"The book is told entirely from Simon's viewpoint. Simon is not a very likable guy; as a matter of fact, he is a self-centered, pompous jerk. But for some reason, it's pretty fun to be inside his head, mainly because he is an inadvertent, oblivious jerk... you will learn Simon's views on smoking, cleanliness and going to the bathroom, just to name a few. There were times that I laughed out loud... A very good novel that was humorous throughout." 4 1/2 Stars - Red Adept Reviews
"The close-to-the-bone novel captures perfectly the intensely solipsistic nature of a certain type of author ... a clever and surprising twist." — Kirkus Reviews
The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood was selected as one of the "5 Best Summer Indie Beach Reads" by the editors of The Indie Reader. Their verdict: "An ambitious, enjoyable read with a superb ending that changed my interpretation of the entire text."
Here's their review:
Simon Burchwood is a hard-bitten, wannabe novelist teetering on the brink of literary stardom. Yet a brief sojourn in Montgomery, Alabama challenges his haughty façade-and the "meteoric rise" that has continually eluded him.
Sure, Burchwood is egocentric-despicable, even. Admittedly, his lengthy monologues often irritate more than intrigue, crippling the novel's weightier themes. Yet his ill-fated journey, while occasionally long-winded, is strangely captivating.
Semegran's tragic cast of characters struggle to confront disappointing realities: the impossibly optimistic Jason fights to salvage what's left of his disintegrating marriage, while Patty Green--Burchwood's childhood flame--scrambles to make ends meet as a stripper at "Cinnamon's Big Boobie Bonanza." Even Burchwood himself--trekking from Montgomery, Alabama to New York, New York--ultimately discards his delusions of grandeur to find his dreams in shambles.
"The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood" weaves a heart-rending portrait of lowered expectation: of a man eschewing, and ultimately embracing, mediocrity. Semegran deftly unmasks the divide between adolescent expectations and adult realities, and does so using Burchwood's crass, profanity-laden commentary-though at times readers will crave a little less Simon, and a little more everyone else.
Verdict: An ambitious, enjoyable read with a superb ending that changed my interpretation of the entire text.
Reviewed by Sonia Tsuruoka for The Indie Reader