Robert Steven Williams is an author, singer-songwriter, musician, and former music industry executive. As a writer, Williams won the silver medal for popular fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards for his first novel, My Year as a Clown. He was also a finalist in the 2005 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest. He attended Bread Loaf, Sewanee and the Squaw Valley Writers’ Conferences, and worked closely with the esteemed fiction writer, Barry Hannah. His short fiction has appeared in Carve Magazine, The Orange Coast Review, and the anthology Tall Tales and Short Stories Volume II. Additionally, he was the executive producer of the critically acclaimed BOOM! Studios CBGB Comic series in 2010, nominated for a Harvey Award for Best Anthology. Robert’s work has also appeared in Poets & Writers Magazine, Billboard, USA Today and LetterPress, a newsletter for writers. He is also co-author of the best-selling business book, The World’s Largest Market. As a musician, Williams studied songwriting with Rosanne Cash, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and several other top country writers. In 2005 he released the critically acclaimed CD “I Am Not My Job,” featuring Rachel Z (Peter Gabriel, Wayne Shorter) and Sloan Wainwright. My Year as a Clown (Against the Grain Press), is Roberts's first novel.
My Year as a Clown: A Novelby Robert Steven Williams
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
With My Year as a Clown, Williams introduces us to the Philadelphia Eagles-obsessed Chuck Morgan, reeling after being blindsided by the abrupt collapse of his 20-year marriage. Morgan is a new kind of male hero, imperfect and uncertain, who—like his favorite football team—is fumbling forward into uncertainty. The 2013 Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Initially, Chuck worries he’ll never have a relationship again, that he could stand in the lobby of a brothel with a hundred dollar bill plastered to his forehead and still not get lucky. But as his emotionally raw, 365-day odyssey unfolds, Chuck gradually relearns to live on his own, navigating the minefield of issues faced by the suddenly single—new routines, awkward dates, and even more awkward sex. Clown will attract fans of the new breed of novelists that includes Nick Hornby, Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perrotta. Like others in that distinguished group, Robert Steven Williams delivers a painfully honest glimpses into the modern male psyche while writing about both sexes with equal ease and grace in a way that’s both hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time. "Williams has written a terrific novel. His book pulls back the curtain on male masculinity--showing us what a guy really goes through when dealing with the difficult mess of his beloved spouse's infidelity and the ensuing divorce. Williams' characters give us the real-deal: a gut wrenching and often humorous look, showing us the everyday horrors of what it's like to start all over again as one approaches middle age." - Suzan-Lori Parks, winner Pulitzer Prize for Drama "Robert Steven Williams has written a novel of tremendous honesty, humor, and insight. His story of Chuck Morgan, cast adrift on the rocky shoals of dating when his wife of twenty years suddenly leaves him, does for men what Bridget Jones's Diary did for women." - Joy Johannessen, editor for Alice Sebold, Amy Bloom, Michael Cunningham and My Year as a Clown "When we first meet Chuck Morgan, he's broken, twisted and confused. And that's what makes him so interesting. Like other intriguing literary heroes, he is at his best after life has knocked him to the ground, forcing him to find a new way to be strong again; damaged maybe, but more confident this time, with a kinder, more open heart." - Jimmie Dale Gilmore, The Flatlanders
- Against the Grain Press
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 3 MB
Meet the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
Just made it to 3 stars for me. Did I enjoy this book: This is a tough one. I would say, yes, I did enjoy it to an extent. It had some flaws but it was interesting to read a chick lit-type book from the man’s perspective. You could call My Year As a Clown dude lit. Let’s discuss the good first. It was interesting to read the man’s perspective. Chuck is a man, almost a cliche man. He constantly talks about football, smoking pot, and beating off. He is a die-hard Eagles fan; he believes his actions control the fate of the team. He is also a writer and a music producer. Chuck is a sensitive guy but not that overly-mushy, sensitive guy for the most part. I felt bad for him about his divorce. I thought his wife Claudia was unreasonable and dragging out the proceedings because of greed. I’ve seen this happen. This was real. Chuck’s reactions to the divorce were surprising but raw. His dating life and rediscovery were true. I got it. I understood it. There were funny moments. His brother was a trip. Anyone can picture Jimmy. There were moments that made me shake my head. There were other moments that I was proud of Chuck. And there were moments that ticked me off. Let’s discuss the not so good now. Chuck smoked pot almost every day and he talked about beating off in every chapter. I get it but do we need to hear about it that much? Where does he get the money for all that pot if he is out of a job and going through a divorce? His response to learning that Rachel lost 70 pounds were shallow and I wanted to close the book at this point. I’m sure they were true responses and that a lot of men would think that, but I think a lot of women reading this book would be offended. If I were a guy, I’d probably get it even more. At one point, I changed my mindset for reading this book. I stopped reading this from a woman’s point of view and started reading it from a guy’s point of view. A guy would totally get this book, except for the emails to Pauline. Those were a bit too sentimental and touchy-feely for me. A bit unbelievable. I think most guys would razz Chuck about those emails, and probably the meditation and yoga retreats as well. ;-) One thing that really bugged me was the use of “Xmas” in the book. There’s no reason for that. Spell out “Christmas” like you do at other times in the book, and in the same sentences. Be consistent. All-in-all, an okay read, an interesting read, a read that kept me reading to the end because I wanted to know how everything worked out for Chuck. Would I recommend it: Check out this book if you think you would like dude lit or you think you would like to read the man’s perspective in a divorce. Just to warn, there are some scenes in the bedroom that are kind of explicit. Will I read it again: I will not. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
A fast and fun read! I wasn't expecting a book about a break up to be funny, but Chuck made me laugh. It also made me think about my own break up and realize that it was a second chance for both of us. I would recommend this book for anyone who has experienced a break up.
I thought this book was hilarious! what a great insight into the male mind...Chuck is going through some tough times, and how he handles them is very very interesting. This book is full of great scenes, it's fun, it's heartfelt, it's poignant, and you really do care about the main character. I could not wait to see what happened next.
This book is a very good read, full of a lot of the stuff that most guys really think about (well, most guys I know) but would not necessarily say out loud. A really fun sense of humor, but with great depth of character. I found myself rooting for Chuck, and feeling his angst about his failed marriage, his attempt to get back in the saddle, his work issues...to me that's the sign of a good book, where I really care about the characters, and am anxious to continue reading to see what happens. Some of the dialog could be more realistic, but that's my only criticism. A great first effort by this author, I give it 4 stars.