Times Like These: A Novel
by J.R. Klein
Del Gato

"I was trying to write about the American Dream. But now I believed that at times all dream are a hoax..."

Jack and Owen are middle-aged American creatives. Jack is a novelist with one big success under his belt, and Owen is a photographer for Time magazine. As successful as they may be, they feel restless. After not seeing each other for almost a decade, they reunite and seek to revive some of the good old days they spent in Mexico with two dear friends—Anna, now a divorced mother, and Chloe, a successful painter. The four of them agree to move together to Mexico to live as ex-pats. All is going well. They fish for their food every day. Jack is making progress on a new novel. They all seem content, but Jack keeps wondering if they are truly happy.

For solace and guidance, Jack turns to the writings of Patrick Modiano. One day Owen asks Jack to accompany him on an assignment to report on a skirmish in the hills of Chiapas. The two ex-pats meet a Mexican medical doctor named Javier Martinez, who is dedicated to social justice. However, the skirmish is more dangerous than the friends had thought.

This novel’s tragic elements will appeal to those who enjoy books such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. And for those who like Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, there is a similar erotic tension that is numbed through overindulgence in alcohol. This introspective novel contains adventure, pleasure-seeking, and realism. The characters learn what it means to seek contentment in a world where they are constantly bombarded with tragedy.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home