Book Review: Four Guys and Trouble
by Marcus Major
Publication Date: Apr 01, 2001
List Price: $23.95
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
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Book Reviewed by Thumper
I invite you to sip this premise and swish it around your mind for a minute to see how it tastes. Take five young men that meet and pledge to the same fraternity at the beginning of their college years. They form a strong, loving and supportive bond with each other. One dies and leaving behind a younger sister that the four remaining frat brothers, now having formed the true bond of brotherhood through love, have promised to look after her. For the next twelve years, the four-frat brothers spoil, raise and love the kid sister. Then one has the nerves to fall in love with the now grown kid sister. There's about to be some hell raised and Marcus Major has done me the honor of letting me in on it through his second novel, 4 Guys and Trouble. It is safe to say that Major doesn't fall in the dreaded "sophomore slump". I believed he surpassed the promise that he showed with his debut novel, Good Peoples. I had a good time with this novel.
"The novel is tight. The timing, plotting, the overall flow couldn't have been better."
Allow me to drop a couple of details concerning the story on you. Four frat brothers: Ibn, Mike, Dexter, and Colin, all made a promised to their frat brother and friend, Trevor, that they would watch over his 12 year old sister, Erika (a.k.a. Bunches) as he died from cancer. The four friends spoiled Bunches something terrible, providing her with just about any and everything she wanted or needed. When Bunches reaches 24 years old, in her third year of medical school, Bunches feelings for one of the friends turn into real grown up love which threatens not only her relationship with her champions, but the dynamics between the four friends. The four friends definitely have problems of their own without this cherry being put on the cake of their lives. Ibn, the playa of the group, is a womanizer, making excellent money, good looking (and he knows it), can get any woman he wants. Ibn looks good and wants everything in his sphere to reflect that goodness: his cars, his house, his clothes, his image, and his woman Tiffany. Like my grandmother used to say, everything that looks good to you isn't always good for you. But Ibn is hardheaded. And a hard head makes for a soft behind. Mike is the all around good guy that soon finds himself wanting a relationship with an old college friend-girl that he wanted to make a girlfriend. Sharice comes back into his life. Can Mike make a go of it now, even though time has passed and Sharice has now found religion? Dexter, who is Mike's roommate, finds he in a domestic dilemma, a woman that he was just about to dump announces that she's pregnant with his baby. Now Dexter has to face the trials of fatherhood and all that goes with it. Colin, who has been in a long-term relationship with Stacy (a woman that none of his friends can stand), soon find himself going through the proverbial relationship juggernaut with Stacy. Before you toss all of these four lines in the pot and mix them, don't forget to toss Bunches in the pot as well. Love will either hold these people together or tear them apart.
Major does an excellent job pulling these stories together. The novel is tight. The timing, plotting, the overall flow couldn't have been better. The characters are well defined. Major juggled five balls in the air, with Bunches being the touchstone for the other four, all of the characters interesting and entertaining. Major does an excellent job of balancing the five distinct personalities and their storylines. Frankly, I was full and satisfied.
4 Guys and Trouble comes highly recommended. Major wrote a wonderful and entertaining book. 4 Guys and Trouble should cement Major newfound place near the top of our contemporary AA genre. I had to stop myself from writing a glowing review before I finished the book. I barely contained myself, because I just knew that the unread half was as good, if not better than the first half. But then, it would have taken the time away that was needed in order for me to finish the book. I was telling some of my reading circle about the book before I finished it. I can't think of why I did this because I should have known that they would started pestering me about the book; when is it coming out so that they could get their copy, and was I going to loan my copy out (answer: hell no *wicked smile*).
Go ahead and read 4 Guys and Trouble and if you haven't read Major's first novel, Good Peoples, check that one out as well. I don't want to be alone in about six months when I email Major to ask when the next book will be coming out.