These are the stories of three boys living in Texas: one growing up, one dreaming, and one fighting to stay alive in the face of destitution and adversity. There's second-grader William, a shy yet imaginative boy who schemes about how to get back at his school-yard bully, Randy. Then there's Sam, a 15-year-old boy who dreams of getting a 1980 Mazda RX-7 for his sixteenth birthday but has to work at a Greek restaurant to fund his dream. Finally, there's Seff, a 21-year-old on the brink of manhood, trying to survive along with his roommate, working as waiters and barely making ends meet. These three stories are told with heart, humor, and an uncompromising look at what it meant to grow up in Texas during the 1980s and 1990s.
Reviews for Boys:
On his way to New York to celebrate his impending literary success, Simon Burchwood is the prototypical American careerist: arrogant, egotistical, narcissistic. But a quick detour to Montgomery, Alabama to visit a childhood friend sends Simon on a bizarre journey, challenging his hopes and dreams of becoming a famous writer. The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood is a character study that delves into the psyche of a man who desperately tries to redefine himself. Is Simon pompous? Yes. A jerk? Yes. Will you like him? Absolutely!
"The book is told entirely from Simon's viewpoint. Simon is not a very likable guy; as a matter of fact, he is a self-centered, pompous jerk. But for some reason, it's pretty fun to be inside his head, mainly because he is an inadvertent, oblivious jerk... you will learn Simon's views on smoking, cleanliness and going to the bathroom, just to name a few. There were times that I laughed out loud... A very good novel that was humorous throughout." 4 1/2 Stars - Red Adept Reviews.
The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood was selected as one of the "5 Best Summer Indie Beach Reads" by the editors of The Indie Reader. Their verdict: "An ambitious, enjoyable read with a superb ending that changed my interpretation of the entire text."
Here's their review:
Simon Burchwood is a hard-bitten, wannabe novelist teetering on the brink of literary stardom. Yet a brief sojourn in Montgomery, Alabama challenges his haughty façade-and the "meteoric rise" that has continually eluded him.
Sure, Burchwood is egocentric-despicable, even. Admittedly, his lengthy monologues often irritate more than intrigue, crippling the novel's weightier themes. Yet his ill-fated journey, while occasionally long-winded, is strangely captivating.
Semegran's tragic cast of characters struggle to confront disappointing realities: the impossibly optimistic Jason fights to salvage what's left of his disintegrating marriage, while Patty Green--Burchwood's childhood flame--scrambles to make ends meet as a stripper at "Cinnamon's Big Boobie Bonanza." Even Burchwood himself--trekking from Montgomery, Alabama to New York, New York--ultimately discards his delusions of grandeur to find his dreams in shambles.
"The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood" weaves a heart-rending portrait of lowered expectation: of a man eschewing, and ultimately embracing, mediocrity. Semegran deftly unmasks the divide between adolescent expectations and adult realities, and does so using Burchwood's crass, profanity-laden commentary-though at times readers will crave a little less Simon, and a little more everyone else.
Verdict: An ambitious, enjoyable read with a superb ending that changed my interpretation of the entire text.
Reviewed by Sonia Tsuruoka for The Indie Reader
Reviews for The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood:
Accolades for The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood:
Recently divorced and his writing career in shambles, Simon Burchwood's life is a complete disaster. He reluctantly finds work as a computer support technician and resigns that his career as the next great American novelist will never come to fruition. When he learns that his ex-wife abruptly moves to Dallas with his children, he embarks on a crazy road trip with a nerdy coworker and a hitchhiking punk rock girl and discovers the inspiration he desperately needs for his new literary masterpiece. Take another trip with the one and only Simon Burchwood.
Reviews for The Spectacular Simon Burchwood:
Mr. Grieves started as a poke at human nature through the use of talking, narcissistic animals. It has evolved into a full-on assault to your funny bone. Where else will you find rats fighting over cubicles, camels worrying about aging, a parrot talking to aliens, and a lonely water snail longing for a friend? Welcome to the world of Mr. Grieves!
Mr. Grieves and other comic strips by Scott Semegran appeared in the following newspapers:
Reviews for Mr. Grieves:
This collection of short stories, musings, and cartoons by writer / cartoonist Scott Semegran explores such themes as suicide, parenting, religion, masculinity, the apocalypse, and, most importantly, erections. It’s guaranteed to make you laugh, cry, and pee your pants (hopefully, not at the same time).
"Funny, sweet, dark, and sad, Scott Semegran's comics and short stories create a wholly convincing world of love, loss, and fear. His light touch with heavy subjects is a gift, and his forays into silliness are a delight. I can't tell if his kids should read it as soon as possible, or never." - Emily Flake, cartoonist and author of LuLu Eightball
"Hilarious, poignant, twisted... and those are just the stories. Scott Semegran's cartoons bring an added one-two visceral punch to a powerful collection of work." - Davy Rothbart, author of The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas and publisher of FOUND Magazine
Reviews for Modicum:
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