||Fisher King Press
He's finally met his dream girl, but Kate's father unexpectedly up and dies and off she goes cross-country to join her grieving family and to console her mother, leaving Malcolm to wallow in his loneliness and slip back into his 'old' ways.
Like a lot of people, he'd developed the habit of looking for love in all the wrong places. He really wasn't all that bad of a fellow. Yeah, he was selfish and self-absorbed, but Malcolm Clay had some redeeming qualities, too.
Something had changed, something he couldn't quite put his finger on, and it was driving him, as well as a few others, half nuts. He might have been chasing his tail, he might have been making mistakes, but he was still trying. One thing was certain: Malcolm hadn't given up! He'd just become a little distracted, that was all.
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The Sacrificial Man, a faceless man who has lost an identity, or better yet, all the identities that he once believed defined his masculine nature and his very existence. His entire life, up to this point, has been spent searching outside of himself in the ephemeral world, all vain attempts at an inner reconciliation. Like Demeter, this man’s inner consort, his soul, in raging grief, digs Her heels in and says: “No more! You give me back what is dearest to my heart, you give me back the raped and ravished feminine, and only then will I put an end to the scorching of this dry bar-ren wasteland.”
Menopause Man is about the transformation of a primitive man, concerned only with himself, his insatiable desires. This is a story about the rebirth of a man’s inner reality, but not without his ego clutching, clinging to those old dead idols whom he once served and who once served him.
This story is about learning to see with the heart, learning that all that has been searched for over the years can only be found by seeing with the heart, not by falling prey to a various sundry of conventional dogmas that time and time again have failed him and left him lost, wandering about in those old barren deserts of dashed dreams.
Menopause Man is a story about the subordination of a primitive man’s ego and all the futile battles that are waged in an attempt to sustain his illusion of domination, as he slowly acquiesces to the feminine, as he reluctantly learns to bow to the Goddess, to the essence of his soul that is embedded at the very core of his being.
In LeRoi, Malcolm Clay lives a charmed fairytale. In Menopause Man, he is struck by reality. Both of these fine novels are worthy of any reader’s attention. Although, I have a hunch that we are just scratching the surface of the future works of an already most successful up and coming author. Enjoy what Mel Mathews has to offer now, and plan on a whole lot more!
“Through the 21st Century Looking Glass” - USA Today, by Grady Harp
"Mel Mathews is a sensitive observer of the human condition, with an emphasis on the Male Human Condition of our time. He has created a character in Malcolm Clay that is a baby boomer Holden Caulfield, a variation on John Updike's Rabbit Angstrom, and he manages to take us by the hand and lead us through the bumpy terrain of current interpersonal relationships as well as anyone writing today.
"We first met Malcolm Clay in Mathew's first novel 'LeRoi' as a middle aged man trapped in a successful but boring occupation who becomes stranded in a dusty little truck stop where he is forced to slow his pace to adjust to the fertile characters he created there. Well, now Malcolm is living in Carmel, California, having been divorced, forgoing his childhood entrapping religious heritage, traipsing through many brief and physically oriented affairs while deciding to change his life as an alcoholic tractor salesman to that of a reformed AA writer ('..he didn't think anyone should be called an addict, alcoholic, codependent, or any other of the pathologized clinical diagnosis that propelled a person into another lie'). His existence is populated in this gorgeous coastline area of California by all manner of women and men whose connection to life is through tenuous strings tied to fairly shallow buoys. Most of the novel is conversational, with Malcolm discovering the intrinsic personality defects of characters ranging from his landlady Mrs. Shams to men on the make to physical therapist Jenny who manages to keep a physical distance between the lusty but controlled Malcolm and her fragile, purging diet, Zen-like self.
"What Malcolm discovers in this 'quasi- rake's progress' is his inner feminine 'who has been waiting for me to come for her so that she can breathe new life into me, animate me, and give me a new meaning.' Women 'never lied because of the devastating moral injustices it caused. Instead of lying, they just accidentally forgot to tell the important stuff'. All this is a journey so well written that the novel calls for pause to enjoy the sheer ebullience of the verbiage. Mel Mathews is a fine writer, finding his way through life in these times. He is a reliable companion on the trek we all are taking. And now on to the next volume in the series, 'SamSara', addictively!"
In addition to the USA Today, WNBC.com and BloggingAuthors.com, Grady Harp's reviews appear on Barnes & Noble, Soapadoo, Powells Books, and he is an Amazon.com Top Ten reviewer!!
To learn more about the Malcolm Clay series, visit www.melmathews.com. Menopause Man and the Malcolm Clay Trilogy are available from your local bookstore or from a host of on-line booksellers, and directly from Fisher King Press
LeRoi —ISBN 0-9776076-0-7
Menopause Man —ISBN 0-9776076-1-5
SamSara —ISBN 0-9776076-2-3
Don't Judge this book by its Cover, or Title!
In spite of the title and serious cover and back cover copy, this novel, insightful and penetrating as it may be, is filled with humor. In other words, don't judge Menopause Man by its cover!
His writing style may seem a bit raw at times, but Mel Mathews, in his unique and uncanny way, takes his readers inside, deep into the soul of a man as he struggles to become free of the patriarchal values that continue to haunt humanity to this very day. Menopause Man brings us closer to the reality that men have equally suffered from what the Women's Movement began to defy decades ago.
A theme seems to run through Mel's first few novels, suggesting that the so-called problems between the sexes is not so much about man and woman being at odds with one another, but instead, people being at odds within themselves, being at odds with not only the masculine and feminine aspect that are part of every human being, but of an entire host of other images that comprise our very souls.
In other words, the battle isn't out there: Us against Them or Them against Us. The controversies are not so much about issues between the opposite sexes, different religions, or with unfamiliar cultures and customs, but instead have their roots within our very own beings.
My only criticism, or better yet, concern, for this series of novels is that perhaps they are a bit ahead of their time. I hope I'm wrong, but can't help wondering if the society of this day and age is prepared to accept the challenges and responsibilities that this author puts forth? J.G. Moos - Zürich, Switzerland
The plight of Modern Man
“In Menopause Man, Mel Mathews' follow-up to Leroi, we get to see the beginnings of the transition from a man who relies on the exterior trappings and traps of a modern male to one who is more balanced, embracing his feminine soul in order to strength and free his male one. The book is filled with Jungian explorations of dreams and the archetypes that rule us all, and uses the transient personalities and settings of the California coast to bring the abstract into the concrete. We meet lots of characters coming and going from rented cabins and studio apartments and restaurants and cafes, all of which serve as different aspects of the (anti) hero, Malcolm Clay's, own struggles and levels of development. The characters are driven toward the essentials--food, shelter, income, and sex, and are trying to find where love fits in among them. Malcolm is the quintessential searcher--he has transitioned from a life as a successful tractor salesman to the life of a writer and he is trying to transition his take on and interactions with women as well. He reads Henry Miller and Stephen Hawking and writes his own heart out whenever he can. There are no easy solutions to the questions posed in the book and the transformation Malcolm is undergoing is slow and painful. He is so human, so rough and opinionated and at times shallow that he is often hard to like, but in the end there was enough of a glimmer of self-realization that I look forward to seeing where Mathews takes him in the books that will follow.”
by Joseph Madia Jr.,playwright, New Mystics Theatre Company
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