Synopsis as written on the back of the book:
This hilarious and painful novel of redemption follows the journey of Ira Overman, veteran of multiple botched careers and a singularly botched marriage, as he makes one last attempt to rise above the guilt, weakness, and self-hatred that have been hard-wired into his soul since birth. Through an unlikely side effect from an otherwise routine surgery, Overman finds himself revisiting and confronting the uniformly poor choices of his past, and making sense of a world he has never known how to negotiate. The ex-New Yorker and transplanted Angeleno decides to bestow his newfound gifts from coast to coast, earning unprecedented respect from his son and daughter, and the ferocious envy of his best friend. Ultimately, Elevating Overman speaks to us about righting some of our wrongs, letting others go, and most importantly, gaining a small yet significant insight into a life that matters.
Review as written by Aspen
Thanks to the unexpected effects from an ordinary surgery, Ira Overman gets a second chance at life, discovering “powers” within himself that he never knew he had. It has a well executed plot, is well written, and personally, I found the novel to be pretty funny, although some scenes were more crude than what I am used to. If you enjoy a more dry, sarcastic sense of humor, then this is a book for you to read. The language is direct and to the point, simple and easy to read, which allows the novel to progress at a nice pace, though I think the writing is marketed toward an audience with a specific type of sense of humor.
I was initially wary there was a chance that the premise of getting a second chance at life and revisiting the past would be written in an obvious way–that Ira Overman would literally receive a second chance at life, or that it would be like the Christmas Carol where a scrooge-esque character shows Overman what life could be like. As it turns out this book is not like that at all. In short, I had no idea what to expect and found myself pleasantly surprised and constantly amused. All of it is very subtle: the new life, the new attitude, the encountering and correction of past mistakes, such that I did not recognize his newfound powers and his path of redemption as such right away. It is well disguised in a manner that makes sense. There are references and terminology from the Jewish culture, however, that I am not familiar with, which impeded the flow of the writing at certain times. But overall, it was not a problem and it didn’t take away from the story.
The main character is not your typical fifty-five year old stuck in a mid-life crisis. Instead of feeling like he has lost everything in his middle age, he is faced with the opportunity to gain everything. The best way to describe Ira Overman is that he is the middle-aged, ordinary superhero. As it turns out, the comparisons that the novel makes between Ira Overman and the comic book greats are not that far-fetched and the characters in the novel justify it in a way in which the reader can accept Overman as a superhero character. He doesn’t necessarily acquire supernatural powers, though in one scene, he describes being able to split Los Angeles traffic, which is basically a superpower. But the overarching superhero theme is an interesting spin to the “elevated Overman” and it holds its relevance throughout the course of the novel. I found him to be a very likable character. Even though he is a fifty-five year old Jewish man, some of the things he experiences are relateable to many people at any stage in life, and that is a characteristic that author Bruce Ferber was able to implement well. As for the other characters, each had a very distinct personality and were full of life. The best friend from childhood, the ex-wife, the crazy boss, and the friends/classmates from the past, and more all make an appearance in this novel. It’s fun, it’s believable, and the entire novel plays with a very interesting question:
What would you do if you had a second chance at life?
is a warming story about self-reflection and getting the chance to start with a clean slate. Funnily written, and light hearted, I would recommend this book, particularly if sarcasm fits within the realm of your sense of humor. Ultimately, it is a story that tells us that we have the power within ourselves to get what we want out of our lives and make the best of it.
Coming Soon to Inner Aspen: Interview with author Bruce Ferber.
Bruce Ferber is an Emmy nominated comedy writer and producer whose credits include Home Improvement and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Elevating Overman is his first novel. His book is available for sale on Amazon. I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.