“Bruce Ferber’s Cascade Falls is a black comedy of high order, bitingly funny and earnestly moving at the same time. He has a great eye for the ways we misperceive ourselves and each other, often with drastic consequences. Ferber writes with a comic urgency but he’s never too busy funnin’ to recognize the way life can erode even the best intentions.”
—T. Jefferson Parker, author of Full Measure
“In the suburbs of Phoenix, marriages and careers are coming undone in this second novel from sitcom producer Ferber.”
“Cascade Falls is a sincere exploration of the struggles people go through trying to survive and do right, while still holding on to their dreams. It’s about loss: lost dreams, lost love, lost money. But it’s also a story of rising from the ashes…and redemption through honesty and forgiveness.”
“Bruce Ferber is that perfect combination of humorist and humanist. Cascade Falls is poignant, moving, and ridiculously funny.”
—Dan Zevin, Thurber Award-winning author of Dan Gets a Minivan
“Bruce Ferber’s gentle narrative style slyly masks a much more serious question, one the disillusioned suburbanites at the core of Cascade Falls might as well be asking on the part of us all: namely, what does the American Dream mean these days, and to whom does its storied set of tenets apply? Ferber reminds us that no matter how well off you think you are, there’s always room to fall, and yet no matter how far you’ve fallen, there’s also room in your remaining space and years to find your best self.”
—David Kukoff, author of Children of the Canyon
“Seldom does the breach in a couple’s bond spring from a simple, singular moment. The rift deepens subtly through trickles of concealed, vulnerable truths; wounding misinterpretations that erode trust and build defensiveness; the paradox of alienation alongside a drive to join; and faraway spaces of intimacy, ardor, and hope. In Cascade Falls, Bruce Ferber masterfully reproduces a relationship in its aching devolution.”
—Holly Parker, PhD, lecturer in the Department of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of ?If We’re Together, Why Do I Feel So Alone
What does it take to be happy? Finding oneself in this time of uncertainty is a constant theme in Bruce Ferber’s second novel, Cascade Falls. This novel features a host of interesting characters that could be any family in 21st century America. … Ferber develops the characters in a way that surprises the reader. As I thought I knew each family member, I realized that they aren’t at all what they seem…Cascade Falls will appeal to those who want to examine the modern “successful” American family and question if this is a common illusion of the American dream. Also, for those caught in the middle of it, how can one recover to find life worth living? –Don Jung, underratedreads.com
Bruce Ferber is an Emmy-nominated writer, known for his contributions to several television shows, and his talent shines in his first novel. Elevating Overman is a brilliantly-written novel with an amusing plot and a cast of full-bodied characters that are so ridiculous that they come across as truly authentic. From Nancy, the true-to-life condescending ex-wife, to Jake, the arrogant-turned-hero-worshiping best friend, this novel is full of characters that readers will love even as they appreciate not knowing them in real life. Ira Overman himself is the quintessential anti-hero; an overweight middle-aged man with a sorry excuse for a life. Certainly the world is past expecting great things of him, which is why it’s such a pleasure to read along as he reconnects with his children (befuddling his ex-wife in the process), tells off his awful boss, helps to repair his best friend’s marriage, and reconnects with an old friend from high school. Ferber is a skilled author, and he surely has a bright future as a novelist should he choose to continue down this career path.
Holly Scudero, Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review
Bruce Ferber’s protagonist, Ira Overman in his debut novel Elevating Overman could be succinctly described as a “nebbish,” which is the Yiddish expression for someone who is dismissed by many as ineffectual, luckless, timid, bumbling and pitifully ineffectual. A character we could associate with Woody Allen or George Costanza of the Seinfeld television series, and incidentally either one would be perfect for the role of Overman, if the novel were ever to be adapted as a movie…
There are many laughs in Elevating Overman and Ferber’s talents as an Emmy-nominated comedy writer whose credits include Bosom Buddies, Growing Pains, Sabrina,The Teenage Witch, Coach and Home Improvement are clearly in evidence. It is clever, endearing, intelligent and searching, presenting readers with a healthy dose of wry humor coupled with some slapstick as it ponders the age old question as to “what matters in life?” It is also an astute perceptive and moving reflection on the importance of identity and responsibility. The writing is technically skillful devoid of clichéd characters and weak dialogue.
Norm Goldman, bookpleasures.com
This is one of those books that you pick up and don’t want it to end. Ira Overman had lived his life as a loser, mostly because he believed himself to be a loser. That realization was ingrained in him from his parents and enforced by an incident that happened to him when he was a teenager.Overman decides to go for Lasik surgery to correct his vision. After the surgery, Overman’s increased vision causes him to look at the world and himself in a whole new light. This instills a new confidence in him and then all of a sudden possible “powers” start to emerge where he is able to get women to be attracted to him and get traffic on the freeway to clear out of his way.Overman can now easily beat in tennis, his friend/nemesis Rosenfarb, who previously used to thrash Overman every time they played. Overman confesses to Rosenfarb that something has changed within him letting him do things he never could do before and proves to Rosenfarb that he can do these things. Rosenfarb immediately believes Overman to have “super powers” and starts to worship him as a superhero.The book is written in a very fun and hilarious manner and continues with Overman intent on righting all the wrongs of his life and helping others that he had either alienated or hurt. All through the book Overman keeps evolving his personality to a very caring and understanding individual and this is what he hopes to develop more while Rosenfarb wants him to develop his super hero powers. The author keeps the reader guessing through most of the book as to whether all the powers are really Overman’s improved self-confidence or are actual “powers.”I couldn’t put this book down and my only disappointment with it was that this book had to end. I was lucky to have the author send me a review copy, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have known about this book but now I want to spread the word that this book is an excellent and fun read! It should not be missed!
Michael A. Newman/Vine Voice (New York)
Elevating Overman is about a middle-aged Jewish guy who gets a second chance in life. It is what he does with this second chance that “elevates” Overman. Now unlike Ira Overman, I am a Gentile. But like Ira Overman, I was given the gift of a second chance and elevate me, it did! My second chance in life gave me the opportunity to befriend the author. Bruce Ferber was our head writer on Home Improvement, and albeit a short man, he is a very clever, insightful and funny fellow indeed. That alone gives me the confidence to say, “Congratulations Bruce– you’ve done it again.”
Tim Allen, actor, author and comic
If Woody Allen, SJ Perelman, and Phillip Roth had a son….that son and his three fathers would love this book! A great read! Outrageous, funny, sad, and wildly original!
Billy Van Zandt, writer, producer, playwright and author of “You’ve Got Hate Mail”
In Elevating Overman, Bruce Ferber has achieved the highly unusual — a first novel that glows with sharp, but unpredictable insight. Ira Overman confidently joins a long literary line of middle-aged anti-heroes who have been knocked down and have to learn how to walk all over again; but before Overman can learn how to walk, he must attempt to fly. And see through women’s clothes all the way to their souls. And travel through time. Ferber’s triumph is that it’s funny, because it’s true.
Neal Marlens, creator, The Wonder Years
Before Overman learned to walk, he learned his limits. Enduring sure-targeted bias reinforced by genetic fiat, Overman is doomed. He can only claw from destiny once he is visited by the sins of an entire people. This remarkable achievement is the seminal victory within Bruce Ferber’s brutally funny, Elevating Overman. Frailty abounds in this searing examination of our lesser selves. With hints of Philip Roth, the cultural byplay will bring out the self-hatred in us all – and turn it on its head. Elevating Overman deserves a place in the Jewish-American canon.
Roy Teicher, former Tonight Show writer, Los Angeles Times columnist
Ira Overman knew his world was narrow and petty, but after a dramatic Lasik surgery he sensed “it was about to become narrow and petty in bold new ways.” It’s well worth going along with him for the ride. Elevating Overman is funny, sad, and very, very engaging.
Charlie Hauck, author, Artistic Differences, New York Times Contributor
Bruce Ferber has come out of the gate with balls. His dysfunctional creation Ira Overman ponders why “volumes have been written about bad things happening to good people,” but nothing about when good things happen to someone like him. Ferber’s novel makes one think, “What would happen if Holden Caulfield suddenly got everything he wanted?” Okay, besides a bevy of hot ladies…Loaded with laughs, Elevating Overman makes you read late into the night when you have a court appearance the next morning. “What is going to happen to this jerk?” Is what your brain says as it continues to turn the page. Thankfully, the answer is happy, funny, sexy and utterly original.
Dwight Slade, standup comedian, Winner Boston Comedy Festival
Bruce Ferber’s new novel “Elevating Overman” is a hilarious heartfelt confection of a novel. With a sparkling satirical wit that takes no prisoners Ferber takes us into the life of Ira Overman and offers insights into the human condition that will touch your core as well as your funny bone. A keen observer of life in Los Angeles Ferber examines the lives of a generation driven to achieve success at any cost. These fifty something’s have traveled far from their childhood homes in search of the big payoff only to find that in abandoning one another they have come up empty handed. Through a miracle of sorts that I won’t reveal here, Ira Overman finds he can take power over his pathetic life which has drifted into isolation and ennui and in so doing finds he has the ability to transform the lives of others. This book is laugh out loud funny without avoiding the deeper recesses of the psyche’s of it’s characters. Like Carl Hiassen who illuminates the peculiarities of Florida and Woody Allen who mines the comedic gold of the streets on New York, Ferber lays bare the landscape of Los Angeles peeking past the shiny silicone exterior of the sun-drenched state and into the absurdities of life on the endless highways of the West. A great read.
Beth Broderick, actress, writer
This look at the Southern California lifestyle is captured with depth and feeling. Ira’s Jewish guilt gives us hilarious and off-the-wall situations that make you laugh and reassess your own life. If you are a Woody Allen fan, this anti-hero may be right up your alley. Elevating Overman is witty and a little off balance and will keep you reading from beginning to end.
Don Jung, underratedreads.com