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)

It 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 neighbourhood.

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.

It 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 actual romp.

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.

It Won’t Always Be This Great reads like a stand-up comic’s monologue. It’s big on entertainment value but short on story.

Follow Here To Read An Interview With Peter Mehlman

Follow Here To Purchase It Won t Always Be This Great: A Novel