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Sunday Book Review: Town House

Tish Cohen's "Town House" is a quirky book. It's about Jack Madigan, the agoraphobic son of a dead rock legend, whose money has run out and whose house is up for sale.

There are quite a few characters for any book, let alone one that is mainly set within a single home. These include an ex-wife, a strangely attired teenage son, a one eyed cat, an inept real estate agent, a geriatric psychiatrist and so forth. Every character is eccentric. Even the house doesn't fit in to its neighborhood.

Against this backdrop, Jack almost seems normal. His agoraphobia is just another personal quirk. A bit worse than his son's disco ball but not as bad as his real estate agent's hair. The difference is that the world leaves these oddballs in relative peace. It does not extend the same courtesy to Jack. He must deal with and try to overcome his craziness.

"Town House" is a fun read and falls into the wacky family genre. Although Ridley Scott has picked up the film rights to Cohen's novel, it has little in common with that director's work. It reminded me of Wes Anderson. It has the same uncomfortable comedy and its characters are dilapidated pop aristocracy. Fans of "The Royal Tenenbaums" will find some enjoyable summer reading in "Town House".

There is going to be a big launch party at The Drake on Wednesday May 23rd. It runs from seven to nine. Tish Cohen, who was herself an agoraphobe, will be in attendance and will be interviewed by Leah McLaren. As Jack's teenage son might say: "Be there, be square".


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