Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category
Tuesday, June 18th, 2013
Fun & Games Synopsis
The 1980’s: it’s the time of Dungeons & Dragons, banana clips, and Atari. Jonathan Schwartz is growing up in a family like no other. His sisters, Nadia, the dark genius, and Olivia, the gorgeous tease and temptress, manipulate Jon and his friends for their own entertainment. And his Holocaust survivor grandparents? Their coping techniques are beyond embarrassing. A disastrous visit to Jon’s class by his grandmother unhinges his famous father, setting off a chain of events that threatens to send the dysfunctional Schwartz clan up in flames once and for all.
Fun & Games is a heartbreaking and hilarious story of faith, family secrets, betrayal, and loss—but it’s also a tale of friendship, love, and side-splitting shenanigans.
(Library Tales Publishing)
BOOK REVIEW by Tony Ziemek
Fun & Games is a rare combination of intelligence and entertainment. As the title suggests it’s a fun read and I finished it in one evening after a couple of false starts as I struggled to get past the initial 1980’s setting. I’ve been there once and didn’t really want to go back! But after a few pages the characters and the plot, the humour and the faultless prose take over and this reader at least was fully engaged. The characters are beautifully rounded with marvellous eccentricities (especially the sister Nadia) but there is never a sense that Mr Slater is straining for effect.
Friday, June 14th, 2013
It’s Christmas Eve in Manhattan. Harrison Hanafan, noted plastic surgeon, falls on his ass. ‘Ya can’t sit there all day, buddy, looking up people’s skirts!’ chides a weird gal in a coat like a duvet. She then kindly conjures the miracle of a taxi. While recuperating with Franz Schubert, Bette Davis, and a foundling cat, Harrison adds items to his life’s work, a List of Melancholy Things (puppetry, shrimp-eating contests, Walmart…) before going back to rhinoplasties, liposuction, and the peccadilloes of his obnoxious colleagues.
Then Harrison collides once more with the strangely helpful woman, Mimi, who bursts into his life with all her curves and chaos. They soon fall emphatically in love. And, as their love-making reaches a whole new kind of climax, the sweet smell of revolution is in the air.
By turns celebratory and scathing, romantic and dyspeptic, Mimi is a story of music, New York, sculpture, martinis, public speaking, quilt-stealing, eggnog and, most of all, love. A vibrant call-to-arms, this is Lucy Ellmann’s most extraordinary book to date.
With the mention of Berlusconi in the opening paragraph (yes, I am referring to the former Italian Prime Minister known for inappropriateness), you quickly realise there is something distinctly different about this novel. The sheer audacity of the story and at times prose is at the outset utterly captivating.
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
Puppet Shows Synopsis
A kindly organ grinder and his performing monkey adopt a young boy after his father spontaneously combusts; a barber living inside a whiskey bottle confronts the neighborhood nuisance who wields a dead squirrel like a pair of nunchucks; and an unruly gang of sock puppets are born in a basement dojo. Welcome to Puppet Shows, thirteen outlandish stories from a writer Tucson Weekly called “a very funny weirdo”. (Amazon)
If you enjoy bizarre absurdist comedy then the short story collection Puppet Shows written by Michael Frissore, with illustrations by Amy Frissore may just be for you. Check out the book trailer below for a taste of what is on offer. (more…)
Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
In Corporeality, Hollis Seamon’s latest fiction collection, we meet the cat lady, the professor dealing with a plagiarist while coping with personal hardships, sibling rivalry of the unnaturally cursed kind, the dog that goes beyond everyday dog sense and scent to protect its owners. These are some of the eclectic characters and settings that make Corporeality irresistible and difficult to put down once you’ve started reading. Like her preceding collection Body Work and mystery novel Flesh, this book is a testament to Seamon’s ample gifts as a storyteller. (B&N)
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
The Women in Black Synopsis
Written by a superb novelist of contemporary manners, The Women in Black is a fairytale which illuminates the extraordinariness of ordinary lives.
The women in black are run off their feet, what with the Christmas rush and the summer sales that follow. But it’s Sydney in the 1950s, and there’s still just enough time left on a hot and frantic day to dream and scheme… By the time the last marked-down frock has been sold, most of the staff of the Ladies’ Cocktail section at F. G. Goode’s have been launched into slightly different careers.
With the lightest touch and the most tender of comic instincts, Madeleine St John conjures a vanished summer of innocence. The Women in Black, introduced by Bruce Beresford, is a great novel, a lost Australian classic. (Kobobooks)
Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
Talking to the Dead Synopsis
A mesmerizing and thrilling novel—perfect for fans of Tana French and Stieg Larsson—that introduces a modern, unforgettable rookie cop whose past is as fascinating and as deadly as the crimes she investigates.
SHE KNOWS WHAT IT’S LIKE. . . .
At first, the murder scene appears sad, but not unusual: a young woman undone by drugs and prostitution, her six-year-old daughter dead alongside her. But then detectives find a strange piece of evidence in the squalid house: the platinum credit card of a very wealthy—and long dead—steel tycoon. What is a heroin-addicted hooker doing with the credit card of a well-known and powerful man who died months ago? This is the question that the most junior member of the investigative team, Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths, is assigned to answer.
But D.C. Griffiths is no ordinary cop. She’s earned a reputation at police headquarters in Cardiff, Wales, for being odd, for not picking up on social cues, for being a little overintense. And there’s that gap in her past, the two-year hiatus that everyone assumes was a breakdown. But Fiona is a crack investigator, quick and intuitive. She is immediately drawn to the crime scene, and to the tragic face of the six-year-old girl, who she is certain has something to tell her . . . something that will break the case wide open.
Ignoring orders and protocol, Fiona begins to explore far beyond the rich man’s credit card and into the secrets of her seaside city. And when she uncovers another dead prostitute, Fiona knows that she’s only begun to scratch the surface of a dark world of crime and murder. But the deeper she digs, the more danger she risks — not just from criminals and killers but from her own past . . . and the abyss that threatens to pull her back at any time. (Amazon)
Saturday, December 15th, 2012
Las Vegas for Vegans Synopsis
From Las Vegas to Melbourne, from Europe to a doomed airplane in mid-flight, from a seedy motel to the local bookstore, the true setting of these stories is the human heart. A son spends the day at work having left his father dying on the kitchen floor, a woman finds herself unexpectedly alone in a hotel room in Rome, Kafka watches the last journey of the famous Swimmer as he disappears into the Danube, a father abandons his family, yet mysteriously turns up three days later at the Mirage Inn on the edge of Simpson Desert.
A. S. Patrics characters are searching for possibilities, truth and lies, the revelations of shadows, and the strange light that shines between tall buildings. Las Vegas for Vegans is original, assured, beautiful storytelling of exceptional craft, brimming with humour and compassion. (TransitLounge)