Posts Tagged ‘novels’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Yes, it’s yet another blog post about a book I’ve recently read. This one I enjoyed thoroughly, mainly because the main character was such a nut.

Goodnight, Steve McQueen by Louise Wener is a novel about trying too hard, or in some cases, not enough. It all begins with England native Steve McQueen, who likes to be called Danny. He lives in an apartment with his girlfriend Alison and things don’t seem to be going so well for their relationship. Then she gets a temporary job hours away…and decides that he needs to grow up or get out.

See, Danny is 29 years old, jobless, and has been living in the daydream that he’ll somehow strike it big with his band. Alison pays for everything. Things start to look up for Danny when his band is allowed to go on tour with a well-known rock group. But he also suspects Alison might be cheating on him.

This book is a bit like High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, but way better. Especially because I wasn’t thinking about John Cusak while I was reading it. I REALLY liked Danny — his idiosyncracies make him loveable, even though sometimes you want to see him get pushed under a bus. He’s nervous, he’s anxious, he’s worried, he always says and does the wrong things, but he’s enjoyable. It’s interesting that this was written by a woman. The male point of view is excellent here.

The story is also filled with other great characters like Kostas, the owner of the video shop Danny works at. And also Sheila, an old lady with an obsession for bloody kung fu movies. Even the other members of Danny’s band are all great in their own ways.

It’s a nice easy read if you don’t want anything too complex. Just kick back and enjoy this “brit lit.”


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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

As an avid reader of Carl Hiaasen books, I can say that none of his books have ever let me down. I’ve read five of his great eco-friendly novels now, but for some reason, the sixth one just isn’t catching me.

Not the greatest Hiaasen book, but still worth a read. Photo from filedby.com.

Not the greatest Hiaasen book, but still worth a read. Photo from filedby.com.

Double Whammy takes place, as always, in sunny Florida. Well, mostly. (This novel switches a bit to Louisiana, too.) The plot thickens when a famous local bass fisherman is suspected of cheating to win bass tournaments throughout the state. Private investigator Decker is hired to take on the case, but the events in this case go way beyond his usual assignments.

When the famous fisherman is discovered murdered days before a big tournament, someone tries to frame Decker for the crime. All the while, he is still in love with his ex-wife, is seduced by the real killer’s sister, and must try to pull off escaping from the cops long enough to prove his innocence.

The characters in this book are colorful, to say the least. Most of Hiaasen’s characters are. However, there is one in particular that keeps coming back in many of the novels — ex-Florida governor Clinton Tyree, who nows goes by either the name Skink or Captain. He is a crazed environmentalist who eats fresh roadkill, shoots a gun at airplanes, and badly punishes anyone who dares to get caught hurting nature.

In the case of this book, I think Skink may be one of the only reasons I’m still intrigued. I am always curious to see what he’ll do next. Perhaps it’s the fact that the story is about a bass tournament that has turned me off. I’m just having a hard time grasping this story.

But hey, it’s all about opinion. If you like Carl Hiaasen, by all means, read this book. You might love the fishy story!

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