Verdict: Author NC Weil handles the divergence from a more classical structure to this boy-wants-girl-girl-runs yarn with aplomb. She writes personally and intimately, with feeling about feelings, yet possesses enough chops to render an engrossing natural portrait of the American west at the time.
SUPERBALL is the second of two books trailing the life and loves of author NC Weil’s protagonist, Walt. In the first, which this reviewer has not read, the enlightened long-hair fell for and was broken on the California wheel by a certain Laura. With SUPERBALL, we find Walt on the rebound in Boulder where he’s working as a janitor and living in a Grateful Deadhead household of fellow social maladroits. He falls for a younger woman (22), Anna, who is on the rebound herself. This novel is the story of their attempts to unite, fighting psychic rearguard actions in the form of old and unvanquished lovers, grappling with their own inadequacies.
Literature reorganizes time and concentrates, reduces occurrences to monumental moments and basically amps up the drama. Here you’re getting the whole relationship. He likes her, she doesn’t like him (for the most part) and vice versa. The thing meanders, the way a real relationship does with its feints and forward movements.
Weil could use a screenwriter’s touch, cut and jump ahead now again. She gets hung up in descriptions of processes, be they cooking, or grouting, that arrest the action; feels she must cover the salad and put it in the refrigerator before moving her lovers to the bedroom. But the prose are lively and transcend these occasional patches. The language flows and the story is easy to follow without being devoid of substance.
In this case, the substance is Walt’s late-70s mellow dude, open to the soul of the universe in search of the Godhead screed that matches the time and place in which the story unfolds. He’s a more evolved personality than Anna, laboring to elevate her consciousness. He’s a great lover, the kind women pine for, but getting and holding her proves tough. Bearing down upon the pair is Laura, the ex, who killed her boyfriend (yes killed) and is getting out of jail, and is hot, too. How will Walt and Anna deal with her inevitable landing?
SUPERBALL is the reader on their roller-coaster ride, with the 1970s rushing by out the corner of your eye. Along the way you get subtexts involving the hippy house’s harassment by narcs, a peyote trip in the desert, a valuable review of 70s musical gems and a remembrance of life before smart phones and personal computers, when rock-and-roll was a religion with many followers.
Author NC Weil handles the divergence from a more classical structure to this boy-wants-girl-girl-runs yarn with aplomb. She writes personally and intimately, with feeling about feelings, yet possesses enough chops to render an engrossing natural portrait of the American west at the time.
~Stephen Siciliano for IndieReader