Status Quo by Henry Mosquera is an introspective look at the dark side of the creative spark, as well as the consequence of getting what you wished for. It’s a tale as old as time: man wishes for a life that is different from the one he has, man gets wish, man learns the life he thought he wanted wasn’t all it is cracked up to be.
Lemat is a struggling writer. He has written numerous novels and stories, yet faces rejection after rejection. His goal of making a living as an author seems far out of reach from his cubicle in the graphic design firm, where he has been working since he graduated from art school. Then, one day, he writes a new novel — the most offensive novel he can think of — and this is what changes everything.
The fact that Henry Mosquera is not a native speaker of English is not surprising, although it is also not glaringly obvious in his writing. His prose is clean and succinct, with some unique descriptions. The story is being told mostly from Lemat’s perspective, but, at times, Mosquera slips into other characters’ minds momentarily. It’s unclear whether this is purposeful, but it can be distracting for the reader who is left to sort out for themselves whose head they’re in. Mosquera has also, pretty obviously, injected a lot of himself into his character. Like Lemat, he is originally from Venezuela, making a living at graphic design while writing on the side. Also like his character, he has a gift for telling stories. Through Lemta, Mosquera captures that moment of “writerly inspiration” repeatedly throughout the novel.
While Lemta himself is an interesting protagonist, the supporting characters leave something to be desired. There are a pair of brothers who hang out at the bar where Lemat drowns his sorrows after work. Their last name is Coin, so, naturally, their nicknames are “Heads” and “Tails.” There’s a sexy, female tattoo artist living next door to Lemat, who goes by “Ink.”
Overall, Mosquera tells a fairly well-known plot in a new way. The writer/creative in me responded to much of Lemat’s struggle with following your passion versus trying to make a living. I think other writers or creative types will enjoy this his take on “be careful what you wish for.”
|Page Count||390 pages|
|Publisher||Oddity Media, LLC|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|