On Top of The World: Until The Bell Chimes
by David Lamb
Date of Publication: October 20th 2016
Publisher: Woolly Mammoth Books
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance, African-American Romance, Humor and Satire, Re-tellings
From The Book Junkie Reads . . . On Top of the World: Until the Bell Chimes . . .
Looking for something a little different. A little out there. A little combination. Pick up On Top of The World: Until the Bell Chimes.
HILARIOUSly, fun take on the classic Scrooge. There are a few twist/turns that start right off from the beginning. This was none stop fun and there was something that you could relate to at every turn. This Scrooge love more than just money. He has grown accustom the lavish lifestyle of the money. He feels no need to pay homage to anyone but the money and what it brings.
Scrooʝe was a douche on an epic level. He was greedy, rude, disrespectful, egotistical, and very self-absorbed. He went from nothing to something all due to one woman that believed in him from the very beginning. Instead of paying her respect and gratitude, he disrespected her, grow an oversized ego, became overly greedy and used anyone that he so fit do to so. I was not a fan of this man. I felt sympathy for Belle.
Marley was a cool dude. I enjoyed him both versions of him. Belle was a sweet, rounded character from the beginning. She had a lot of things going on with her and the choice she made.
David Lamb hit a home run her for me. I am not one to spend much time in satire, to read or view, but this one was super fun. The written enjoyable. The pacing fantastic. The mixing of a classic with modern day palpable. His various reference to history and current events draws you in further. I love it all, except Scrooʝe. I still could not like him in the end.
**This ARC was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Scrooge, or rather Scrooje, is music's biggest superstar, with one hundred million albums sold and twenty-five million Twitter followers. Belle is a take no prisoners legal shark whose beauty causes traffic accidents as she stylishly zips through the sidewalks of Manhattan. They never imagined being music's most powerful couple, but that's what happened when Belle fell head over heels and gave the Coke-bottle glasses wearing, biggest nerd on campus the ultimate makeover, turning him into a fashion impresario whose style sets trends from Milan to NY Fashion Week.
Then it happens. Belle realizes too late she's created a chart-topping monster as Scrooje's ego explodes. Now, it's been three years since they’ve spoken. But tonight at Hollywood s biggest red carpet event they'll be given a second chance.
With twenty-five million viewers tuned in will Scrooje finally jeopardize his image and declare his love for Belle? Will Belle even give him a chance?
The Romantic Times says On Top of the World is "hilarious, highly entertaining, incredibly fun," and Foreword raves that it’s a "Fast and Fun read that shows love and friendship have the power to heal." While music star Talib Kweli says that it’s a “Dynamic novel about the price of fame packed with so many laughs and so much heart I couldn't put it down."
MY INTERVIEW WITH DAVID LAMB
How would you describe you style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
Laura Weisberger meets Mark Twain meets Terry McMillan meets Paul Beatty. Chick-lit meets satire meets pop culture. Touching, hilarious, romantic stories with up to the minute cultural and political insights. So if you like to laugh—you’ll love On Top Of The World; if you like romance – you’ll love it as well! And if you like satire—you will be overjoyed. And if you like inspiring stories of triumph—you will be very happy.
What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)? Listening to John Coltrane’s Equinox
Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation?
In the beginning I have particular ideas about each character—age, looks, career, education, personality traits: greedy, happy, sad etc. As the story unfolds in writing each character’s life evolves and their back story develops and shapes them more and more. If the story moves in ways that I didn’t not plan in the beginning I don’t fight it if I thinks it’s great I go with it and let the character lead me. By doing that the story takes on a freshness and I’m able to be more creative and clever and enjoy the process and the story itself.
Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character? If so which one(s)?
By the end of the story I’ve bonded with all of the main characters. In On Top Of The World, I bonded with Scrooʝe because even though his greed is despicable and it’s done with so much humor. As a playwright I’ve had the pleasure of seeing audiences cheer on my hit play Platanos Y Collard Greens hundreds of times and it can be intoxicating so I could relate to his ego growing out of control. And to his back story as a poor boy blessed with an intellect that allowed him to attend an elite college, but being treated like, as he says, ‘stale leftovers’ because his family didn’t have the right background.
At the same time I could relate to the love of his life Belle. She had to deal with his stereotyping her when the first meet because her father is a judge and his feelings of being unworthy of her. And with the struggle she feels between following her own dreams and those her family has of her.
Most of all I could relate to their love story, because the most important story in my own life is my love story with my wife. Which is why we wrote a book (Perfect Combination) about our relationship because when audiences found out we produced plays together they wanted to know how we could work together 24/7 and not kill each other! J
Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper?
Many characters are floating around in my head that I want to put down, but I have a particular scene involving an older Jazz musician and one of his songs that I can’t wait to get down just right. I think it will be special, funny, romantic and noble.
Have you ever felt that there was something inside of you that you couldn't control? If so what? If no what spurs you to reach for the unexperienced?
There are times that I cannot control writing, when the story literally has to come out or its painful to hold it in. It’s usually when I’ve been subconsciously thinking about a scene for a while but not writing about it, eventually the ideas coalesce and it comes pouring out in massive amounts of coherent writing all at once. It can be really freaky to experience sometimes.
David Lamb is a native New Yorker, born and raised, bitten with the writing bug since he was in elementary school and had handwriting nobody could decipher. Like Charles Dickens, David grew up a poor boy in the big city who found that the pen really is mightier than the sword. In middle school Lamb's hero was David Lampel whose velvet voice could be heard reporting the news over David's grandmother's radio. Whenever he heard him on the radio, David would substitute Lamb for Lampel and pretend he was delivering the news. Sure that he was destined to be a famous reporter David was happy to go to a high school with a journalism program.
Like most kids, by the time he finished high school he had a whole new career in mind. After high school he went to Hunter College and majored in Economics because he wanted to be cool like that college kid who came to speak at his last year of high school. He was an Economics major, he was dressed sharp and above-all the girls thought he was the man! So like any unreasonable high school boy fueled by overactive hormones David figured if he majored in Economics they'd think he was cool.
After finishing college David went on to law school at NYU, but all the time writing was still his heart. While working as a lawyer by day, at night he transformed into a writer and eventually wrote and produced the award-winning hit off-Broadway romantic comedy Platanos Y Collard Greens.
Being a writer and having the chance make people laugh out loud while challenging them to think about the world around them, and inspire each of us to believe in the power of love and our own ability to overcome life's challenges is a great gift that David truly enjoys and thanks you for allowing him to share with you in On Top Of The World: Until The Bell Chimes