Legend’s novel entertains, but lacks depth

Legends novel entertains, but lacks depth

Legend’s novel entertains, but lacks depth

T.J. Gerlach

Growing up, I was a complete Nick at Nite fan. My favorite show was always “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” This is where I first encountered the comedic genius of Carl Reiner. Nowadays, you may remember him as Saul Bloom in Ocean’s 11.

Regardless, when I was perusing Border’s at home a few weeks ago, I ran into a new creation by Reiner.

NNNNN is the story of Nat Noland, a successful writer working on his latest novel – his own version of the story of Cain and Abel. As Nat works late into the nights, he begins to have conversations and even arguments with himself. These conversations become louder and louder and Nat has no knowledge of when he is doing this until his wife tells him.

On her suggestion, he seeks out a top psychiatrist.

While waiting for his first appointment, he encounters Dr. Gertrude Trampleasure, an attractive empathologist who swears she knows Nat from the past. Gertrude realizes a prep school boyfriend and Nat are identical.

Since Nat is adopted, he figures this could be a missing identical twin and the reason for his psychosis.

He then sets out to discover his past.

This book may not be laugh-out-loud funny, but it certainly contains plenty of quirks to be expected from a master like Reiner.

The plot is full of many twists and turns as Nat travels the country to discover the truth about his birth and adoption.

The truth Nat uncovers is a grotesque story that could someday be seen on the tabloid covers. However, one plot twist near the end hardly seems plausible, even for a tabloid story.

A quick, light read, NNNNN may leave readers slightly puzzled and a bit disgusted, but it is hardly a head-scratcher.

As the plot develops, so too does Nat’s newest novel. And reading it only leads to make one wonder how Nat views the world he lives in. (Although this view comes out in the dialogues he has with himself in random situations.)

In the end, NNNNN is at least entertaining and worth the read, as long as readers don’t expect too much from it.

Some light comedy and lighter social commentary is the major attraction from this 205-page novel.

In order to make it seem worthwhile, some readers may wish to wait for the paperback to arrive or to just check it out from a library.