Man Publishes Novel in Series of Yelp Reviews

But no matter which character he next articulates, Gethard said he plans to remain resolutely positive online.

"I think it makes the character more likeable," he said. "He's going through something a lot of people go through with a divorce. The reviews he does of these places are enthusiastic, [because] that gives a little bit of a subtext to him wanting to try new things. I like that about him."

Ultimately, Gethard would love to see his protagonist live on...off the web. But he's content to tell a virtual story for now.

While Yelp may not be an obvious platform for that message, Gethard has found it to be an unexpected fit: "I definitely believe that going out to new restaurants and really embracing [the act of] trying new things--even if it's just a type of food you've never had before--is a good way to show that you're trying to change and grow yourself."

"I don't want to sound...pretentious," he hastened, "But I want to make this a redemption story. ...As ridiculous as this is, it is about a guy, you know, realizing what he did wrong with his life. He's realized how his marriage came to an end. He's struggling as a father. He puts too much of himself in his career. I'm 36 years old. I know a lot of people who can relate to that. The idea is, you know, you can change."

Besides, he added, "This whole thing is a pretty easy way to entertain yourself."

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