Call Me Pomeroy

Call Me Pomeroy ISBN: 9781937818159, Sand Hill Review Press is “a political novel of Satire and Political Dissent” by James Hanna.

This is a strange book for several reasons. The protagonist and his activities are well-described, but his character is pathetic. The verbalization is crude. It is repetitive with the same or similar activities only moved to different settings. It is questionably a satire. Some of the answers are provided, or at least a basis is, by the author himself. The book was published in 2015 and was dedicated to three former associates, the last two of whom are former partners of his while serving as a probation officer in San Francisco. Influence of the last of his partners listed seemingly accounts for much of the flavor of the protagonist: “We met probationers like Pomeroy – delusional and gifted, kind, smart, but without a certain self-control and with a penchant to swing at windmills – perfect ingredients for a compelling story.” With respect to the verbalization one of the partners is quoted as having “his ribald sense of humor greatly inspired the creation of Pomeroy.” Quotes from another of the associates, the publisher of a newly formed publishing venture that read the author’s submission and immediately accepted it as a piece to “Not start reading … unless you have an hour to finish it”; “you need to read it when you’re ready to have a good time”; “it was absolutely hilarious. I’ve never encountered a character with such blind optimism and phallic orientation as Pomeroy.” “He’ll make you laugh like a hyena, even though you later may be ashamed you laughed.” Parenthetically, this last comment is rather prophetic if and when one reads the prose. With respect to the question of satire, at least from this reviewer’s viewpoint, the attempt to provide a satirical spin on various societal subjects through activity by the protagonist seems rather inept. Satire is a difficult entity to portray. The writer must be able to select one, or preferably several defects, flaws, deficiencies or other in one portion of society and embellish/dramatize them to a sufficient degree that hopefully will cause the target group to change. Protests are a method often favored as a means and Pomeroy becomes involved in many. The only problem is that although some cogent points are set forth, none are ironically presented. Beasley, who wishes to be called Pomeroy for some undisclosed reason, also is a rather pathetic figure. He has been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder complicated by antisocial tendencies. His activities are commensurate with the diagnosis and as such really present a pathetic and untreatable at his age, rather than humorous, character.

2* Good character portrayal, but regrettable flaws as described.

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