WL Rating

In my experience, debut novels are always a bit of a crap shoot. In fact, more often than not they tend to disappoint. But, every so often you do manage to get one that captures your attention and keeps you turning pages. Tom Mahony’s new book, Imperfect Solitude, is the Bay Area resident’s first novel and a solid debut effort. The book tells the story of Evan Nellis, a young biologist who gets a pile of misfortune heaped on his apparently narrow shoulders (jerk of a boss, no money, mentally unstable mother, death of his father, angry girlfriend, etc.—all good stuff). Things start to improve, however, when a wealthy douche of a developer named Richard Headley (yes, Dick Head) taps Ellis for some questionable surveying work to justify developing what should be a protected area. The job pays quite well, but it clearly comes at a high personal cost. In order to cope, Evan frequently turns to surfing for solace (Bay Area surfers will recognize and enjoy the local nature of the spots). While the surfing itself isn’t the narrative’s driving force, Mahony’s passages about his sessions are well written and believable, avoiding the usual cliches and stereotypes. Ultimately, Mahony does a nice job of building tension throughout the story and then finishing it off with a satisfying climax. If you enjoy novels like Breath and On a Wave, you’ll likely enjoy Imperfect Solitude.  (December 2010)

Imperfect Solitude - Tom Mahony


Category: Fiction

Reading Style: Easy

Pages: 210

Pub Date: 2010

Tags: Surfing