Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
Quantity:
Subtotal
Taxes
Shipping
Total
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

Moorefield House Publishing

Reviews

Reviews

The Minor Outsider Review

Posted on September 29, 2017 at 11:40 AM

The Minor Outsider by Ted McDermott

Reviewed by Jacob Hammer

Todd McDermott's debut novel, The Minor Outsider, is an engaging downward spiral. He

gives us a narrator who is often aware of his faults and the turn they are making in his life, yet he

makes little effort to change his behavior. Simultaneously, McDermott allows us to find

ourselves blindsided often enough to keep interest. This is by no means a predictable book.

When we are first introduced to our narrator, Ed, he is enjoying the summer after his first

year at a graduate program in Montana. He seems basically aimless, but not self-destructive.

Taylor is a new student that he accidentally meets while wandering the surrounding bike paths.

Almost immediately, he feels the terrible pull of love in him. Taylor has a boyfriend, but Ed still

seeks her out constantly, trying to play it cool. She stays fairly distant, but friendly, until she

breaks up with her boyfriend. The same day they start dating. Things go fairly well between

them for a while until Taylor feels the lump in Ed’s arm that is apparently a tumor. Ed has known

about it for some time, but has not had it checked on or told Taylor about it. She insists that he

should get it tested. Ed resists, but eventually does get it looked at. At first, he is told that he

likely has a less serious condition that produces benign tumors in the body, but that he also could

have a condition that will result in unremovable brain tumors. As if this was not complicated

enough, Taylor becomes pregnant. They remain optimistic though, or at least Taylor does. Ed

begins to retreat into himself and as he does so, he also begins to experience hearing loss. He

tries to ignore it, as it would mean that he has the more serious condition (that could be passed to

his unborn child) and retreats still further into himself. He finally goes to get an MRI so that he

can know for sure. He does not tell Taylor he is going even though she is extremely concerned

about his health. When he finds out that he has tumors in his brain, he drives for hours and ends

up in another small town and sleeps with a girl he meets there. As morning arrives, he is filled

with regret and hurries home.He decides that they should get engaged instead of telling Taylor

what happened. Ed is full to the brim with guilt. He finishes his writing program, but is unable to

find a job in the field. He ends up working as a baker for a cafe in town. Taylor continues to

work away at her writing while Ed’s falters. He hears less and less. At a hockey game, they run

into the girl that Ed slept with the night before he proposed and Taylor learns what happened.

She locks him out of their apartment and he tries to get in. They wrestle on the floor and the

police come when the neighbors call. Ed is arrested and kept in jail over a holiday weekend then

told he is not allowed to contact Taylor for ten days. He returns to obsessing over her. While

working on a freelance journalism piece, he steals a gun from a self-defense class. He thinks

about killing himself for a bit, but the gun is not loaded. Instead he decides to talk to Taylor. She

tells him to leave. He agrees. He goes to his car and writes a check for all the money that he has

to his name and drives away with the empty gun.

Throughout the book, we are constantly aware of the small mistakes that the narrator is

making. From the start, his interest in Taylor is rooted in their difference from each other. He is

brooding and in denial about his tumors. Taylor is optimistic and more perceptive. Ed seems to

hope that she will fix him without any effort on his part. He becomes complacent and Taylor

repeatedly points out how he doesn’t listen to what she wants; he just runs with what he thinks

she wants. This deafness to her needs eventually becomes literal as the tumors blossom in Ed’s

brain and confirm his doom. Ed continually refuses to reach out and admits repeatedly to

becoming stuck in his own head and his own thoughts when he should be reaching out, but he

does nothing. He is motivated by guilt to a fault. His first guilt is over money that he inherited

from his grandmother and then invested well. He never tells anyone about it and Taylor does not

find out about it until he writes that farewell check. Ed performs poverty with his friends in the

program and feigns worry over the costs for testing his tumors all the while letting this financial

guilt grow in him not unlike those same tumors. On to this he adds his guilt for cheating on

Taylor and the desperate attempt to hold things together that is his proposal to her. Again, he

props up his perception of what Taylor would want instead of asking and listening to her. This

deafness results in their final separation and his departure down the unknown road.

Maybe this departure and his final gift to her are the one time his guilt motivates him to

do something good for Taylor and their child. In any case, here we have an intriguing character.

The stripped down descriptions and dialogue move the book along quickly and work to convey

the awkward interactions between uncertain adults as they try to navigate the realities of

adulthood and their performed identities to each other. Definitely worth the read and something I

struggled to put down.

Categories: None

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

13547 Comments

Reply Janehearo
9:55 AM on February 7, 2023 
orlistat buy
Reply Dinyunult
8:29 PM on February 6, 2023 
In the past decade, the range of targeted health benefits explored through nutrition intervention has significantly widened tadalafil cialis
Reply Miahearo
7:29 PM on February 6, 2023 
prednisolone pharmacy
Reply Suehearo
12:35 AM on February 6, 2023 
doxycycline 50 mg price uk
Reply CharlesPycle
3:41 AM on February 4, 2023 
generic finasteride nz
Reply algorse
12:12 PM on February 2, 2023 
online stromectol The FDA has placed a black box warning on Klonopin recommending that opioids be avoided because of the risk for respiratory depression, coma, and death
Reply Grady
11:49 AM on February 2, 2023 
1571
Reply Svetlugw
11:27 AM on February 2, 2023 
Novyny
Reply CharlesPycle
6:56 AM on February 2, 2023 
levitra 20mg best price
Reply Gypsutt
8:00 AM on February 1, 2023 
Patricia LoRusso, DO, Named Chair of AACR s Women in Cancer Research reviews of clomid 7827 CYP450 2C19 inhibitor Non inhibitor 0
Reply Miahearo
12:08 AM on February 1, 2023 
buy ciprofloxacin 500
Reply drofods
12:03 AM on February 1, 2023 
The dwarf warriors losartan 100 mg para que sirve were all covered in blood, and many of does barley water lower blood pressure them tips to reduce high blood pressure could not stand firm, but an aura that looked like death was rising into the sky online cialis
Reply qyhzzoop
4:47 PM on January 31, 2023 
striplife.ru
Reply Robertopica
4:01 PM on January 31, 2023 
generic propecia canada pharmacy
Reply Timothygoove
12:45 PM on January 31, 2023 
cost of bupropion
Reply Edgartak
3:24 PM on January 30, 2023 
propecia without a prescription
Reply Maryhearo
2:00 PM on January 30, 2023 
anafranil 10mg tablets cheap viagra online uk wellbutrin prescription coupon
Reply Starvewet
10:43 AM on January 30, 2023 
In this mountainous area, the interference of magic waves seems how to raise low sweet cherries lower blood pressure over the counter cold meds for high blood pressure blood pressure to be very harmful, My Heavenly Roulette often loses his tracks normal dose of lasix Mechanistically, LPA activated the transcriptional regulators YAP and TAZ through LPA4 LPA6 mediated G?±12 G?±13 Rho ROCK signaling in ECs
Reply Markhearo
11:12 PM on January 29, 2023 
mexican pharmacy what to buy