It Won’t Always Be This Great Reviewed By Francesca Pelaccia of Bookpleasures.com
Reviewer Francesca Pelaccia: Francesca is the author of The Witch's Salvation. She enjoys reading everything from the literary to genres of all types and blogs on the craft of writing. By day she teaches ESL to adult learners. Follow Here To Find Out More About Francesca.View all articles by Francesca Pelaccia
Author: Peter Mehlman
Publisher: Bancroft Press
978-1-61088-135-7 (cloth): 978-1-61088-138-8 (mobi): 978-1-61088—137-1 (eBook): 978-1-61088-139-5 (Audio)
Won’t Always Be This Great by Peter Mehlman is the story of a
nameless Long Island podiatrist who stumbles on a bottle of kosher
horseradish on a Friday night after sundown in a predominately Jewish
It’s cold, and the podiatrist can’t be seen in a
car for fear of losing his Orthodox clientele. In an uncustomary fit
of anger, he whips the bottle through a store window. The store
happens to belong to a prominent Orthodox Jewish businessperson. The
nameless podiatrist doesn’t own up to the incident. Instead, he
does the unexpected and runs off.
And so begins the mid-life adventure that turns the once complacent and starchy suburb into a frenzy of anti-Semitism, involves crooked police, cardboard FBI agents, a deep-throat type journalistic exchange, and our nameless podiatrist going through one cover-up after another, including an unusual relationship (which he thinks might amount to a fling) with the rebellious daughter of the Orthodox Jewish businessperson.
Won’t Always Be This Great sounds like the romp-filled adventure of
a middle-aged man going through some midlife fun, but Peter Mehlman
of Seinfeld fame, concentrates more on the nameless narrator and the
stream of his thoughts, observations, backstory and asides than the
The novel has lots of wit, humour, one-liners, and
personal observations of the world and the people around the nameless
narrator, which are entertaining but often overdone or irrelevant to
any storyline or character. I found myself laughing out loud at
times, sometimes cringing at the boldness of the observations, but
also losing sight of the story and interest in the narrator, the
other characters, and the story. Sometimes, I didn’t find the
humour at all and wondered about the significance.
The narrator, for instance, recounts his story to someone named “Commie”. At first I thought “Commie” was me the reader, who had been given this name for some reason, which I would eventually come to know. But well into the book I discovered that the “Commie” the narrator was addressing was a comatose friend, who had been struck by lightning. The nameless podiatrist wants the horseradish incident to remain a secret and has found the perfect person to keep his secret, but I didn’t see either the need or the humour. Maybe another reader will.
Won’t Always Be This Great reads like a stand-up comic’s
monologue. It’s big on entertainment value but short on story.