Evening lovely readers, another exciting read for you today. Over the last year or so I have met some incredibly lovely authors and the author of this book today is one of those very special people. I reviewed a brilliant book by the incredibly talented Ian Probert back in March. I loved the book so much I proceeded to discuss it in a podcast later in April. I went a bit ‘Johnny Nothing’ crazy, but the book really stuck with me so when Ian asked me if I wouldn’t mind reading another of his books I jumped at the chance. I read this in one sitting and I honestly loved it; as you will see with the description of the book it’s a little misleading, but it’s just a quirk of this rather wonderful author (see more here!) I implore you to get a copy of this book and GET READING!
“Learn a foolproof method of losing 14lbs in only one week. This method requires absolutely NO exercise and NO dieting on your part. With this revolutionary weight loss technique you can simply lie in bed and the pounds will fall off of their own accord. Weight loss has never been easier.” So that’s the book description but if you have read the preface that I linked this isn’t a book about weight loss but it is a story about loss. The book follows a man who discovers that his long estranged father is dying and is persuaded by his girlfriend to visit him before he passes. The book follows him through this incredibly difficult and morose time in the characters life where the turmoil starts to truly affect him leading to a seemingly downward spiral. The character really goes through the mill; a sexual harassment claim, a number of indecent affairs, a difficult job with even more difficult colleagues and an utter hatred for his estranged family this book is a story of pain, loss, second chances and a twinge of regret written in a beautiful style that Probert writes so damn well.
When I reviewed Probert’s work I wrote; ‘the prose is lively and really uses some colourful, overly gruesome and salacious language and description; which really brings the story and the characters to life!’ This book does not dissapoint as like his previous work, it is obscene, lewd and laced with cursings and vulgar descriptions. I read parts of this book whilst I was recovering from a hangover and some of the adjectives definiely turned my stomach a little. The writing style is faultless and it flows steadily. This author writes with such ease; it seems to flow just effortlessly. The genre is diffiucult to place but Probert definitely likes to focus his writing in a dark and almost gothic style that I love to read. Looking back now, over the plot line, in terms of action, there isn’t a huge amount of content, but you don’t notice at all because you’re fully consumed by the characters and their troubles, and I think that really shows the skills of the author to the full. I also loved the ending, it created a sticking point for me and made me think about the importance of family and how we have less time on this earth than we orginally think.
The characters were built up with interesting personality traits; the main character is dour and gloomy but with a temper to boot. However he also has a sensitive and tender side which creates an interesting contrast. Marie is determined and sensible which contrasts with the wild and unrestrained Carol. It leads to exciting contradictions between the three. I also liked that the author admits this book is probably a form of catharsis or cleansing. It allows the reader to really get into the mind of the author and we follow the healing of the character and author at the same. It adds another thread to the book and deeper meaning to this already powerful book.
I loved reading this book; it really hit home for me, and I found myself both warming to the characters and also being a little disgusted. The despair is once again at times brutal and thought provoking; it really is a book of contrasts! I think I would have liked more into the reasoning for the estranged relationship between the two parties but I don’t know whether this was too difficult or it just kind of happened, I kind of felt the whole story wasn’t given to us but we are given snippets throughout. The writing style as described above is brilliant and really draws the reader in. This book is definitely worth a read just to get to experience the sheer talent of Ian even if the plot line doesn’t draw you at first by the end you’ll need a minute to catch up. Either way off you go and get a copy and let me know what you think!