Fresh from his dreaded thirty-fifth birthday (duly celebrated with Hostess cupcake and deli takeout), Tom Henderson is lamenting his latest feeble attempt to turn his life around when he notices a major change: a snarky voice in his head claiming to be a character from a favorite Beatles song. The Nowhere Man.
Henderson needs a good shaking up. From his dead-end job in a Baltimore mail room, he's watched the clock run out on his ejection from pop culture's prime demographic. His girlfriend breaks up with him before he can scrape up the initiative first. And now the Nowhere Man has Henderson so obsessed with his bullying ex-boss, the ursine, foul-mouthed Sal Stern--the man who put him in the mail room--that he's fantasizing about murder.
As Henderson's self-esteem deficit metastasizes toward full-blown psychosis, his easygoing best friend Dave and clowning co-worker Charlie can't snap him out of it. The Nowhere Man spoils both a pilgrimage to Henderson's idyllic college campus and a Thanksgiving trip home, turning them strange and unsettling. All the while, Henderson's hatred of Stern grows ever more intense and toxic, and when Stern's wife lands in the intensive care unit, Henderson wonders if he's entered the Twilight Zone. After a dark night of the soul that involves
"Harold and Maude," $600 in parking tickets and way too much Molson ale, Henderson confronts his demons, both internal (The Nowhere Man) and external (Stern).
He has voices in his head?
Voices that are actual characters in the book?
well, ok I guess.
Now let's figure out the antagonist, and the conflict and the stakes.
You never ever want to use "dark night of the soul" to describe the climax of a novel. It's beyond trite.