You can’t help but think that Tish Cohen is going for Hollywood with her novel Town House. There’s the wacky ensemble cast: Jack Madigan, son of deceased rock legend Baz Madigan; Jack’s son, the eccentric stuck-in-the-70’s teen, Harlan; Jack’s ex-wife, Penelope, and her soon- to- be new husband, Yale; the strangely mature girl-next-door, Lucinda and Dorrie, the real estate agent so inept and adorable you just know she and Jack will end up together. (It will come as no surprise that Town House is, in fact, destined for the big screen.
As for the plot, well, Jack’s agoraphobic; he can’t leave the house without having a meltdown – so he doesn’t leave. He rigs up a ‘groper’ to retrieve the paper and the mail; Harlan looks after the groceries and Jack lives quite happily in the huge (albeit, slightly decrepit) Boston town house his father left for him. The hilarity starts when the money stops and the bank decides that the house must be sold.
Town House isn’t all that funny, though. Sure, it ticks along, but the characters didn’t really interest me. And some of the plot twists just seemed contrived and unrealistic. I absolutely hated the ending. Cue music, already.
Sometimes the plot seems to be pointing in one direction – for example Jack is apparently a master paint mixer. He has discovered (and understands) the perfect white. A subplot involving that goes nowhere. Also, I thought his love-interest was spineless. And, despite his illness, of which, I admit, I know nothing, Jack isn’t all that likable. How is he, after all, able to bust free of his illness when Lucinda needs him, but can’t do the same for his own son?
So – I didn’t love this book. It was moderately entertaining, and might make an amusing film, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.