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Monday, March 25, 2013

Quest, Inc. by Justin Cohen



Published by Telemachus Press, LLC (March 19, 2012)

Quest, Inc. features an all-star cast of self-improvement experts who have joined together to offer the complete  package for those seeking self-improvement. There is an expert on fitness, a psychotherapist with a focus on relationships, a financial expert, a therapist who deals with addictions and a body language and image consultant.

The book starts out with Robert Rivera, the fitness expert, He has become fat and completely unmotivated. He has lost his home and his wife and fails at an attempt to kill himself. The other four experts know him from a presidential commission that they all served on and they re-unite to save Rivera and their own reputations (his failure throws doubt on all of their advice).

Once Rivera has his life back on track (roughly the first half of the book), the five of them start Quest, Inc. and promote themselves as the Worlds #1 Personal Development Agency. The rest of the book features a reporter for the Huffington Post who is determined to torpedo their venture because she despises the self-help "industry" and a series of clients. 


I had no problem with the book per se, but it just did not have a real ending. Instead, this felt like the novelization of the first two episodes of a television show, a show like ER that deals with self-help clients rather than medical issues. The first episode (the first half of the book) introduces all of the specialists and demonstrates that they are vulnerable people just like their clients. The second episode (the second half of the book) starts us on our "clients of the week." The reader gets to hear about interesting problems and how they might be helped while the main characters' individual plot lines continue moving forward at a glacial pace. The book screams to be the first in a series.

I found the book to be a little slow-moving. The clients were interesting but were so numerous that they were really just a device to introduce interesting ideas and cause the main characters to interact. I quickly lost interest in all of the experts (and their hang-ups) except for Robert Rivera. He was the only one that was developed in any way but as the story progressed he became less and a part of the story.

I rate this book 3 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on March 25, 2013.

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