Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Pursuit of Other Interests

The Pursuit of Other Interests

A Novel

Jim Kokoris, author of The Rich Part of Life and Sister North

St. Martin's Press




Charlie Baker is a neurotic but charming 50-year-old workaholic CEO of a major Chicago ad agency who seems to have it all: an impressive house in an upscale suburb, an equally impressive salary, the requisite pretty wife and accomplished son. All of this comes crashing down when Charlie is unceremoniously fired. In an instant, his life is transformed from corporate titan to just another out of work American.

For Charlie—an admitted workaholic—a world without a job is a strange world indeed. Rather than tell his family, every morning Charlie leaves home to spend his days at an outplacement firm, where he meets a cast of equally desperate corporate misfits. As Charlie reluctantly embarks on a journey of self-discovery, he finds out what happens when his work life is lost and his real life begins.

Humorous, poignant, and honest, The Pursuit of Other Interests offers a glimpse into the lives, hearts, and minds of the 21st-century American family.


Chapter One

He was doing his breathing techniques when his heart stopped again. The purpose of the exercises was to lower his heart rate, but apparently he had mastered the technique so well, he was almost killing himself. Lying on his back...


Praise for The Pursuit of Other Interests

The Pursuit of Other Interests has the absurd hilarity of And Then We Came To The End coupled with the poignancy of Death of a Salesman. Compellingly readable. Utterly entertaining. Thought provoking. I was hooked by the first line and willingly pulled into the downward spiral of Charlie Baker's life. He's endearing and quirky in an embarrassingly real way. We are all Charlie, single-mindedly chasing after what we think we want, and then, when we get it, realizing we sped past the truly important things in life. Jim Kokoris absolutely nails the character of Charlie, with humor and pathos. I give it two thumbs up and five stars.” —Patricia Wood author of Lottery

“ packed with zany Americana that you fear it might burst.” —Los Angeles Times on The Rich Part of Life

“Impressive...a novel of character.” —Newsday on The Rich Part of Life

“A cohesive and poignant story...Kokoris has an ear for how people talk and think.” —Chicago Tribune on The Rich Part of Life

“Unexpected, hilarious, and more than worth the trip.” —The New York Times Book Review on Sister North

“Few novelists explore, much less capture, the religious imagination with the talent Jim Kokoris invests in these pages. Sister North is an impressive achievement.” —Chicago Tribune

“A compelling story of forgiveness and spiritual awakening . . . imaginative, deeply felt.” —The Dallas Morning News on Sister North

“A tender poignancy permeates this charmingly profound yet deviously humorous portrait of redemption and renewal.” —Booklist on Sister North

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Jim Kokoris, author of The Rich Part of Life and Sister North

JIM KOKORIS's work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine, USA Weekend, Chicago Sun-Times, and Reader's Digest. He is the author of the novels The Rich Part of Life, which has been published in 15 languages and for which he won a Friends of American Writers Award for Best First Novel, and Sister North. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Jim lives with his wife and their three sons in the Chicago area.

Jim Kokoris

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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