Marvin Baines has two problems: he just turned forty, and he can no longer distinguish fantasy from reality. As his life starts to unravel, Marvin starts to realise that what he thought he wanted – a new, more exciting life – might turn out to be a mixed blessing.
The Survival of Marvin Baines takes a relatively common idea – the complex journey of a man hitting a key milestone in life – and spins it into a genuinely funny and moving tale. The characterisations are wonderful, bringing the story to life and ensuring that the reader really cares about Marvin and his family. By the end of the book, I was genuinely sorry to have to leave Marvin’s world behind.
There are some great moments and Michael Meyer’s writing produces some very impressive passages. A book like this could easily become maudlin and dull, but Meyer keeps it moving along at a great pace. The humour is well-judged and never forced, and overall The Survival of Marvin Baines is a highly recommended tale of mid-life dysfunction.
Star rating for The Survival of Marvin Baines: 4½ stars.
> Available from Amazon.
> Rating system: 5 stars (excellent); 4 stars (very good); 3 stars (good); 2 stars (fairly good); 1 star (bad); 0 stars (awful).