I’m late in getting the word out on this, particularly as I finished reading Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman four days after I got it (which was over two months ago now), but still, I just have to brag.
Author Matt Norman is a good friend from way back. For several excrutiating years we sat approximately three feet from one another, while both composing beautiful, artful prose about project management training classes. All the while, he was writing this book, and being super encouraging as I geared up to eventually head back to school and earn an MFA (at his alma mater, George Mason University).
And now, finally, the book I spent days reading in Microsoft Word while I was supposed to be editing Web copy about corporate values and profit and leadership is upon us. And it’s great.
There are about 1,000 really great reviews (and summaries) out there about Domestic Violets, so I’ll keep mine short and to the point: Mid-30s copywriter (and secret novelist) Tom Violet is having difficulties with his work, his penis (and therefore his wife), his parents, his dog, and his assistant copywriter. Although that sentence doesn’t make this book sound particularly funny, it is. Tom is both likable and not at the same time, and his problems are both the *kinds* of problems we all have (and by that I mean work-related and domestic), and yet still really interesting ones that I wanted to read about. It’s kind of got everything: literary jokes as well as genetalia jokes, booze as well as interactions with Tom’s charming five-year old daughter, a fast car, and a really well done sex scene. Tom’s consistently witty inner dialogue–as well as the struggles that he wades through–make it a can’t-put-down book, while at the same time the crisp, clear prose sets it apart as a really strong literary work.