Lucas James is not a nice man but somehow and for some reason, everyone likes him. Everyone wants to be his friend and woman adore him. This has been his life since he was a child so why change things now that he’s in his 30’s? Might as well keep on going on.
His dream is to become a “Rock Star.” He dreams of playing his guitar and singing his very own songs to his adoring fans, getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, having the masses bow down to him, not mention the money. Not too shabby a dream except for the fact that Lucas James hasn’t gotten too far in his rock and roll career.
He and his band have better things to do like having their Friday night parties that go on all weekend non stop. It’s hard to be a rock singer when you’re busy drinking and taking drugs during the time you should be playing gigs at bars and getting your fan base going.
Things are a little iffy for Lucas James right now. His fiancee, Jackie, has left him, giving him back his ring and leaving him their apartment and its rent. Small problem – Lucas James does not have a job. Jackie, was supporting him for years waiting for him to make it big as a rock and roll legend which of course never happened.
Now all he has to do is find a job. Because everything usually goes his way he eventually does find one as a stock clerk in a store. He basically abandons his apartment and finds one he could afford just by sweet talking a couple of older, well, let’s just say, old women. Both of whom could be described as odd.
So now Lucas James is working at “That Store”, stealing items from it every single day, disliking his manager, “Victor the Dictator,” and trying to stay away from fellow stockroom worker, Ralph, who seems to have some kind of crush on him. So what if Lucas James takes advantage of people like when he borrows money from Ralph so he can throw his grandmother’s ashes into sea. The thing is Lucas James’ grandmother didn’t die, he just needed the money for the rent on his new place.
Lucas James is still living his life the way he did when he was a child taking advantage of everyone he meets but one day he’s going to have grow up and move into his adult life, become responsible, and figure out just why he acts the way he does. Not something he ordinarily likes to think about.
“Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated” by Tom Starita is really a pretty terrific novel. I wasn’t expecting that. The first page drew me in quickly with Mr. Starita’s casual, conversational writing style. The sign of a good storyteller to me and I always like a good story.
Lucas James is not an easy character to admire, at least I feel that way. He’s conceited, uses people then throws them away when he gets what he wants from them. That is one of the reasons why I enjoyed this story. I actually got angry at a fictional character. The author made me care about how Lucas James treated his acquaintances especially Ralph. But the good thing is that the characters who Lucas James abuses are not as dumb as he or the readers first believe them to be.
Author Tom Starita originally hails from Staten Island, New York. Staten Island is a kissing cousin to my Brooklyn roots and his writing is pure New York. Crisp, a tad sarcastic, pretty funny, and a little tough. I’ll forgive the author for moving to Stratford, Connecticut. Connecticut? For real Tom? Oh well.
“Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated” is a fast read, easy to get into, and very enjoyable.
I plan to live by Lucas James’ words, “Put the fire out when the cheese is on the table.” Read the book, it’ll make sense.