Book Reviews

In Search of Good Times- Victor Rook




Joseph Manley, a blue-collar worker from Idaho, loses his job during the 2009 economic recession. A strange turn of events sets him off on a road trip to seek out the fictional sitcom families from “Good Times” and “All in the Family.” Haunted inns, abandoned houses, catastrophic weather, quirky couples, gangs, hippies, soldiers, loving dads, strong mothers—even an intuitive stray dog await Joe on his journey. This adventurous tale about a disenchanted man longing for a happier life in a simpler time is also a story about loss, forgiveness, and how the many random lives we encounter each day affect each other. Will he find the Evans and Bunker families—or something else?

My Review:

 I’ve never seen an episode of “Good Times” or “All in the Family” but I didn’t need to in order to thoroughly enjoy In Search of Good Times. Although, after reading this novel, both sound like shows  I’d like to check out.
Joe, the main character, “was just an average Joe. Not average, though, in his genuine curiosity about the world,” (1). Having been on several cross country road trips, and often missing the simpler days before cell phones and the internet,  it was easy for me to relate to Joe. In fact, while reading this novel, I felt like a passenger in Joe’s car – that’s how vividly Rook has painted Joe’s character and unexpected trip from Idaho to New York City.
In Search of Good Times made me laugh and cry right alongside Joe. I highly recommend this novel as well as Rook’s collection of satirical stories,  People Who Need to Die.  


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