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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Natow

Review of "Mallory Goes to Therapy"

Mallory missed his calling. Instead of impersonating a lawyer, he should have become one. I attended law school with guys like Mallory, and now they’re wealthy and successful. But Kevin Mallory – the protagonist of this satirical novel – is a just-scraping-by customer service staffer and self-appointed employee representative at Unicast Cable Company. The novel chronicles his misadventures through work and play – the latter of which land him in therapy when he tries (unsuccessfully) to seduce his coworker’s sister.

Lately I’ve been reading books whose main characters are deeply flawed and often unsympathetic, and Mallory is no exception. But he bears authenticity and a desire for a deeper understanding of the world that I can respect. While I can’t say I found myself ever rooting for Mallory – to the contrary, I hoped that every female character he got near would run far away – I grew to appreciate him as a character.

The novel does not have much in terms of a plot other than following Mallory and his acquaintance Lilly – the aforementioned sister of Mallory’s coworker – through their unremarkable daily lives. Mallory is a well-developed character and the satire surrounding him works. But some of the other characters are not as well developed. Still, I found this novel entertaining. I did not realize until after I’d started the novel that it is a sequel. It would probably benefit readers to read the books in order, as it seems the first book would provide some useful background on the characters.

I should note that I listened to the audiobook version of the novel. The narrator provided an effective deadpan reading, which worked well with the novel’s satirical humor. However, the dialogue at times did not clearly indicate who was speaking, and because there was no differentiation of voices, it was sometimes hard to keep track of which character said what.

Overall, an entertaining novel, though lacking in significant plot development.

This review also appears on NetGalley and Goodreads.

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