Archives for humorous fiction

#BookReview ‘The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman’ by @JuliettaJulia

The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman by Julietta Henderson is one of those delicious books you stumble on, not sure what to expect and end up loving. The Norman of the title is almost twelve and part of a future comedy duo with a five-year plan to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe. But when his comedic partner and best friend Jax dies, Norman has to think again. The catchy first paragraph drew me straight in although I admit to being slightly disappointed when I realised it was by Sadie, Norman’s mum, and not Norman himself. But this feeling disappeared as I settled immediately into the two voices – single mum Sadie and psoriasis sufferer Norman – distinctive, real and very funny as they tell the tale of their two-person family as they face their grief and the Jax-sized hole left in their lives. The five-year plan – Get to the Edinburgh Fringe, baby! Get famous. Get rich – was meant for a comedy duo. Norman’s problem is that Jax was the funny one. Norman is more Ernie than Eric and Sadie fears he will fail and emulate her own father who was a not very good comedian. But when she
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Categories: Book Love.

#Bookreview ‘Trio’ by William Boyd #humour #Brighton

It is 1968. In Paris, students are rioting. The Vietnam war continues while in America, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King have been assassinated. This is the timeframe of Trio, the very readable latest novel from William Boyd. Set in Brighton where a film crew is shooting Emily Bracegirdle’s Extremely Useful Ladder to the Moon, the leading lady, Anny Viklund, is in bed with her co-star, pop singer Troy Blaze. The director’s wife, Elfrida Wing, is partaking of vodka from her secret stash in a Sarsons white vinegar bottle, rather than getting on with writing her next novel. The producer, Talbot Kydd, lays in his bath and tries to remember the dream he was having about a young man, pale and limber. The story follows these three characters, each of which is living a life of pretence. Talbot has a wife in Chiswick and a secret apartment in Primrose Hill. Elfrida, once lauded as ‘the next Virginia Woolf’, writes lists of book titles but no more. Anny has an unfortunate taste in older men and when her ex-husband goes on the run, she finds herself questioned by the FBI. Day by day, Boyd weaves together the twists and turns of
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Categories: Book Love.

#BookReview ‘The Carer’ by Deborah Moggach #humorous #familydrama

At first I didn’t know what to make of The Carer by Deborah Moggach. She travels a fine comic line nudging towards simplistic or tasteless stereotypes. But then, as she did in These Foolish Things, the novel finds its stride. In two parts, Moggach takes her original portrayal of this family, shows it through different eyes, and turns it upside down. In Part One we meet widower James Wentworth, OBE, 85, retired particle physicist, living downstairs in his home after breaking a hip; and his live-in carer Mandy, 50, from Solihull. ‘Mandy hummed show tunes as the kettle boiled. Blood Brothers was her favourite, about two boys separated at birth. She said she had seen it three times and blubbed like a baby.’ Mandy is fat, jolly, is a chatterer, and says it as she finds it. Part One is told from the alternating viewpoints of James’ children. Unfulfilled artist Phoebe, 60, lives in a Welsh village in the area where she had many happy childhood holidays. Robert, 62, former City trader, is now writing a novel in his garden shed in Wimbledon, while married to a television newsreader. Our first impressions of their father, and of Mandy, are filtered through their middle class worries and prejudices. Both
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Categories: Book Love.