Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (12/18)
In “Mondays with Morty” by Jim Tilberry, the year is 1975 and Walter Dill has just graduated from college with a degree in poetry. Unable to find work with this degree, he becomes a waiter at a Chinese restaurant. When his grandfather approaches him about having an old friend of his mentor him, Walter jumps at the chance. The mentor is eighty-five-year old Morty Goldberg a/k/a, the Professor, who would like to pass on his life lessons before he dies.
They meet every Monday for nineteen weeks. Morty likes to mix up locations, so sometimes they meet in a restaurant or a bar, in a hot tub or a sauna, in strip club or at a police department where Walter bails Morty out. Morty calls his lessons, “Secrets for Success.” Taking off on well-known philosophical books, such as Think and Grow Rich, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and The Secret, Morty dispenses his own version of advice. Considering that he is a gambler who loves women and alcohol, Walter should consider the source of his information. Being naïve he goes along with what is taught and it often backfires which makes this a fun story!
I really enjoyed reading “Mondays with Morty.” I think that the author Jim Tilberry, has a great gift for writing humor. Even though the book clearly states that it is a work of fiction, it would be easy for me to believe that some of the material is based upon truth. Personally, I enjoy listening to old people talk. A few times a week, I like to meet with a bunch of old men, for breakfast at a local restaurant. I like to sit back and listen to them chat. Of course, most of the stories I am hearing are also probably fiction, but it is still fun to listen to them. Reading this book gave me the same kind of feeling of nostalgia. Of course, there is a difference, because unlike the protagonist, I believe very little about what I am hearing! The naivete of the protagonist really helps make this a fun read. The authors vivid descriptions of the characters, especially Morty’s, really bring them to life, until the very end.
Fans of comedic fiction will love “Mondays with Morty” by Jim Tilberry. I highly recommend giving it as a gift to someone from Morty’s generation. Readers groups will also enjoy this one and it should lead to some lively discussions!