Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Ira Overman is middle-aged and mediocre in every way, until he strikes a bargain with a Lasik surgeon.  The result is improved eyesight, plus an unexpected bonus:  he seems to have acquired the ability to manipulate traffic and attract beautiful women.  As he experiments with his newfound superpowers, he gains a whole new perspective on what he can accomplish, even with just his normal human faculties.  He reconnects with his children, and seeks out a woman whose gang rape he unwillingly participated in while in high school.  Then things start to get out of hand.  His friend Jake goes a little haywire and declares himself Ira's superhero sidekick.  Before you know it, Ira has attracted a couple of other groupies, who encourage him to attempt time travel and teleporting, using comic books as his guide.  Bruce Ferber is a Hollywood screenwriter, and his book is supposed to be funny.  However, I found it too outlandish and crass.  I like the metaphor of having one's eyes opened to life's possibilities, but the cartoonish supporting characters range from a porn queen who has a rather unusual talent, to a swami with a taste for exotic automobiles.  Plus, a horrific incident like a gang rape, amidst all of this nonsense, just doesn't feel right.  This book actually might have worked better as a comic book, with something less scarring as the basis for Ira's guilt.

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