I wasn’t too bothered about this one when it was suggested to be honest. It looked a bit light weight and I generally don’t laugh out loud when my husband does at the Big Bang, The IT Crowd, the Inbetweeneers (Insert other similar funny things here) so thought a book described as ‘comical genius’ wasn’t really going to do it for me.
Nevertheless I bought it and proceeded to boldly go where I have not gone before and read my first comedy novel. And yes I did find it funny at times. I wasn’t wiping the tears from my eyes but it did raise a smile more than once.
I think it was because it was a very visual book and by that I don’t mean there are descriptions of scenery and starry skies. You could just totally see the dance scene taking place as you were reading it and the part where Don tries to buy Claudia a scarf in New York. We all decided it would make a brilliant play or even television show and reading the authors notes it does appear as though it was originally written with this in mind.
I also found myself really liking the characters – we discussed this actually and how it was different to our last book The Silent Wife where I didn’t like anyone and consequently struggled to care/want to read to the end.
I do think that about half way through the book I was finding it a bit bland however it was really easy to read so I powered on through. At one point I couldn’t predict how it was going to turn out – whether Rosie would end up with Don or not and I liked that a lot as I expected it to be very predictable. It was also interesting that the book was from Dons perspective as so many similar books are based from the woman’s point of view. I forgot to mention that at the group, did anyone else pick up on this and like it?
I found it interesting to read about Aspergers/Autism and thought stepping back from the book that Dons character was a particularly good one. He was leading a successful life – own apartment, job of some authority, black belt in martial arts and could take apart a lobster blindfolded. Yet accepted the fact that he would probably never get married due to his inability to find a partner who would accept him.
Dons metamorphosis confused me a little - was the author trying to say that all you need to do is change everything about yourself to obtain the woman you love? Or that Don wasn’t really suffering from autism, he just needed someone to show him how to let go and live loose? Or, you just need to be fake and learn acceptable responses to fit into society and to gain a life partner? I think this is one I need to mull over, over the next few days. Your thoughts on these points would be welcome!
The group also discussed how Don became friends with Gene and what Gene actually got out of the relationship (other than being woken up at 3 in the morning by a phone call from Don). It was interesting that it was Don who stood up to Gene about his womanising but that Gene actually seemed to listen and by the end of the book did seem to be trying to mend his ways.
I think there is definitely more to say about the ending and about why exactly he ended up with Rosie but overall I look back on this book with fondness. Oh and when did you guess it was in Australia? I was genuinely half way through the book before I realised!
We gave this book a 7.3 if I recall rightly with pretty much everyone giving it between 7 and 8. It’s been a while since we have had such a consistent scorer as we now have such a diverse group so must be good.
Next book – The Cookoos Calling by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling
P.S Thank you so much everyone for the Waterstones voucher – it was a lovely surprise and a lovely early birthday present.
Question of the month – Which book if any have you found laugh out loud funny?