I just received the Kirkus Indie review of Team Charlie. It begins, “Those voices in your head — are they symbionts or parasites? This disarming novel seeks answers.” The review goes on to summarize the story of, “Charlie Davis, a mild-mannered, middle-aged, divorced man who lives with several voices in his head.” The review states that, “Evan has a knack for set-piece ruminations such as Pluto’s disquisition on love and Kono the Hawaiian bartender’s reflections on pretense.” The review goes on to add that, “readers will eagerly help Charlie battle the voices and his loneliness. It’s hard to look away from these colorful characters running rampant in a lonely man’s mind.”
Clarion’s ForeWord review of Team Charlie is now in. Robin Edmunds writes that, “readers will not be disappointed when they follow Charlie’s journey in Mark Evan’s evocative and memorable book.” Edmunds goes on to write that, “readers will become invested in Charlie’s story,” and that, “twists and turns keep readers guessing about Charlie’s fate until the very end.” Further, Edmonds states that, “Evan’s writing is full of wit, humor, and pathos. The chattering dialogue between and among the distinct personalities in Charlie’s head is sometimes humorous. The details are evocative, and well-rounded characters abound.” I grew to love Charlie as I wrote this book, and I enjoyed writing his story. As Edmunds states, “Readers who enjoy stepping into another’s shoes and glimpsing the challenges that are faced will find Team Charlie a clever and sympathetic take on mental health.” Edmunds gives Team Charlie four stars out of five.
One of my favorite passages from Team Charlie is where Charlie’s psychiatrist explains the omnipresence of delusions:
“Delusions are neither good nor bad as a rule; they have no moral direction. They are simply a description of fact. And the fact is each and every one of us lives according to his or her own delusions, and the goal here isn’t to rid ourselves of them, but rather to pick and choose, to find the delusion that best suits us. Life is a great supermarket of delusions; you can take your cart down the aisle and take a little of this, a little of that, take whatever works for you. If something doesn’t work out you can bring it back for a refund and get something else in exchange. Anyone who tells you they don’t visit such a supermarket is either lying to you, or lying to themselves. Pick any person and ask yourself how they see the real world, how they imagine themselves within this vast confusing fabric we call reality, and you will find each and every one of them living out their own delusions.”
In Team Charlie, it is clear from the start that Charlie is a black-and-white movie buff. These old movies play a role in the way Charlie sees his life. What you may not have noticed at first glance is that most the names and places in my story are drawn from character actors and places in selected old movies. The White Way Hotel, for example, is taken from the Marx Brothers’ Room Service. Edward Horton, Una Merkel, and Glenda Farrell are all well-known Hollywood character actors. I liked the idea of these classic characters and places mingling with Charlie’s modern life. Are you a classic movie fan? How many other characters and places can you find in Team Charlie that have been so named?
The Blue Ink review is in on Team Charlie. The book is described as a “well-plotted novel,” where, “Evan finds tenderness, irony, and sly wit in Charlie’s troubled journey.” Despite some qualms about the writing style, Blue Ink states that the content “makes the whole trip worthwhile.” I am pleased with this review, and they seem to have grasped the ending. “It turns out that the poor guy’s internal voices serve as unlikely friends and demons, and in the end that touchingly endangers his future.”
Now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com is my latest novel, Team Charlie. From the back cover: “Meet one-of-a-kind Charlie Davis, middle-aged and divorced. Charlie no longer lives with his wife and children. He’s been hearing voices in his head for years, and has been living under the protective care of his elderly father. But suddenly his father dies, and Charlie is catapulted into a journey to fend for himself, an adventure that leads him from on fascinating predicament to the next. You will laugh and cry with Charlie as he tries his best to survive in a topsy-turvy real world. You will be introduced to all Charlie’s voices, including an eighteenth century pirate, a beatnik bohemian, and a lovely heart throb from his younger days. The story entertains but also explores the remarkable power of human delusion. And while the ending is predictable, it also comes as a complete surprise.”