Publication Date: October 16, 2012
In Gabe’s Plan by Andrew Stock, Gabe Mapel is a small town D.A. when hometown boy and big shot movie star, Chad Tibbs, rolls back into Pine Springs, Colorado. Chad is attracted to Kalia, the local barista, but she has eyes for Gabe. Out of jealousy, Chad bullies Gabe little knowing that he’s picking on the wrong man. Gabe and Kalia develop a plan to make Chad pay though Kalia doesn’t know about their third co-conspirator — the sixteenth President of the United States. A figment of Gabe’s troubled imagination, he is very convincing when it comes to making Gabe do those little things he may not have done before. Will Gabe change his mind before it’s too late? Will they get away with their plan to ruin Chad’s life? The world will be watching.
The author, Andrew Stock, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for a review.
Gabe’s Plan is a freaking fabulous read. Looking at the Amazon description, I expected the novel to be romance. In actual fact, it was more in line with the wackadoo style that was Mark Childress’s Crazy in Alabama. Don’t get me wrong, the subject matter couldn’t be more different from the 1993 novel, but there’s a feeling of sameness that I loved. These novels that go where others won’t are so rare and do the impossible — they make you cheer for characters in a scenario where there’s not a single truly good person. They are all damaged folks doing a lot of the wrong things, but so entertaining as they do them.
I was not surprised, reading Stock’s bio, that he’s a screenwriter.Gabe’s Plan has a feeling of being written for the screen and is a movie I’d personally love to see. Set in the wake of 2004 election, Gabe lost his leg in the war and sees George Bush as the direct reason. He was a victim of a suicide bomber with whom halfway through the novel, he imagines a romantic relationship. Her green eyes called to him, but she was so young, and he posits that he would have to enroll her in the local high school which he’s sure doesn’t have an ESL program. The absurdity of the moment is perfectly written and characteristic (though not key) of the character, this is Gabe throughout the novel and what makes him so entertaining to read.
All of the characters are self-absorbed that would lead a reader to believe they’d all be the same. Not so. Narcissism comes in many forms and Stock leaves no character stone unturned. Chad is a douchebag, but he’s a fully developed douchebag. Fred is slow-witted and fully committed to his lack of insight. Kalia is a stoner with a Hamlet Syndrome (self-sabotage to keep from succeeding); loving Gabe and coming back to her hometown after college is easier than making a life of her own. All are so much fun to read.
Gabe imagines Abe Lincoln as his advisor in that he’s as real as someone standing across from you in a room. “Harvey” but a former President instead of a six-foot-tall rabbit and done just as well. Readers may scoff at the idea of such a character as believable, but Stock pulls it off in a sometimes cringe-worthy way.
The storyline in Gabe’s Plan was fabulously entertaining and extremely well plotted. Beginning to end what befell Chad was credibly written. Once again, the moral of this story is to be careful who you anger. You never know how crazy they are.
There are moments that might bother more sensitive readers. The main characters are setting other characters up. There’s sexual content that might be a little disturbing. Do not let those small moments keep you from reading this entertaining novel.
You can read an excerpt and buy Gabe’s Plan by Andrew Stock on