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Shriver

A Novel

Shriver by Chris Belden
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In this charming, clever, and darkly satiric novel set at a writers’ conference, one man finds himself caught in a whirlwind of literary pretention, a suspect in a criminal investigation, and hopelessly in love with a woman who thinks he’s someone else.

Mistaken for a famous but reclusive author of the same name, lonely Shriver attends a writers’ conference at a small Midwestern liberal arts college. Completely unfamiliar with the novel he supposedly wrote and utterly unprepared for the magnitude of the reputation that precedes him, Shriver is feted, fawned over, featured at stuffy literary panels, and barely manages to play it cool. Things quickly go awry when one of the other guest authors suddenly disappears and Shriver becomes a prime suspect in the investigation. Amidst eager fans, Shriver must contend with a persistent police detective, a pesky journalist determined to unearth his past, and a mysterious and possibly dangerous stalker who seems to know his secret. But most vexing of all, Shriver’s gone and fallen in love with the conference organizer, who believes he’s someone else.

When the “real” Shriver (or is he?) appears to claim his place among the literati, the conference—and Shriver’s world—threaten to unravel.

Filled with witty dialogue, hilarious antics, and a cast of bizarre and endearing characters, Shriver is at once a touching love story, a surreal examination of identity, and an affectionate tribute to the power of writing.
Touchstone; September 2015
256 pages; ISBN 9781501119408
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: Shriver
Author: Chris Belden
 
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Spinning out spindles - CT News (blog)
Sat, 05 Dec 2015 22:48:44 -0800
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Customer Reviews
Verified Reviewer
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5 Stars & two Thumbs Up for Shriver!!!
Chris Belden's Shriver hits the ground running. It only takes off from there.

I love novels that get right down to it, and this is certainly one of those. I also love novels with a humorous but humble main character who not only falls unwittingly into the premise of the story, but once he realizes it, he digs himself in even deeper. Shriver, whose wife left him for (he doesn't know why) and hasn't left his home in (who knows how long) has all the humility and henpecked qualities of a James Thurber character. Perhaps remaining a shut-in is the best thing for Shriver, after all.

But we’ll never know, because suddenly one day, completely out of the blue, Shriver is drawn out of his peephole prison and into an unfamiliar and frightening world. Just when you think you know where exactly where this story is going, Shriver takes a wild left turn. Where does he wind up? You're not going to believe what happens next.

Shriver ends up at a writer's conference like no other, complete with raucous characters, everything from a graduate student by the name of Edsel Nixon (Get it? Two epochal failures?), to a militant lesbian and the toughest dog-gone victim of love you ever did see. With names like Malarkey-Jones, Blotto, and Zebra Amphetamine, you know you’re in for some madcap mayhem. Belden certainly delivers.

I wish I could tell you all the hilarious stuff that happens in this book, but then that would be giving it away. What I can tell you is that just when you think you've got it all figured out, you don’t. Get ready for one surprise after another, and wild plot twists that make this book more like a roller coaster ride than a train trip.

So, what kind of rating do I give Shriver? Two enthusiastic thumbs up, and that's just because I only have two thumbs. If I was all thumbs (like my wife claims), I'd give it 10. I'd give it 20 if my feet would get in the game. Seriously though, I really loved this book. It gets right down to it and does not get bogged down in needless description and back story. Although the story line is well laid out and kept me guessing the whole time, it’s Chris Belden’s natural writing style and command of characters that I liked best. I look forward to reading more from Belden in the future.
Verified Reviewer
What is a Verified Reviewer
A Verified Reviewer is a shopper who has confirmed an email address, or connected a social network with Yotpo, providing an added level of transparency and trust.
5 Stars & two Thumbs Up for Shriver!!!
Chris Belden's Shriver hits the ground running. It only takes off from there.

I love novels that get right down to it, and this is certainly one of those. I also love novels with a humorous but humble main character who not only falls unwittingly into the premise of the story, but once he realizes it, he digs himself in even deeper. Shriver, whose wife left him for (he doesn't know why) and hasn't left his home in (who knows how long) has all the humility and henpecked qualities of a James Thurber character. Perhaps remaining a shut-in is the best thing for Shriver, after all.

But we’ll never know, because suddenly one day, completely out of the blue, Shriver is drawn out of his peephole prison and into an unfamiliar and frightening world. Just when you think you know where exactly where this story is going, Shriver takes a wild left turn. Where does he wind up? You're not going to believe what happens next.

Shriver ends up at a writer's conference like no other, complete with raucous characters, everything from a graduate student by the name of Edsel Nixon (Get it? Two epochal failures?), to a militant lesbian and the toughest dog-gone victim of love you ever did see. With names like Malarkey-Jones, Blotto, and Zebra Amphetamine, you know you’re in for some madcap mayhem. Belden certainly delivers.

I wish I could tell you all the hilarious stuff that happens in this book, but then that would be giving it away. What I can tell you is that just when you think you've got it all figured out, you don’t. Get ready for one surprise after another, and wild plot twists that make this book more like a roller coaster ride than a train trip.

So, what kind of rating do I give Shriver? Two enthusiastic thumbs up, and that's just because I only have two thumbs. If I was all thumbs (like my wife claims), I'd give it 10. I'd give it 20 if my feet would get in the game. Seriously though, I really loved this book. It gets right down to it and does not get bogged down in needless description and back story. Although the story line is well laid out and kept me guessing the whole time, it’s Chris Belden’s natural writing style and command of characters that I liked best. I look forward to reading more from Belden in the future.
ISBNs
9781501119392
9781501119408

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