read with a poignant message and tons of pop-culture references.