Mark Sarvas - Harry Revised

Harry, Revised - Mark Sarvas

Here is what is wrong with this book:

1) Sarvas loves to write sentences.

It is as if he has only recently discovered this magical power within him and now he is on a roll. He gets so excited over those sentences he is writing that quite often he forgets he is writing a book. His poor protagonist Harry seems to be the biggest victim of Sarvas’ new found skill, he feels stabs of ‘pain’, ‘jealousy’, ‘irritation’, ‘anger’, then he feels waves of all those feelings. Finally, towards the end of a book there is a climax in form of a ‘tsunami’ (sic!) of something, sadness or regret.

2) The main character is completely dumbed down so he can serve as a foil to the author’s sparkling intelligence.

Sarvas worked himself into a catch 22 with this though, because at the same time he can’t use his literary references as his protagonist is semi-illiterate. But hey, there are comic books and Puffins abridged classics! When Harry remembers reading a comic book based on the Count of Monte Cristo, he can’t remember Dantes’ love interest’s name (of course that would make him appear way too smart), so he wonders… It was definitely ‘some car’s name’… Well, gee, I don’t know. Try Toyota. Now keep in mind that the main character is a radiologist which must make him have some sort of higher education. He also landed this amazing, rich, smart, and beautiful wife who reads Madame Bovary and goes to spinning classes. I mean seriously, Harry doesn’t even know who D’Artagnan is (though he should! There was a cartoon!)

3) There is a plethora (Sarvas, I said ‘plethora’, you like them big words, don’t you? Plethora, plethora, plethora) of stock, cartoonish characters.

A Polish prostitute, who is so bored and jaded that she is filing her nails in front of the police, crazy, super enthusiastic fitness instructor who has a cult like following, bored shop assistant who doesn’t even lift his head up when a customer asks a question, Chinese jeweler who is all smiles but greedy and cunning at the same time (and has no understanding of English grammar like every non-American character in the book regardless to how long they’ve lived in the US), Anna’s stiff and rich parents (the parents from Meet The Parents seem a lot more authentic in comparison) and so on and so forth.

What’s lurking behind all this hot mess, is actually a pretty good novel with an endearing protagonist whose wife died and he doesn't quite know how to deal with it.

Sarvas, go back to your room and rewrite it!