Company of Fools
J W Nelson
9798677697968 $3.99 Kindle / $10.99 paperback
Company of Fools: Selling for Love & Life, Is a Tricky Business considers the unfulfilled ambitions of Justin Whalley, who dreams of success in love and career, but instead faces a series of disasters.
His upbringing and countenance are unremarkable, his family “close, but in a distant, unspoken way” which he mirrors in an adult life, which is quiet. Despite the fact that Justin has resolved to “not end up like them, content with very little, and had no freedom, no place to call their own,” the fact is that he’s in danger of doing just this, until he stumbles into high drama and death at work and comes to realize that romance and success come with price tags.
As new opportunities in business and love change his trajectory and his relationships, Justin finds himself out of his league in many ways, discovering more conundrums and complexity to living a vivid life than he’d imagined:
“We ventured our separate ways, with my mind flicking back and forth over Tom’s wife and her son. Vicky sat alone in some hotel probably crying or bored shitless. Chelsea at work and her precocious little Robert, who was slowly becoming a thorn in my side. Shaun soon to skulk off back to Dublin. And Errol rolling around with the leggy and the sexual ‘one look and you’re turned on’ Sally. Who said my life wasn’t exciting?”
J W Nelson does a fine job of taking an ordinary, common man with quiet ambitions and turning his life upside down. There’s a cast of characters that surround him in work and romance and affect his course in life; there are situations that leave him swimming against the tide; and too many possibilities leave him both excited and frustrated over his life’s unexpected changes.
Justin’s attempt to stay on course against this onslaught of change and challenge makes for a fun, engrossing romp through life that juxtaposes philosophical considerations with psychological growth:
“These transcendent thoughts are like smoke, here now and disappearing in a flash. Living in the moment, I had to remind myself. Focus on my true inclinations from the start. On my work goals. My life goal, utilising the experience and support from those around me.”
Company of Fools depicts an ‘Everyman’ changing the course laid out by family and his own expectations of what life is. Its tale of irony and opportunity, the mixed bag of success and unexpected obstacles, and the process of overcoming hurt and failure to enter a better life provides a gripping story that is poignant, funny, and thought-provoking all at once. It’s infused with British culture and changing relationships that keep readers both on their toes and delighted by unexpected twists and turns.
For a visual trailer of Company of Fools go here: