Book Review: The Five Times I Met Myself by James Rubart

Not too many mid-life crises come with adventures in lucid dreaming, tantamount to time travel. 52 year-old Brock enjoys and suffers the rare experience of playing out alternate timelines in his life, based on a series of pivotal choices. It seems an impossible turn of events, but then, Brock is not dealing with the disappointments and regrets of life on his own. As a man of faith, his first and last thoughts run to the promises of the Christian faith. That cornerstone anchors and guides him through an unbelievable journey of self-discovery and painful transformation.

Despite the compelling premise, this book was a struggle for me. To all appearances, I meet more than one of the intended markers for the book’s audience (educated, church-going, middle-aged, Christian), but I failed utterly to connect with the characters. Details that did not matter to me even the littlest bit (like the particular brand and style of one character’s putter) crowded out the details which would have actually kept me interested in the story (like the particular “lucid dreaming techniques” employed by the lead character).

It is entirely possible that the challenges I faced in finishing this novel were of my own making. It seems other readers sailed through these pages of mostly dialogue and introspection, rapt and fully satisfied. But for me, the dialogue was painfully stilted, which was rough since it made up so much of the book. Almost all exposition took place in conversations of the infamous style known as, “As you know, Bob“. And while every novel absolutely does not need to be a thriller, this one lacked any truly consequential conflict.

In short, not my favorite.

 

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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