Robbed at gunpoint while working the nightshift at a convenience store, Benny Assissi takes stock of his life. His good-paying factory job is gone—outsourced overseas. His wife sits in a hospital emergency room with his dying son. And there’s a gun under the counter, one he never saw until now.
Determined to gain control over his life, he grabs the gun and runs after the thief. One bullet later, he finds out how precious life is and how far he must go to keep it, even if it means walking straight through Hell.
In the fog of death, he discovers that life isn’t about what you have, but how much you love—and how far you’ll go to see your love again.
Benny Assissi is the kind of character I love to encounter in books. He is a good man, as simple as it sounds, a character like this is hard to find. Benny is a hard-working, family man. A supportive husband and devoted dad, Benny has been struggling to overcome life’s obstacles. Laid off from his good-paying job, he must now take on any job that will pay the bills. This is how he finds himself working the overnight shift at a convenience store. But not willing to settle for this type of life, he spends his days taking college courses in order to better himself and open up more career opportunities. The downside of Benny’s work and schooling is that it leaves him little time for his family and household responsibilities, and even though he tries hard to keep up with it all, tension and weariness start to build a rift between Benny and his wife. Pretty normal things for lots of young families nowadays, but one night at work, Benny will experience something that will shift their lives into utter abnormality and chaos.
As Benny is sitting behind the counter a man will enter the store and demand that Benny empty out the safe. Benny is doing this, as the phone rings, it’s his wife pleading with him to come to the ER, their son is very ill. As the robber walks out Benny realizes he has had enough, with a sick child and wife depending on him, he cannot let this man walk away and leave him jobless. So grabbing the gun he spotted under the counter he chases after the man. Running after him, into the park, he will end up in a confrontation with the man that will end up changing his life forever.
Low Man seems, at heart, to be a simple story of how desperation affects Benny, and what choices and chances he is willing to make just to keep his head above water and his family together. But it has so much more going on beneath the surface. Benny’s wife will experience firsthand, the utter inhumanity that people can show one another while she sits waiting in a hospital where no one seems concerned that her son is ill, because she does not have proper medical insurance. The man who robs Benny, the reason why ends up being a subplot of it’s own, comes to see that his actions have terrible consequences, when he realizes that Benny is not merely a nameless convenience store clerk, he is also a husband, a father, a person. Benny’s boss, the owner of the convenience store, is the perfect example of humanity at it’s lowest form. Greed, selfishness and power come together in this man to create a character that is evil walking.
But, even with all these other things going on, the reader can never stop hoping that Benny will make it through the night. Benny’s determination, faith and love are all he has to help him survive, as he faces the greatest horrors and makes the hardest decisions. What is he willing to give up and how far is he willing to go to protect his family?
Low Man is a story about one man willing to travel the darkest paths of Hell in order to keep the ones he loves alive. It is told with an amazing sense of reality, with characters that are so vivid that they could be your next door neighbours or the shifty men you see standing in dark alleys. T.J. Vargo is a skilful writer that brings his characters emotions alive on the pages. Low Man is a fast-paced story that keeps the reader intrigued and the pages turning. I found myself completely ensnared and unable to stop reading until the conclusion.
About The Author
T.J. Vargo is a marketing and public relations professional. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and is currently living in Ohio. When not writing he plays guitar, does graphic design work and paints.
Published by Leucrota Press
© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.