Nice Things by Jimmy Norman

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Helllllo readers, hope today isn’t causing you toooo many stressful issues. It’s Thursday and I know from experience that Thursday’s can be completely awful so I’ve got a book review to hopefully bring a smile to your face.  It’s one I bought on Amazon – I still haven’t re-opened my review requests box. I keep getting requests I’m just not quite ready to take on more than I’m read to at the moment but maybe soon – without further delay from me – onto the review.

As a writer, I’ve been wanting to put together a good erotic scene for a long time.

I’m not a dirty old man or a pervert or a weirdo, I promise. It’s just that an adult scene is a challenging writing exercise, and every aspiring author ought to try it sometime.
Unfortunately, when I wrote my adult scene, a few things went wrong:

1. I based the scene on me and an ex-girlfriend from 20 years ago. I probably shouldn’t have written it that way.

2. My wife found the sex scene. My wife already didn’t like my ex-girlfriend. After my wife read the adult scene, she didn’t like me very much either.

3. I called out my ex-girlfriend’s name in front of my wife at a really bad moment. That made my bad situation even worse.

I’ve been told that I’m a nice guy. I do nice things, say nice things, and sometimes even buy nice things, but even nice guys make mistakes. Unfortunately, the mistakes I made with the adult scene led to big personal problems, the kinds of problems that being nice can’t solve.

In order to save my marriage, I had to do a few things I’m not proud of. I had to be dishonest. I had to be sneaky. I had to be underhanded. I don’t condone most of my actions, but through it all, I learned that if you absolutely have to do something immoral, make sure everybody around you believes that you’re doing Nice Things.

Right, so I’m not going to explain the blurb because it’s all there ^ it’s the writing style I want to explain and talk about really. The book follows the relationship between a man and woman when confusion and lies start to enter their lives. Jimmy has decided (a little bit stupidly) to write a sex scene for a book about his ex-girlfriend whilst Heather appears to be falling for her gym instructor so it’s all a little bit awkward. We start by looking into the two meeting, the beginning of their relationships and the struggle of having children. We then move into their daily life and how the secondary characters are affecting their lives.

The writing style is really interesting – it has quite a blunt style, as though to the point and lacking description but it’s in the first person and told from a persona that is a little awkward and quite easily intimidated. I’ve been through the book again and I think this is the best passage to describe the style.

“Is it too forward to ask you if I could buy you ice cream?” I stammered.

“It’s better than asking me to pay.” 

I liked her laugh. I liked her facial expressions. I wasn’t wild about her sweater, but I had ugly sweaters too.’ 

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It’s definitely got this feeling of awkwardness and being easily intimidated but it works for me. It has this delightfully literal style that plays between the way he feels on the inside and how he reacts and speaks on the outside.

The characters are well-developed; Jimmy, Heather, Daniella (the ex girlfriend) and gym instructor all come into their own and are developed in turn. Heather is difficult to warm to which helped to elevate the main character. I thought the weaving storylines were good seeing as this is a really short story (which would be my only complaint.) I just would have liked more of it because what I did read I honestly really enjoyed. It’s got this awkward but also clever telling of a situation that makes a plotline that seems a little stereotypical – quite special. I also loved that we get to read the ex-rated sex scene at the end; it’s a quirk but a clever one.

Overall I surprised myself with this book, it’s a really special little tale and has introduced me to an author I really want to hear more from.



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