Friday, November 6, 2015

Shriver by Chris Belden

In this charming, clever, and darkly satiric novel set at a writers’ conference, one man finds himself caught in a whirlwind of literary pretention, a suspect in a criminal investigation, and hopelessly in love with a woman who thinks he’s someone else.

Mistaken for a famous but reclusive author of the same name, lonely Shriver attends a writers’ conference at a small Midwestern liberal arts college. Completely unfamiliar with the novel he supposedly wrote and utterly unprepared for the magnitude of the reputation that precedes him, Shriver is feted, fawned over, featured at stuffy literary panels, and barely manages to play it cool. Things quickly go awry when one of the other guest authors suddenly disappears and Shriver becomes a prime suspect in the investigation. Amidst eager fans, Shriver must contend with a persistent police detective, a pesky journalist determined to unearth his past, and a mysterious and possibly dangerous stalker who seems to know his secret. But most vexing of all, Shriver’s gone and fallen in love with the conference organizer, who believes he’s someone else. When the “real” Shriver (or is he?) appears to claim his place among the literati, the conference—and Shriver’s world—threaten to unravel. Filled with witty dialogue, hilarious antics, and a cast of bizarre and endearing characters, Shriver is at once a touching love story, a surreal examination of identity, and an affectionate tribute to the power of writing.


Shriver has to be the most uniquely fascinating book I have ever read. It is vastly different, unclassifiable, and intensely entertaining. The back cover blurb aptly describes what the book is about, but it does little to express just how charming this little book truly is. Its pages are filled with quirky characters, outlandish situations, a protaganist who is a loser in real life, but who readers ultimately fall in love with. The books beauty is in its simplicity - easy to read, brief, witty. I definitely recommend this great little book, especially for readers who want something unique, whimsical, enchanting!  Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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