Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
The Bright Side of Life is humorous literary fiction written by A.L. Freeman. Charlie Brightside is in London on a scholarship to an acting school. While not a large scholarship, it covers his tuition and modest lodgings which he shares with Oliver, a medical student. Charlie’s thrilled to hear that Oliver knows of a position in a London theater, even if it’s as a stagehand and not an acting job. The very proximity to the stage has Charlie convinced that it’s the first step in London career. He’s so convinced that after he’s turned down for the position in favor of a burly competitor he’s willing to work in the theater for tips. Things take a decidedly downward turn when he learns that his scholarship has been the victim of an embezzling employee and he gets fired from his non-paying position. Somehow Charlie manages to keep a sunny disposition, even if he is in gray and gloomy London.
A.L. Freeman’s The Bright Side of Life is witty, literate and sly. Charlie’s definitely a fish out of water and yet he manages brilliantly. His need for sartorial splendor provides endless comic relief, especially his color-harmonized clothing and his shock and horror when his girlfriend wipes her tear-filled eyes on his designer shirt. I especially enjoyed his adventures with the small theater troupes and their efforts at creating new theater; and Charlie’s innocent and cheerful ability to adapt to any of the bizarre and strange situations he finds himself in. The Bright Side of Life had me smiling from the first lines to the last page. It’s beautifully written and very, very good.