It’s Book Review Wednesday, and I’m bringing you an unusual book–one quite unlike anything else I’ve ever read…
Jimmy Stewart Moon – his parents had been big fans of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ – was bored, but not for much longer…
When he accidentally falls out of his bedroom window whilst peeping at his next door neighbour, he meets Frank – a man who claims to be God! Not only that, but Frank claims that His only reason for being on Earth is to help Jimmy get together with the girl of his dreams.
Unfortunately where there’s God, it always follows that there’ll be a Devil…
My Review: 3.5 stars
If there is one word to describe this book, it would be “odd”.
I didn’t understand the purpose of this story, and, while I enjoyed it enough, there was no underlying theme. It didn’t make me think, didn’t teach me anything, and certainly didn’t have any important takeaways.
There were also A LOT of British-isms and expressions to be written for an international audience. The storyline went all over the place, and it was both unusual and erratic. At the end, there was a sudden shift in one of the characters that was completely incomprehensible, unrealistic, and made the character both weak and two-dimensional.
The writing wasn’t bad, but there was a good deal of passive constructions–along with the occasional grammar and punctuation mistake. Not bad, but not great.
That being said, I have to say that I enjoyed reading it. It was humorous, dry, and witty, and it made fun beautifully of the sort of “dull” modern person. It was a short, easy read, and it’s one that I think most people could enjoy.
Here’s a Taste:
Jimmy pushed the door open to the sound of a bell. The shop was extremely dark, with racks of old clothes wrapped in polythene crammed into every nook and cranny. Jimmy eyes the place with suspicion, looking back at Arty.
“Go on,” Arty enticed, “have a look around.”
Jimmy turned back, walking further into the shop. It wasn’t until then that he noticed a middle- aged man in dark glasses standing behind a counter at the back of the store. This was Dodgy Dave. He had long hair, shaved at the sides and held back in a ponytail. He flicked idly through a copy of NME, every so often stopping to draw moustaches on the singers he didn’t like.
“Bastards!” he muttered under his breath.
He scratched at his thin goatee beard, attached to his gaunt jaw, trying to decide whether or not he should go to the toilet. That was when he looked up and saw Jimmy and Arty.
“Can I help you?” he croaked.
Jimmy fell silent, letting Arty speak for both of them, “My friend here is looking for some punk clothes,” Arty said, “do you have any in stock?”
“I dunno,” Dodgy Dave shrugged, “why don’t you have a look – everything I have in stock is on the shop floor.”
“Shop floor?” Jimmy sniggered, “Like this place even has a stock room!”
“Be nice, Jimmy,” Art warned, “I don’t think Dodgy Dave likes it when people rip the piss out of his establishment!”
“Have you got a problem, kid?” Dave asked, glaring at Jimmy, “Because if you do, you can sling your bloody hook right now!”
“I apologise,” Jimmy apologised, “I didn’t mean to disrespect your shop.”
“That’s better,” Dave looked back down at his magazine, “the punk clothes are at the front.” he pointed a skinny finger to the front of the store, “On the right.”
“Thank you.” Arty bowed slightly, dragging Jimmy to the front of the store.
“So what are we getting?” Jimmy asked half- heartedly.
“Well, first things first, we need to get you a new pair of trousers.” Arty began to rifle through the rail, “Something with patches, perhaps even chains,” Art pulled a pair of trousers out from the rail, “these look pretty good, don’t you think?”
Jimmy eyed the jeans distastefully, “I dunno, Arty. I mean, the punk look is all well and good, but those chains are a bit much.”
“No they’re not. They look really cool! I’d wear them!”
“You would?” Jimmy asked distrustingly, “Even with the patches?”
“And the stains?”
“Yeah? What stains?”
Jimmy pointed at various creamy-coloured stains down the front and on the crotch of the jeans, “Those stains!”
Arty eyed the stains, realising what they were, then lied, “Those aren’t stains,” he scoffed, “these are stone wash jeans – they’re supposed to look stained!”
Jimmy took the jeans from Arty and held them up to the light, “I suppose they’re not that bad,” he sighed, “but do you really think that Vanessa will like me in them?”
Arty grinned, “Of course she will. Now stop asking stupid questions – we still need to complete the outfit.”
Arty resumed flicking through the rail, finding an old t-shirt of the Union Jack, a PVC mock-leather jacket, a box containing a pair of steel- capped combat boots, and a chain-mail belt.
“Go and put these all on,” Arty ordered, “there’s a changing room over there!”
Jimmy took the bundle of clothes and walked into the changing room, Arty smiling all the while. He couldn’t believe the lengths Jimmy was going to for Vanessa, though he couldn’t blame him, and he was desperately looking forward to seeing the end result of Jimmy’s transformation into a complete twat!
Jimmy emerged from the changing room looking like Swampi on a bad day. Arty bit his lip, trying to suppress giggles.
“Well?” Jimmy half-asked, holding out his arms, “How do I look?”
“Great!” Arty lied, “You look terrific, pal!”
Jimmy looked down at his clothes, most of which were stained in one way or another, “You don’t think it’s a little over the top do you?” he asked.
“No, no. Of course it isn’t.” Arty folded his arms, pretending to admire Jimmy’s outfit, “in fact, it’s quite subtle. I just wish they had another pair of those jeans!”
“But there was…”
“No there wasn’t,” Arty lied, ushering Jimmy to the counter, “now, hurry up and pay so we can get going on this wooing Vanessa business!”
Jimmy walked up to the counter, where Dodgy Dave was still reading his magazine. He looked up at Jimmy, raising an eyebrow, “Would you like a bag for your other clothes?” he asked casually.
“Yes, please,” Jimmy smiled, “if it’s not too much trouble.”
“No, no trouble at all,” Dave said, fishing for an old plastic bag under his counter.
Jimmy pulled his wallet out of his old trouser pocket, rifling through his notes, “How much do I owe you?”
Dave eyed the wallet, making a note of how much money he had, “Fifty-five quid.” he said, resting his left hand on the counter, holding out the other for the money.
“Fifty-five?” Jimmy couldn’t believe how much these old clothes had cost him as he handed over the money, “Well, I suppose it’s all worth it if it wins me the hand of Vanessa!”
“That’s the way to think,” Arty said, patting Jimmy on the back as they made their way out of the shop. As they reached the doors, Arty turned back and winked;
“See ya, uncle Dave,” he whispered.
“See ya, Arty,” Dave winked back, resuming his reading.
About the Author:
Edward Davies was born in London in 1978. The product of a Welsh father and an Irish mother, he now lives in New Zealand with his Kiwi wife and son. He studied Sociology at Kingston University in the hope of getting insight into people’s characteristics so that he could better create more realistic characters in his books. Divine Intervention is his first published work.
He is released a full-length novel called “The Girlfriend Wager” in November–check it out!
Find the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Intervention-Edward-Davies/dp/1465382313/
And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B006O4LA7S/
Tweet at him: https://twitter.com/Mutant_Toe
Read his thoughts on his website: https://themusingsofedwarddavies.wordpress.com/