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Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: Touchback

Most free kindle books are terrible, and I admit that my few reviews of them have reflected that. When I saw that Touchback had been optioned for a movie, however, I decided to leave my prejudices behind and read it.

The book reads a lot like a summer football movie. That's not a bad thing if you like the genre, but I'm afraid it leaves me cold. The idea is that Scott Murphy, a high school football quarterback star, plays his last high school game and wins... but at the cost of getting an injury which throws his future away. He loses his football scholarship, his girlfriend, and twenty years later ends up as a broken man considering suicide as a way out.

He's given one more chance to relive life through an unknown mechanism (not unlike Groundhog Day) and now goes through an agonizing 100 pages figuring out how to change his life.

It's decently written, and one wouldn't be surprised to discover that it was first written as a screen play before the author turned to writing a novel when he couldn't sell it. But the ending is trite, unbelievable, and stupid, which made reading the novel feel like as someone else once said: "Watching Lance Armstrong crash his bike 10 meters from the finish line in Paris after a grueling battle." It didn't help that you could see the ending coming from about 20 miles away.

I can neither recommend the novel nor the movie, assuming it retains the same ending.

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