“The American dream turned upside down.”
Synopsis for book:
Rocket Man is a very funny and poignant comment on our times, when an upside down middle class is barely hanging onto the American dream. Taking cues from the calamity of The Great Recession, we meet Dale Hammer, a man who is determined to find meaning in a landscape of suburban homogeneity, looking for the moment he had with his own father when they blasted off a rocket on a wintery evening. He feels his son slipping away as he tries to get around “the silent shame of fathers and sons.” He becomes the Rocket Man for his son’s scout troop and immediately his life implodes. Accused of cutting down the subdivision sign to his neighborhood, he becomes the lone rebel, going down in a flaming arc. When Rocket Day comes, Dale is determined to give his son more than his father gave him.
The Story Behind the Book:
Rocket Man was written after I moved to the suburbs from the city. I looked around and found myself and others unable to keep up with what had become the American Dream…the big car, house, basically the overheated middle class life that had become the American nightmare. When I became the Rocket Man for my son’s scout troop I knew I had a motif to write this novel about a man isolated in a world rapidly spinning out of control. Rocket Man is a story of our time. A man about to lose his home, trying desperately to hang on to what really matters in life. In this way, Rocket Man is really about us.
“Rocket Man is a charming tale of fatherhood, family, and the American Dream.” – Midwest Book Review”Hazelgrove asserts that the real American Dream–that of being self-made and maintaining individuality–is what gets crushed by the empty pursuit of material products we are programmed to desire.” – San Antonio Express
“An exemplary novel dealing with the death of the American Dream.” – Southern Review of Books
“The funniest serious novel since Richard Russo’s Straight Man, rich with the epic levity of John Irving and salted with the perversion of Updike.”
– Chicago Sun Times
“The rollicking story of a writer whose piece of the American Dream falls apart.” – Chicago Tribune
“This critically insightful diatribe against conformity is recommended” – Library Journal