Terminal Monday – a review by Richard Burley

Uncle Eddie can’t post today. He’s suddenly taken ill, so I’m sitting in for him today.

My name is Richard Burley. My friends call me Rich. I certainly don’t think of myself as Rich, but I guess it’s better than Ritchie, or Dick *shudder*. You may not know me, but I’m also a writer, though I’ve only been in print once, and I haven’t really had much luck getting my novel writing career back in the frame.

I write ad copy for a living. I’ve also written and recorded ad jingles, using recording equipment I have left over from my days as the keyboard player and lead singer of a band called The Distance. Don’t feel bad if you don’t recognize the name. Sadly, we really didn’t get far before the band disintegrated.
So what I’d like to talk to you about today is a novelist by the name of Lee McIlmoyle, who figures he’s going to make it big someday. I feel the need to sit him down and explain to him how failure is the natural state in writing, and how he will only ever amount to something if he writes middle of the road fiction that everyone will enjoy.

In fact, one thing he definitely doesn’t want to do is publish a certain book he has plans to release later this month. I’ve read it, and in my opinion, he’s not only out on a limb, but completely out of his tree.

The novel is called Terminal Monday, and it purports to be about none other than Yours Truly, and I have to tell you, I’ve never read anything like it. For starters, it tells how my wife and I have a big fight and end up separating. Only problem with that is, my wife and I have never separated, and haven’t had a serious fight in ages. Life and marriage are complicated, but that doesn’t mean everyone gets divorced. Just the author taking a few liberties, I suppose.

Second, I was incredibly disappointed by the amount and variety of gratuitous sex. I’m sure the author felt there were good reasons for all of it, but as near as I can tell, he just figures his protagonist (aka ME) is a naturally philandering jerk with no sense of propriety or discretion. I suppose it makes for interesting storytelling, but it doesn’t ring true for me, even after disregarding the fact that I know none of it actually happened.

Third, the psychotic break episode really reads like someone who has never had a mental illness. I’ve never been in a psych ward before, but I’m reasonably sure there isn’t nearly as much chit chat or, and I stress this, rampant sexuality in hospitals.

Finally, the ending doesn’t sit well with me at all. After all of the things he puts the protagonist through, he just drops the ball and gives us the equivalent of a Little Nemo ending. Personally, I was more affected by the last five minutes than I was the entire book preceding it, but I definitely don’t think a character purporting to be me would lose his mind over a lousy book series.

All in all, I’d strongly advise people to stay away from Terminal Monday. It’s a terrible book, whether you agree with the defamation of my character or not. There are plenty of best selling novels on the market that are much more enjoyable than this pile of dreck.

Unless, of course, you go in for high fantasy and blatant pornography dressed up as contemporary literary fiction.
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Richard Burley is the author of Oracle: The Infinite Jest and The Bridge, and was the creator and co-author of the best selling City In Shadows, the first Splintered Hearts novel, soon to be made into a major motion picture.

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