Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mango first Thumb's Down review

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Like everyone else, I don't like everything I read. So far I've only reviewed the books I really did like, or could understand why someone else might like them. Today, I'm in a really bad mood, so I chose the Book Du Jour to be Mango Bob by Bill Myers.

First of all, the description from Amazon...

Walker's task should be simple: drive the Love Bus 1,200 miles cross-country to Florida and deliver a cat named Mango Bob to a woman he's never met. But things are never really as simple as they seem. An unsolved murder involving the Love Bus and the Mexican mafia, along with a major case of mistaken identity, complicate Walker's efforts. Add a crazy gun-toting senior citizen, Mango Bob's escape attempts, and the hot kayak chick, and you get a rollicking travel romp through the Sunshine State.

Sounds fun doesn't it? Another description I read online likens this book to those of Carl Hiassen and Janet Evanovich.

Someone wishes.

In fact, *I* wish it had been even somewhat reminiscent of either (excellent) writer. It wasn't. And that's six or seven hours I'll never get back.

I couldn't be sure whether I was reading an RVer's manual, a WalMart ad or a "what not to do" for writers. As a writer myself, I hate to give a nasty review, but come ON. I've heard more emotion in the dialogue between a lima bean and a turnip than in any part of this book. The only portion that had any sort of spark at all was in the page after page after page describing how to get the sewage out of an RV, or how to park an RV or how a dozen other things with an RV. OK, already, we get it. The author of this book has written a very popular and well-acclaimed book on RVing. He obviously not only "knows RVs" but he is passionate about them. He is a fabulus non-fiction writer. And he shouldn't quit his day job just yet.

Case in point: The protagonist gets a note from his wife out of the blue one day telling him she wants a divorce, thanks for the memories, "I'm a better person for having known you" and instead of ranting and raving or crying the man just shrugs and says "Hmmm, it might be awkward if I went home, so I'm just going to WalMart and buy a blue tent and camp at a campground until I decide what to do." And that's what he does. In boring detail. Soon after, he is told that the company that has been his bread and butter for years is closing and instead of showing any emotion at all, he shrugs and says "Good thing I've got a cheap roof over my head." (Those are paraphrased 'quotations' by the way, I saved you the tedium of reading the cut and pasted pages it took to make a short story long). He is told that he is getting a huge settlement from the company, very unexpectedly and instead of being tickled, we're shown the same amount of emotion we got for a divorce and a job loss. *yawn*

About half way through the book, I'm wondering who the heck is Mango Bob. We eventually find out it's a cat, and so I'm thinking 'Hallelujah! maybe this cat is going to spark things up'. *yawn* Not hardly. Even the Grandma Mazur (if you read Janet Evanovich you know who that is) wannabe couldn't spark up this with her gun in hand...I don't think it would have helped if she'd stripped nekkid and whistled the Star Spangled Banner while twirling the gun and six sparklers.

By the time I read the last page, I was almost drumming my fingernails wanting to be done. Between the lack of emotion, the tasteless dialogue and the weak story line, I honestly would have preferred to have been getting the colonoscopy my doctor keeps advising.

So, there you have it. My very first "Thumb's Down." And, like giving a child a spanking, it's really true that it hurt me more than it hurt them.


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