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Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite
The Condo by Richard S. Hillman is a wry, ironic depiction of high-end condominium living on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Stan and Barb, successful New Yorkers, seek early retirement from the pressures of their professions as an advertising executive and a fashion model. So they sell their brownstone in the Village and move to the coast near Tampa Bay. They are close to another NY couple, who also make a move to Montgomery, Alabama to become engaged in the struggle for racial equality. The two couples, intimately entwined, soon discover that the complexities they flee from are impossible to escape. The narrative centers around Stan’s irrepressible need to become involved with community affairs, in this case, the homeowners’ association. Stress abounds even in Paradise—much of it comic with some underlying threats and a few surprising plot twists involving the Cuban Mafia, a Norwegian beauty, a transsexual, and some crazy tennis players.
Richard S. Hillman's The Condo is an easy read, perfect for beachside or a long flight. I was never confused about the situations, perhaps even to a fault. The narrator often poses questions that might better be left for the reader, but he seems intent on keeping us on track, often recapping and summarizing. In spite of the serious Trump-era social issues referred to, it’s all in fun, also sometimes disregarding traditional “rules” of grammar, punctuation, even spelling, which bothered me a little. The mystery of the initial “hook” is maintained until the end, so I kept reading. And it’s hard to imagine a more thorough and accurate presentation of the slings and arrows of upscale condo life. The accuracy and humor resonate.