Man Alone - Book Review

Man Alone

Author: Jack Remick
Genre: Fiction - Drama
Publisher: Sidekick Press
Date Published: August 15, 2023
ISBN-10: 978-1-958808-15
ISBN-13: 978-1-958808-15-3

GoodReads Rating:

Book Review of :  Man Alone


The Novella, Man Alone by Jack Remick is about a 32-year-old man named Zene who is down and out. He has been an unemployed drunk who was suffering from depression, loneliness, existential crises, and misanthropy but was given a reprieve when he landed a job at Casey's 24/7 convenience store. Zene starts back up the ladder with his new job and shares a bit of camaraderie with Marshawn Casey, the store's owner. He is a man who is not dumb but is cursed with hate, with a burning rage that festers in him, hidden beneath a facade of normalcy.

At 17, he fell in love with a stunning dark-haired girl named Karizma. He mustered the courage to invite her to the Roosevelt High School Senior Prom, but she stood him up, leaving him heartbroken. Years passed, and they never crossed paths again until a serendipitous encounter at Casey's 24/7. It was a simple moment, as she stopped by to buy a pack of Dunhill Lights, but it reignited his infatuation. Despite not knowing anything about her life over the past 15 years, he would lie awake at night, lost in fantasies of her. For years, his own existence had been empty, consisting of nothing more than drowning his sorrows at a bar and drunkenly stumbling home to his tiny room. But now, the flame of hope rekindled.

After years of feeling lost, he finally sees a glimmer of hope. The spark between them is undeniable. Can he reignite the flame that once burned between them? They reconnect, and she opens up about her unhappy marriage to Alfred, a successful dentist considerably older than her. He wonders if he can make her feel like she did 15 years ago.

Alfred and Karizma harbor an intense hatred towards each other, both seeking to eliminate the other. In her desperation, Karizma confides in Zene, sharing her harrowing tale, and he slowly morphs into her very own Travis Bickle type of character.

Zene's life is in shambles, caused by a series of letdowns and personal setbacks resulting from his aggression and excessive drinking. He has always been a loner, but he realizes the destructive path he's on. Zene's worst fear is to become completely isolated and unnoticed, fading away without anyone realizing he's gone. Could Karizma be his salvation if he becomes her salvation?

In Remick's captivating story, we encounter a deeply flawed character whom we can't help but grow fond of and even feel pity for. This character is rescued from a troubled past and thrust into the role of a heroic savior, charged with rescuing a woman trapped in a dangerous situation. With her fiery hatred and sinister intentions, this woman adds even more intensity to the already dark tale. Throughout the gripping narrative, the reader is enveloped in the characters' pain and anger, left questioning whether redemption is possible for them. 

Reviewed by: James B.

About Jack Remick

Jack Remick is a novelist, poet, essayist. His work includes the novels - Blood; Gabriela and The Widow; Citadel; Doubles in a Game of Chance. The poetry - Satori, Poems. The essays - What Do I Know. Gabriela and The Widow was a finalist for the Montaigne Medal. No Century for Apologies received Honorable Mention for the Hoffer Grand Prize--Fiction.

Visit for more information on Jack Remick


By: Geri GaleDate: 11/05/2023 19:10:24
Absolutely read this book. Jack Remick takes the reader into the life of a man alone. An existential must-read.

By: Marcella Van OelDate: 11/02/2023 13:17:43
Sometimes a work of art or literature stays with you  because of all the ways it reminds you of other forms of art you’ve known and loved, and then manages to do them one better--or two. Man Alone is that. It’s the gravel in Janis Joplin’s voice singing Me and Bobby McGee, it’s Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity. The story of two souls trying to salvage each other doesn’t get better than this. 

By: Priscilla LongDate: 10/31/2023 21:56:03
This is an utterly gripping novel, brilliant, fast-moving, harrowing, sexy, tragic, what can I say? I listened to it in one sitting. You must read this novel! (Or, listen to it.)

By: Frank AraujoDate: 10/31/2023 19:47:51
The writing in this story hooks you, leads through the developments until you come to the unexpected conclusion. The principle characters in this book resonate. These are people we've met in our lives, saw them for a moment, then went on without knowing their stories. I defy anyone to put this book down once you read the first page.

By: Eleanor Parker SapiaDate: 10/31/2023 12:47:54
Remick’s Man Alone is a dark soup of recklessness, defeat, and hopelessness with a sliver of hope that threatens to boil over whether you look away or remain close. Impeccable sense of place.

By: Meredith Bricken MillsDate: 10/31/2023 12:21:37
Yes, this is definitely a "gripping narrative", this edgy tale kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end!

By: M. Anne SweetDate: 10/31/2023 11:45:05
An insightful description of Jack Remick's captivating book of characters, flawed and deeply human. It will keep you reading from start to finish. Highly recommend!

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