A Southern novel/character study, The Legend of Colgan Toomey by Dargan Ware is a worthy addition to your ebook library. First off, I want to address how the main character’s name and my own are oddly similar. Mr. Ware and I shared a couple laughs over it through Twitter (we follow each other). Dargan is a really good dude and you can/should follow him @ManerWare. As stupid as it sounds, that is what (kinda) made me want to read it in the first place. But enough of that, even if your name’s Bob Smith, just go on Kindle and frickin’ read this!!!! (Book link at the bottom)
The novel is structured in a flashback/multiple-POV format. The titular character, a local celebrity, was killed and an entire stadium’s worth of mourners pay their respects. You see, Colgan Toomey was a star quarterback. High school and college football are a way of life in the South, especially in Alabama. Toomey was also an academic prodigy and studied in med school. He was also a very nice and humble guy. Each chapter is narrated by a different character (Colgan’s best friend, his father, ex-girlfriend, coach, war buddy, etc.) where they practically deify him.
As the chapters go on, it becomes a little off-putting to read how perfect Colgan Toomey seemed to be. He was physically superior, intellectually gifted, and a consumate gentleman, and so forth and so on. But if a story makes you feel something and it’s purely by design, isn’t it doing its job? Isn’t it off-putting how we generally deify individuals only when they pass away? What good is it to praise the dead? Let’s praise the living! Commend your close ones while they’re still alive!
Anyway, Colgan Toomey wasn’t perfect, as the second half of the book makes clear. Far from it. He had his demons and his flaws. People say he was a strong guy, but lost any chance at a football career after an on-field injury. People say he was a smart individual, but made a harebrained decision to participate in the leftist side of a Cold War conflict (and history has been far from kind to communism). People say he was affable and friendly, yet hid from his family and friends for years. He was also wanted for murder. Colgan Toomey wasn’t perfect, his eulogies can go take a hike.
Ware does a great job capturing an entire gamut of characters and their unique voices. He succeeds at telling an unconventional tale that delivers a unique message about life and death. The prose is well-written and professionally edited (from an independent author, that is certainly appreciated). I had a great time reading this and I’m sure you will, too.