By BJ Reyes
"The Idea Man: A Novel of Adventure, Friendship, and the Secret of Life," by Josh Green, ©2013 Lō‘ihi Press, LLC. 177 pages.
Most of us probably grew up with a friend who thought a little bit out of the box, or at least a little differently than pack.
While we worried about Little League, maybe he was wondering about the origins of his middle name. You wondered who your friends were, he observed that your best friend is the person you never mind seeing. Or while you wondered what was out there, he was the one who cautioned about getting too close, because you never know what you might find.
Maybe that friend was elevated in your sphere of friends (although he was probably the butt of more than a few jokes).
But what if that friend had a reason for thinking that way. Maybe there was a “higher” reason for his train of thought.
This is the basic premise behind “The Idea Man, a Novel of Adventure, Friendship, and the Secret of Life,” a new book by state Sen. Josh Green (D, Naalehu-Kailua Kona).
“After years of being an intern, resident and legislator I badly needed to let off some steam and let my creative juices flow,” says Green. “On page 91 of my novel you'll see I expose the system completely for all its flaws and inequities. And wait until you read the last chapter ... BLAM!”
Not really (as you might have guessed) but the book is a fun little romp through childhood and adult life as seen through the eyes of Boy, and his best friend, Larry Plum, the aforementioned friend who thinks out of the box.
They grow up in the tiny little hamlet of Seasoncreek (pop. 3,174) in Anywhere, USA. It never says specifically, but drops hints to being somewhere in the Allegheny Foothills near Pittsburgh, PA (a nod to where Green grew up). The character of Boy even goes on to medical school and opens up a small private practice in Seasoncreek.
Larry is the Idea Man, the guy who looks at life a little differently than most, more critically and with a larger world view than the other kids their age. But he is cursed with not knowing his middle name – he can’t seem to figure out where he left it.
It’s the search that propels them through most of their adventures and serves as a focal point of their friendship through a series of quick little anecdotes that often open and end within a few paragraphs. Some of the stories have a little "Forrest Gump" quality to them in that they place ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, but that's part of the fun.
No spoilers here. All I’ll say is that for quarantine reading, it only took a couple hours or so to finish and it was a surprisingly pleasant distraction.
(Admittedly, this has nothing to do with health and wellness,but I did read it while being quarantined last week, so that sort of counts. Back to the health stuff later this week. =)