Life Gets Complicated by Monte Dutton is a Novel about Social Issues and Overcoming
Life Gets Complicated by Monte Dutton is a Novel about Social Issues and Overcoming. Pick up your copy today and read this great novel about facing life with your head held high.
Praise for Life Gets Complicated
"I found the second installment to start a little slower than the first. It began with the start of the off-season for professional racers, but the author used that part of the book to flesh out the secondary characters a bit and set up some of the storyline for later. Once the off-season portion of the story ended and the characters got out of their cabin in the woods, the behind-the-scenes activity had the same level of excitement and range of emotions that made the first installment a winner. A slow start can doom a book, but the rest of the story made up for it. Recommended."
A Message from Monte Dutton
Life Gets Complicated is my seventh novel and a sequel to my sixth, Lightning in a Bottle.
I love all my characters. Barrie Jarman is the first I wanted to keep going.
My fiction so far has been all over the place. I've written about a pot-smoking songwriter who inadvertently becomes a hero (The Audacity of Dope), a high school football team in the South of the sixties (The Intangibles), a football coach who finds Jesus after he loses almost everything (Crazy of Natural Causes), a murderous politician and a good cop (Forgive Us Our Trespasses), two Marines home from the Pacific at the end of World War II (Cowboys Come Home), and a brash, unruly stock car racer who is a kid of the present with a link to the past.
They're all populated with flawed heroes and ruthless bad guys. Most succumb to profanity and bad habits.
The first five novels were complicated. The Barrie Jarman adventures are fun.
The first five were written in third person. The Jarman adventures are written through the eyes of Barrie's Uncle Charlie. For some reason, this change made it easier for me to be funny. All seven are amusing. The Jarman adventures are funny.
Barrie's adventures are far from over.
About Life Gets Complicated
At the age of nineteen, Barrie Jarman has grown up in a hurry. He is poised on the edge of stock car racing stardom. He’s making ten times as much money as a year ago. He has a top-flight ride with a top-flight team in the top flight of the sport. He is exactly where he wants to be.
Life Gets Complicated. It’s veteran motorsports writer Monte Dutton’s sequel to Lightning in a Bottle, the acclaimed novel about the kid with the character of his generation but the spirit of stock car racing’s rowdy past.
At the end of Barrie’s frantic first year, he parties with his girlfriend, Angela Hughston; his best friend, her brother Errol; his new pilot, Rafe Trujillo; his teammate, veteran Jay Higbe; his estranged father, Big Jim; and a boozing old relic from the sport’s past. He befriends a pro football player at a Las Vegas awards ceremony. Life is good, and Barrie is often stoned.
Uncle Charlie, his friend, companion, confidante and source of perspective, quietly tries to keep Barrie headed in the right direction.
Barrie confronts the distinct possibility that he is a corruptive influence on those around him. He has little doubt about his own capacity to straighten up. He’s worried about Errol, though, who’s getting more bad influence on the side. Errol doesn’t know that Barrie is in a position to help him. Barrie doesn’t know if Errol is ready for a chance to join the Jerry McCarley Enterprises driver lineup.
When Barrie gets down to business, when he puts on his firesuit and climbs into Number 59, all seems well again. He puts his new Ford Fusion on the front row for the sport’s biggest race.
After his new sponsor throws a party to celebrate, a pair of thugs beat Barrie senseless in a remote parking lot.
Barrie has more riding on the upcoming races than those outside his circle of friends know. He has to race. He can’t call the cops. He can’t let FASCAR, the ruling body, know how badly he’s injured. He drops out of sight. While he receives treatment in a condo on the beach, a fake excuse for his absence is circulated. Other excuses show up in a gossip sheet that has targeted him for some reason.
Obviously, Barrie has enemies.
Pain steels his resolve. Like the icons he grew up idolizing, Barrie does what it takes.
An Interview with Barrie Jarman by Monte Dutton
[Monte] What is your greatest fear?
"Not being famous until I'm already dead."
[Monte] What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
"I'm too damned sure of myself. I got my own ideas of right and wrong, and things would be a lot easier, I reckon, if I'd back off a little every now and then."
[Monte] On what occasion do you lie?
"When I've done something that's against somebody's law, and there ain't no other practical choice."
[Monte] What is the quality you most like in a man?
"It's honesty, and I reckon my model is Uncle Charlie. He listens to me. He answers my questions. He doesn't pass judgment. And he's got a terrific sense of humor."
[Monte] What is the quality you most like in a woman?
"A woman's got to be versatile to get along with me. Angela is smart. She's sexy. She's a good person. She's not perfect. She's mischievous. I don't care that she's black, and she doesn't care that I'm white."
[Monte] Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"Oh, Southern sayings. 'I reckon.' 'A heap of trouble.' 'I'm satisfied he will.' Sometimes folks don't understand what I mean. Sometimes it's a good thing."
[Monte] When and where were you happiest?
"When I was broke, and playing ball, and racing at dirt tracks on Saturday nights. The money's great, but it sure does complicate life."
Who is Barrie Jarman?
Barrie Jarman is the teen-aged protagonist of Lightning in a Bottle and Life Gets Complicated.