Title: Textual Healing
Author: Eric Smith
Publisher: Self-published via AuthorHouse
Publication Date: November 2010
Note: Free review copy received from the author.
The first thing I thought when I read the book description was, "This is going to be hilarious!" And, thankfully, it was. I had entered a giveaway for the book on Goodreads, and the author reached out to me and offered me a review copy. He was nice, and he had a rabbit. Of course I said yes. (For the record, I am a sucker for rabbits - my own two have learned this and do their best to be as adorable as possible so they could one day get away with murder - or at least flooding the kitchen after chewing through the fridge water hose... but that is another story.)
Textual Healing has a plot straight out of a screwball romantic comedy, only I don't think even Hollywood could have come up with some of the supporting characters here, which includes a haiku-spouting ninja flower shop owner, a lesbian romance writer who runs a writers support group, and a rich and famous movie-making best friend. Honestly, Eric Smith had me at "haiku-speaking flower-shop-owning ninja."
The book begins with Andrew Connor, a once-famous author who is suffering from one-hit-wonderdom, not having a very good day. His long-time girlfriend just walked out on him because he hasn't written anything for three years. And instead of being allowed to mope, his employee calls to remind him he had to come open up his money pit of a used bookstore. Not to mention his best-selling book is collecting dust in the clearance section (way way WAY discounted). But then, enters a girl (there's always a girl, isn't there?), Hannah, who doesn't run away screaming from the weirdness or dead-endness (yes, I'm being very eloquent tonight) that is his life.
Oh, and there's an apartment-destroying sugar glider, purchased solely as a ploy to impress said girl.
Textual Healing is laugh-out-loud funny, and a fast read to boot. BUT, (disclaimer: I am a pedant) the book really needed a good edit to fix some grammar and word choice issues, tighten up the language, and some tough love cutting of pop-culture and hipster references.
That said, go out and find a copy of the book and read it. It really is worth a read. I hope Eric writes another one.