I had the privilege of being included in ECW’s blog tour for Arjun Basu’s first novel Waiting for the Man! I’m following several other bloggers such as wordsofmystery, Buried in Print, and A New Day in this week long discussion.
So let’s get to it:
30-something Joe works in a successful ad agency. He has a nice apartment. He has a savings account. All in all, Joe leads a pretty comfortable and privileged life in New York City. But Joe’s mid-thirties introduce an insatiable boredom that triggers a strange and persistent vision wherein a Man appears to Joe in dreams. The Man simply tells Joe to wait for him. And that’s exactly what he does. Joe literally stops everything in his life to sit on his front steps and wait for this Man.
So what happens while he waits? People start to notice. It is New York, after all, and a flash-in-the-pan fame follows that does everything to drive Joe’s disillusionment home. The novel splits into two, depicting Joe at the onset of “The Man”, and then some time afterwards where he ends up working a menial job in a kitchen at a vacation ranch. Waiting for the Man is not a novel about action or adventure. At least, not in the way you would imagine. Instead, Joe’s journey is a mental one, where he establishes an acute and cynical awareness about the world we live in, a world that is pockmarked in ruts and rigged like bear traps for the unsuspecting. Joe isn’t extraordinary. He is like every one of us who begins to question what, in this life, is truly important. And though at first, I felt his attitude was peevish and ungrateful, his dissatisfaction makes for a truthful, entertaining, and deeply probing look at what we value in society.