Midlife Mouse by Wayne Franklin - Book Review

The Orlando Theme Park News Team had the privilege of reviewing many different books and touring guides related to the Orlando theme parks and attractions, but the "Midlife Mouse" story (written by Wayne Franklin) is very different. It is not a book that will help you to plan your next visit to Orlando. It is actually a story that involves a regular man visiting the Walt Disney World Resort and all of its attractions with his family. Sounds like it could involve a pretty regular - and maybe even predictable - plot. But it does not. Here's just an excerpt of the official description of the book, from MidlifeMouse.com:

"Bill Durmer is in over his head. Staring headlong at 40, having lost his family business and blaming himself for the impending demise of his hometown, he finds himself bunkered in a darkened hotel room, surrounded by the Mickey-eared commandos of the Walt Disney World S.W.A.T. team. This is not how he expected to spend his summer vacation. (...)

Sleep-deprived and depressed, Bill experiences a hyper-caffeinated epiphany while watching a constant loop of Beauty and the Beast: he wants to be “the baker with his tray like always.” After a lifetime of being told he was destined for greatness only to find his life squarely in the middle of the road of mediocrity, Bill gives up. He wants to be a simple character living in the background of a fantasy world. In the mother of all midlife crises, he does what any formerly levelheaded, upstanding father of three would do: he runs away to Walt Disney World … and he takes his nine-year-old daughter, Cleary, with him. (...)

Through a quirky, but absurdly real, cast of characters and a fantastic series of events, Midlife Mouse holds a satirical mirror up to modern American life, offering a story about midlife crisis, the search for meaning, the changing nature of fandom and the mandate to use one’s gifts no matter the outcome. At its heart is a complex portrait of a simple family struggling with the pressures of their modern, Southern middle-class life."

Sounds interesting now, doesn't it? There is definitely a lot happening during Bill's vacation. While we won't give out any more details about the storyline itself, we have to definitely agree with other people (who reviewed the book in the past) saying that there's a lot of humor involved in this story. And... who doesn't love some humor? There are some parts of the story where we really couldn't stop laughing. Wayne did a very nice job on that front! Most of the Readers of our website are big Theme Park Fans, and will therefore appreciate some the humorous comments and jokes made in the book even more.

You will also be reminded of quite a few of the classic Disney Park attractions that everyone likes (or dislikes). There are even a few references and comments regarding the history of the parks (Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea... ah, the memories!) and never-realized plans for the Walt Disney World Resort (including the original EPCOT project, which is still something many people would have loved to see completed).

In addition to that, the story is filled with many interesting (and sometimes strange) characters that definitely animate this man's trip, even including a bus driver that acts as the mentor of the main protagonist of this story (see? They may not be very reliable when it comes to rumors, but it looks like they can help you if you are in the middle of a midlife crisis, eh eh!). If you read the book, you'll see how each of them fits into the plot of this story.

The book is 270 pages long, not including the content pages (which includes the list of all the chapters and subtitles), and the "About the Author" page. This means that you will be able to spend quite some time reading this book (by the way, we want to apologize again to Wayne Franklin about the lateness of our review, but we are really slow readers!). That said, we are sure time will fly once you will start reading it!

For more information on the Midlife Mouse, please, visit the books' official website >

So, are you a true Disney Theme Park Fan? Then give the Midlife Mouse a chance. You will enjoy it.

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