UNITED KINGDOM – For the great author-satirist Kurt Vonnegut, both laughter and tears are at turns responses to frustration and exhaustion. Howbeit, satirically speaking, he prefers laughing over crying as there is less cleaning up to do afterwards. In The Optimist, author Dwight Estava recounts an impressively-spun fictional tale that echoes Vonnegut’s take on optimism, and writes with spontaneity and certain forcefulness, one that is akin to Jack Kerouac’s writing style.
Callum Eden is a hotshot financial executive who in time becomes an insatiable womaniser, with a scorn for commitment and happy living life at the top of his game. But, one day, having already woken up in a bad mood, he is greeted by some bad news. His life rapidly falls apart, and he struggles to make sense of it all. He is perplexed as to why he’s experiencing such a dramatic contrast to his life. He had everything going for him, particularly in his career, but he has to learn very quickly that there is no such thing as a perfect life. Callum now faces a torrent of emotions that he struggles to cope with and feelings he is unable to express. The accident, the change to his fortune, and his new allies sets him on a journey of mental and emotional self-discovery.
The reader, having made a brilliant choice in picking up The Optimist, will be further floored in this highly engaging novel as they read the rest of the pages. As the story unfolds, Callum finds comfort in his subconscious reality; a place where he finds some form of sanity until actual reality resumes once again. With a sudden ebbing of tides the opposite direction, Callum discovers that his biggest critic comes from an unusual source, with whom he agrees in time may bring him closure. But, just when he thinks everything is fine, the unexpected occurs. An option arises that could give the impression of remoteness, a distant hope, but will it be to his advantage?
Boldy penned, The Optimist is akin to an intellectual’s black book to life, told via fiction. Estava’s wry wit complemented with his extra keenness to the surreal perfectly elevates the bleakness that often comes with living.