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Book Nook: Who Is Rich? by Matthew Klam

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We are living in the age of the "selfie." Some of us are self-absorbed. President Trump epitomizes the "selfie" lifestyle. It's really all about him. This is the perfect moment for a humorous novel featuring a protagonist who is dealing with all the stress and pressure of modern life and not handling it too well.

"Who is Rich" by Matthew Klam is set during the summer of 2012. That seems like a zillion years ago. Barack Obama was running for re-election and his opponent was Mitt Romney. In retrospect those seem like innocent times.

Rich, Klam's protagonist, a fellow in his early 40's, has just escaped from his family to spend a week teaching cartooning at an annual conference. There's a seaside setting and an opportunity for Rich to reconnect with a woman who is unhappily married to a hedge fund billionaire. Rich has been suffering from sleep deprivation, low self esteem, financial worries, and the many tensions of existence in our modern world.

Matthew Klam's sense of humor carries this story forward. Every few pages I found myself re-reading a section because it was so spot on and frequently hilarious. He brings humor to some rather dark subjects.

In this interview the author explains the rather tortured birth of this novel. It took a long time to happen. Klam's mirth is delivered with deft punctures.  As our protagonist experiences the deflation of his delusions you will laugh. I sure did.

The Book Nook on WYSO is made possible by five local library systems in southwest Ohio:  the Greene County Public Library,  Washington-Centerville Public Library,  Clark County Public LibraryDayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

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Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.