Reviewed By Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite
Lunchmeat by Ben D’Alessio is an interesting story with unusual characters. Victor Ferraro lives in the 90’s, but he feels like a “tourist in his own hometown.” The story begins on his seventh birthday in Short Hills in 1997. The reader is introduced to a kid who feels ill at ease in his new vicinity, not just because he is intimidated by the imposing home of George and Karl that sits upon the hill, but more so because he is not of this century. A day-dreamer who, while in class, finds himself imagining battle scenes of another century with a lot of action. While he thinks about an age with orcs and great battles, bully Pierce Stone makes life impossible for him, a boy who has words that can hurt more than a sword. This spellbinding novel follows the life of Victor Ferraro from childhood to his years in high school, exploring his fantasies, and his obsession with Hell. But can he find his place in a world that doesn’t understand him?
The narrative is laced with humor and readers will enjoy the unique point of view of the protagonist. The author creates suspense and fires up the reader’s interest in Victor by injecting the narrative with a strong sense of mystery. The reader constantly wonders who Victor really is and wants to know more about this kid who feels so out of place. Ben D’Alessio keeps you engrossed in the story and he unveils the heart of the protagonist layer by layer, offering surprises that readers will love. The writing is impeccably good and I loved the formatting, the timely paragraph breaks for dramatic effect, the interesting dialogues, and the world building. Lunchmeat is a work of huge entertainment, a story of adventure that also explores the universe of kids in a great style. The prose is atmospheric and gripping.