Graham Hope is a man who finds it difficult to live up to his name – he seems to have little hope. Newly divorced after over 15 years of marriage, he’s 6 months shy of his 43d birthday, and has vowed to get a new life by that time. Graham’s problem, though, is he hasn’t really done much with his old life, making him hardly capable of taking on anything new. He lost custody of his sons, Jack and Sean, had to take the dog, Albus, and has to live with his aged parents.
Six Months to Get a Life by Ben Adams is a set of diary entries written by Graham as he details his quest to ‘get a life.’ This book is truly funny in some parts, and a deep dive into human nature in others, but in a form that, at nearly 300 pages, is a slog to read. Dialogue is scarce – quite effective when it occurs, but it just doesn’t occur often enough. Graham is a character that you find yourself rooting for at times, and at other times, you’re wanting to give him a swift kick in the rear for his total lack of – oh, just about everything, but mostly grit.
The main theme of Six Months seems to be the futility of it all, but I found the ending a bit flat and uninspiring. It sort of fit with the type of character Graham seems to be – someone who quits when things get to hard. The book just stopped, so if that was the author’s way of reinforcing just how much of a loser Graham is, he succeeded. While the book is well formatted and edited, that lackluster ending sort of left me cold. There’s also the issue of missing days in the diary entries with nary a clue as to why. Maybe these were days when nothing of consequence happened. If so, a sentence, or a couple of words would clarify it.
Adams is a competent wordsmith, but, in this case, he could have gotten his point across in about 50 to 75 fewer pages. I give Six Months four stars for the effective prose and a good theme. Had it had a more interesting ending, I could easily give it five stars.