Hello again! After reading American Psycho last month, I detox-ed my (very traumatized) head with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It is a semi-autobiographical coming of age story about a young second generation immigrant in Brooklyn, New York. It fit the bill perfectly- cheerful (for the most part), uplifting, inspiring- but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re a preteen girl. Even then, I’d point you to Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl instead, for more hard hitting and realistic content. This gets a 2.5/5 from me.
Now that the trailer’s done, on to the review of the day/week/month!
The Gun Seller- Hugh Laurie
Some people read to improve their general knowledge, broaden their worldview, and become acquainted with world culture. I read for entertainment. That’s probably why I liked this book. It provides laughs without demanding much investment of time or intellectual effort. I would place it at a 7 on the laughter scale (with 10 being PG Wodehouse and 1, Khaled Hosseini).
This is a fast paced comedy/thriller book, set in the world of spies and industrial espionage. It starts off slowly, with more focus on witty puns and character development for the protagonist, before quickly diving into the twisty plot. It’s almost as if the author suddenly remembered that yes, stuff needs to happen here. To be honest, I lost track of the plot about three quarters of the way in (“So is she with the good guys or not?”). Luckily the conclusion considerately summarizes the story. Our hero defeats the baddies (terrorists/ gun runners/ drug smugglers, I’m not completely sure) and needless to say, he gets the girl in the end.
The spy theme is deliberately cliche, there are shootings and pretty girls in abundance, but it’s the brilliant humor that’ll keep you hooked. 3.5/5
If you liked this, you might like Plugged by Eoin Colfer (author of the extremely awesome Artemis Fowl series). It has a similar storyline- ex-military chap who finds himself investigating the murder of an acquaintance, all the while worrying about his premature balding.
PS: And yes, Hugh Laurie is the comedic genius behind A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Blackadder.