Thursday, June 10, 2010

A strange (and awful) book

A while back, I needed to get an oil change. And the only time I seemed to have to get an oil change was on my lunch break. So, I headed to Banner Hall, grabbed a yummy lunch to go from Broad Street, and stopped by Lemuria to pick up a book I could read while I waited for my car at the shop.

I went in and told the lovely young lady behind the desk that I was looking for something funny. I mentioned a few funny books I'd enjoyed and named a few authors who I thought wrote funny material.

She led me to a shelf and handed me Life Is a Strange Place by Frank Turner Hollon. She said it was funny. Raves on the back of the book included an endorsement by Jill Connor Browne. I happily bought the book, in hardback, for $24.

Dude. I got ripped. I got about 50 pages into it at the auto shop before throwing it down completely in exasperation. None of the book makes sense. Other than an attempt to be completely bizarre (in a kind of "Meet the Parents" sort of way), I have no idea what Hollon's inspiration was for writing this kind of gross, nonsensical story about a character I have absolutely no concern for.

Here's the skinny - Barry Mundy only cares about sex. But after a particularly painful fight in a darkened movie theatre, he awakes in a hospital bed to find that his testicles are gone. This causes Barry to re-evaluate himself, and he sees that he hates his job, has no friends, and will never be a father. Then, he discovers that a previous one-night-stand with a woman he can't even remember has resulted in a pregnancy. He feels as if he's been given another chance, and he seizes the opportunity to turn his world around.

Throw in midget wrestling in a gay bar, a support group for men with genital mutilation, a jealous ex-girlfriend, an Asian exchange student, blocked toilets, dog turds, vomit and lewd scenes in showers, bathrooms, and the back seats of cars, and you've about got it.

And did I mention that it wasn't funny at all? Just WEIRD.

Against my policy of ONLY reading 50 pages of something if it sucks, I soldiered on. (That $24 investment had me wincing a bit.) It never really got any better. I wasted my time on this one, and I'm posting this review so you don't waste yours.

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