Friday, September 30, 2011

Birthday Pie / Arthur Wooten

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Literary Fiction

Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words

Kindle US:
YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: YES
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A native of Massachusetts, the novelist and playwright Author Wooten now lives in New York City. His other works include the novels On Picking Fruit and Fruit Cocktail. He is also the humorist for the London based magazine, reFRESH. For more, visit Wooten’s website.


The eccentric and dysfunctional Martindale family gathers at the family home where their father lays dying.


Genre is a slippery thing sometimes. Literary or Contemporary Fiction, in my mind, is often a catchall for everything that isn’t something else. Deciding between the two catchall categories is more nebulous for me. Sometimes it is a case of “I know it when I see it,” while other times I’ll call it something because that is what the publisher or bookstore says. This book is a combination of both.

Most genre fiction has a clearly defined goal for the protagonist(s). The catchall categories often don’t. Sometimes who the protagonist is may even be unclear. Yet they still have a story that is entertaining or at least has some quality that makes it worth telling. Birthday Pie is entertaining, with humor that sometimes seems like satire. The story says a lot about how many families relate to each other, in both good and bad ways. The Simpsons are not like any of our families, at least I hope not, but many people seem to see more of their own family in that show than the typical TV family – if not in the specifics, then at least in their lack of perfection. I know I do. The Martindale family is one of those. You’ll laugh at them, even as you catch glimpses of yourself.


Some adult language and sexual situations.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four stars

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