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The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood (Simon Adventures Book 1) by [Semegran, Scott]
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The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood (Simon Adventures Book 1) Kindle Edition


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Length: 201 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English
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Product Description

On his way to New York to celebrate his impending literary success, Simon Burchwood is the prototypical American careerist: arrogant, egotistical, narcissistic. But a quick detour to Montgomery, Alabama to visit a childhood friend sends Simon on a bizarre journey, challenging his hopes and dreams of becoming a famous writer. The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood is a character study that delves into the psyche of a man who desperately tries to redefine himself. Is Simon pompous? Yes. A jerk? Yes. Will you like him? Absolutely!

"The book is told entirely from Simon's viewpoint. Simon is not a very likable guy; as a matter of fact, he is a self-centered, pompous jerk. But for some reason, it's pretty fun to be inside his head, mainly because he is an inadvertent, oblivious jerk... you will learn Simon's views on smoking, cleanliness and going to the bathroom, just to name a few. There were times that I laughed out loud... A very good novel that was humorous throughout." 4 1/2 Stars - Red Adept Reviews.

The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood was selected as one of the "5 Best Summer Indie Beach Reads" by the editors of The Indie Reader. Their verdict: "An ambitious, enjoyable read with a superb ending that changed my interpretation of the entire text."

Here's their review:

Simon Burchwood is a hard-bitten, wannabe novelist teetering on the brink of literary stardom. Yet a brief sojourn in Montgomery, Alabama challenges his haughty façade-and the "meteoric rise" that has continually eluded him.

Sure, Burchwood is egocentric-despicable, even. Admittedly, his lengthy monologues often irritate more than intrigue, crippling the novel's weightier themes. Yet his ill-fated journey, while occasionally long-winded, is strangely captivating.

Semegran's tragic cast of characters struggle to confront disappointing realities: the impossibly optimistic Jason fights to salvage what's left of his disintegrating marriage, while Patty Green--Burchwood's childhood flame--scrambles to make ends meet as a stripper at "Cinnamon's Big Boobie Bonanza." Even Burchwood himself--trekking from Montgomery, Alabama to New York, New York--ultimately discards his delusions of grandeur to find his dreams in shambles.

"The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood" weaves a heart-rending portrait of lowered expectation: of a man eschewing, and ultimately embracing, mediocrity. Semegran deftly unmasks the divide between adolescent expectations and adult realities, and does so using Burchwood's crass, profanity-laden commentary-though at times readers will crave a little less Simon, and a little more everyone else.

Verdict: An ambitious, enjoyable read with a superb ending that changed my interpretation of the entire text.

Reviewed by Sonia Tsuruoka for The Indie Reader

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 973 KB
  • Print Length: 201 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615753353
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Mutt Press; 1 edition (6 January 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001OC6HF0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,029 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars 21 August 2009
By Lynn McNamee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Plot/Storyline: 4 1/2 Stars

This novel tells the story of a man on a trip to New York to promote his soon to be published first novel. He takes a small detour to visit an old Junior High friend. The entire story is about this trip and the people he meets on the way.

The book is told entirely from Simon's viewpoint. Simon is not a very likeable guy; as a matter of fact, he is a self-centered, pompous jerk. But for some reason, it's pretty fun to be inside his head, mainly because he is an inadvertant, oblivious jerk.

The storyline does go off on tangents now and then, but they are fairly short ones. In these, you will learn Simon's views on smoking, cleanliness and going to the bathroom, just to name a few. There were times that I laughed out loud.

Simon has an opinion of each and every person that he runs across, even tangentially. Even when he kind of likes someone, he finds reasons to dislike them. His opinions are mercurial depending on events in a particular moment.

The ending was not well told. I would have rather had more explanation. Although, you can extropolate what happened, I like my ends tied up a little more neatly. It was almost more like you would end a short story rather than a long novel.

Character Development: 5 Stars

Simon's character was the only well developed personality in the book. That's as it should be as it was told solely from his viewpoint. The author never `cheated' so that Simon or the reader knew more than what Simon should have. The author did a terrific job of painting Simon. He was predictable only in that the reader gets to know him so well.

Writing Style: 4 1/2 Stars

This author has an interesting voice in that you feel like you are listening to Simon's every thought. Even though he's mostly just a regular guy, his thoughts run rampant in all directions, never leaving the reader bored.

There was a particular quirk that was annoying: the repeated usage of "what" surrounded by commas. Sentences like the following were scattered throughout:

I enjoyed this book, what, like you've never enjoyed a book?

I don't know if the issue was the punctuation or just the interjection, but it was distracting.

Editing/Formatting: 4 1/2 Stars

The editing could have been better as there were a few instances of missing punctuation and a missing article, like `the' or `an'. However, they were not so numerous as to spoil the reading experience.

The Kindle formatting also suffered a bit with no line or page breaks between chapters. You might see a number at the end of a sentence, with the next line being the beginning of the next chapter.

Overall: A very good novel that was humorous throughout.

Rating: R for language. This book is filled with bad language. I seriously doubt there are many pages without at least one cuss word.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Humorous Story, But Has A Lot Of Profanity 19 April 2011
By Mandy - Published on Amazon.com
Simon Burchwood is a narcissistic, wannabe writer. He arrogantly flashes his business cards, and tactlessly navigates through life thinking only of his own comfort, and self promotion. Simon meets many interesting characters along his way, and finds himself in various uncomfortable encounters. None of these situations lends to him breaking from his self-centered ways.

The actual story was humorous, and the character of Simon, while not especially likable, drew you like a car accident might. You just could not help but wonder what he would do next. Mr. Semegran treats you to a surreal journey that doesn't quite end up where you might think.

Unfortunately, what seemed to stand out most to me from this book was the excessive use of vulgarities. Not a paragraph seemed to pass that did not contain profanity. I did not find it enjoyable to stumble repeatedly over this language, and it cheapened the entire reading experience for me. I would only recommend this book to those who are not easily offended by profanity.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars IndieReader Review 22 May 2012
By Amy Edelman - Published on Amazon.com
Simon Burchwood is a hard-bitten, wannabe novelist teetering on the brink of literary stardom. Yet a brief sojourn in Montgomery, Alabama challenges his haughty façade-and the "meteoric rise" that has continually eluded him.

Sure, Burchwood is egocentric-despicable, even. Admittedly, his lengthy monologues often irritate more than intrigue, crippling the novel's weightier themes. Yet his ill-fated journey, while occasionally long-winded, is strangely captivating.

Semegran's tragic cast of characters struggle to confront disappointing realities: the impossibly optimistic Jason fights to salvage what's left of his disintegrating marriage, while Patty Green-Burchwood's childhood flame- scrambles to make ends meet as a stripper at "Cinnamon's Big Boobie Bonanza." Even Burchwood himself-trekking from Montgomery, Alabama to New York, New York-ultimately discards his delusions of grandeur to find his dreams in shambles.

"The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood" weaves a heartrending portrait of lowered expectation: of a man eschewing, and ultimately embracing, mediocrity. Semegran deftly unmasks the divide between adolescent expectations and adult realities, and does so using Burchwood's crass, profanity-laden commentary-though at times readers will crave a little less Simon, and a little more everyone else.

Reviewed by Sonia Tsuruoka

**IndieReader gives this book 3.5 stars**
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Road Trip into Simon's Mind 20 August 2011
By Brooke Frederick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This book was recommended to me, and I loved it. Although I was put off at first, because I do not generally like it when writers write stories about writers, I ended up eating up this book in one day.

From the start you are in the head of Simon Burchwood, a very opinionated, neurotic, intelligent and foul-mouthed writer based in Austin. Simon has made it as a writer; now he's off to New York for a grand entrance reading from his own book at the flagship Barnes and Noble store on Fifth Avenue. En route to New York Simon plans a two-day stop in his old hometown of Montgomery, Alabama.

What drew me in to this story quickly was the laser focus of Simon's observant mind, quickly tearing apart all the people he meets, depending on how they treat him: the check-in clerk at the airport gate, whom he persuades to upgrade him to first class; a barfly at the bar who runs away when Simon starts a conversation; the bartender, who drags him into the walk-in cooler to smoke a joint. This is just the start, and Simon goes from one hilarious encounter to the next.

During the two days back in his hometown Simon re-connects with his old best friend, Jason. Jason is in every way the counterpoint to Simon. Jason's marriage is falling apart; his house is a pig-sty; he drinks too much; his career is stuck. Jason has never even been out of Alabama. The bond between them is real, and it's a pleasure watching them get reacquainted, even as you begin to sense there may be something seriously wrong. Other old friends are introduced, and old stories told, and the book took on a depth I hadn't expected it to take on.

For a while I felt as if I was reading Catcher in the Rye again, maybe with Holden Caulfield twenty years down the line. There were moments, too, when I felt the presence of Raymond Carver, because the dialogue is so fine and ascerbic. But Simon Burchwood is ultimately darker and funnier than Salinger's hero, and a total original.

I would strongly recommend this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining picaresque story 30 June 2011
By Libby Cone - Published on Amazon.com
This funny picaresque novel features the insight-challenged Simon Burchwood, off on a quest for fame and fortune as a great writer, making his journey from Texas to a reading of his début novel at the flagship Barnes and Noble store in New York City by way of Montgomery AL, where his boyhood friend Jason signs on as his Sancho Panza. Simon is a fine example of a "you spot it, you got it" personality type, exceedingly critical of everyone he meets, tilting at windmills that have his own name painted on them. Semegran manages a first-person narrative that is simultaneously derogatory, clueless, and energetic. Simon is constantly launching into little asides, some of which make one want to scream "TMI!" His meanderings will remind birders of the song of the house finch, which emits a long trail of descending, insistent-sounding notes, finishing with a querulous, whiny three-note ascending and descending phrase at the end; Simon's songs always end with the assertion "It's true!" He's a stingy tipper to boot; this is tolerated somewhat better in Montgomery than in NYC.

The action picks up substantially during his time in Montgomery, where he runs into old acquaintances and revives his assorted petty grudges against them that had been dormant for years, refreshing his relationships with people as what I think folks nowadays call their "frenemy." He disparages Jason's slovenly lifestyle and makes fun of his old car, calling it a "turd-on-wheels." The reader will tightly grip an imaginary steering wheel while Simon, often half in the bag, rides around the dark Alabama streets in Jason's other car, his father's lovingly restored 1967 Mustang.

As Simon readies for the New York leg of his trip, the cracks in Jason's marriage become visible to him, and, at Simon's insistence, Jason comes along for the ride, even though he has declared to Simon that "Everything was fine until you came into town. That's when everything started to fall apart."

The New York segment is played for slightly more broad comedy, a two-hicks-in-the-big-city farce. The two men arrange with a sleazy bellman to stage a "practice" reading of Simon's book (always referred to in caps: "THE RISE AND FALL OF A TITAN," based on the illegal shenanigans of Simon's detested boss), inviting off-duty hotel employees and sending up a keg. Simon clutches and manages to read the first paragraph only; then the drinking and partying begin. Our hero does manage a few moments of empathy, both in dealing with Jason and with a menacing breakfast chef. Does this suggest that, all other evidence aside, his book may be good? Is he capable of change, or will he remain a legend in his own mind?

The writing is very clever. The only problem I had was with Semegran's usage of "low and behold," instead of "lo and behold," and a few typos. Read this book, and feel yourself clutching the wheel of the Mustang as Simon careens through the streets and reaching for your wallet as he prepares to dole out another miserly tip.