Do you ever want to chuck it all, pack nothing, and disappear? Start a new life where no one knows you? If you did, could you leave your old ways behind? Or would those tired old thoughts and feelings come with you?
That's what Chester is trying to do. He's come all the way from America to Ireland, and he's sworn to stop being normal before his 50th birthday - the week's end. And in the rough town of Cork, he's not the only one setting out on a new path.
Tommy's the big man who wants to be a singer but is unable to open his mouth. Sondra has the sexy flair of a rebel, but her only companions are the dogs in the animal shelter. Rob could be something; he'll figure out what after the next pint. Mary, Declan, and the little lone dog, skittering across a bridge, long for something different.
Nothing Normal in Cork is a lyrical novel weaving the lives of several loners and misfits. Navigating shuttered bedrooms, wet alleyways, and dark pubs - broken souls bump and stumble and fumble their way through a week; breaking habits, finding courage, but can they really change?
"Chris Coulson's words make you angry and sad, laugh out loud happy, and mostly stare at the page in astonishment telling yourself the world he describes, so tantalizingly familiar, simply can't be."
- Peter Schuyler, writer and filmmaker
"In The Midwest Hotel, poet Chris Coulson has created a variety of personae that teach and delight a reader. From a woman wanting her husband to join her in a dance to a recovered alcoholic, who describes "those years were like living in a cave," he carves characters with wit and powers of observation akin to Mark Twain's. This work will catch your emotions. Be prepared to chuckle, laugh outloud, or shed a tear."
- Lindsey Martin-Bowen, author of Inside Virgil's Garage and Standing on the Edge of the World