The Adventures of Bang Bang Man
Author: Philip Nork
Author Philip Nork has written a very interesting series of books dealing with life, and the choices that we all make. Each of his characters is very personable, and deals with life’s eccentricities in their own way. In his latest book, “The Adventures of Bang Bang Man”, we follow along with Matthew Davis, a divorced thirty-something father addicted to betting on the horses, and using food as his own personal path of self-destruction.
The book opens with a post-divorce (twenty-five year post-divorce) Davis, trying to deal with his issues with the help of his psychologist, Dr. Darla. Part of his history consists of selling his business twenty-five years ago and going into gaming full time (betting on the horses). Oh, and by the way – Davis in the ensuing twenty-five years has eaten his way close to six hundred pounds. Perhaps that had a part in his recent heart attack. Now things get interesting – Dr. Darla is going to be gone for a month, so she leaves Davis with a journal to write his thoughts in.
Davis starts out by noting how he went from living in a beautiful 3,600 square foot, five- bedroom home to living in a one bedroom condominium in a bad part of town. His condo is filled with references to horses, and with actual horseshoes. His clutter is to say “unique”. That and the plethora of racing forms, of course. His TV is set to a cable horse racing network. (Really!) He notes that he is a loner, and that all the friends he has are online. He feels as if he is a lost person. Having written all this down he rips the pages out of the notebook, crumples them up, and tosses them on the floor.
Davis decides to take back his notes and continue on. It is through his journal that we go back into his past, back to his parent’s divorce, back to why he always pushed people away. Back to his devastating relationship with food and solitude. It is quite interesting to see how Davis deals with his own self-confidence, or lack thereof, and how the world is to blame when things don’t work out. Where and how he looks for recognition is very telling.
As I continued reading this book, I could not help but see that there were parallels with my life. (I think that most, if not all readers would also see a parallel of some sort with their own lives.) It is engrossing to read about someone who’s life is an epic fail, for obvious reasons. And how they interact with other people. The reader is watching Davis’s entire life play out in the pages of the journal.
“The Adventures of Bang Bang Man” is well written, has a cohesive storyline, exhibits humor and passion, and walks between two different worlds – the world of Davis’ youth, and his world as a fifty-something adult. There is so much really interesting information here about horses, racing, the Internet, how people view money, how we attempt to maintain control in our lives, and so much more! It is a veritable “How To” on relationships, how we view them, and how we can best interact in them.
This is a book well worth reading – for the pleasure of reading, and to see how things may not really be as we think they are.
© April 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction not permitted without written consent from the author.