Category Archives: Comics/Humor

The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain by Bill Bryson

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Road to Little DribblingMy second trip with Mr. Bryson as he walked (mostly) along the roads, walkways, and streets of England. His writing can sometimes become a bit tiresome or boring as it basically has no dialogue. It is strictly his comments and descriptions of the places and scenery that he passes. However all of it is also laced with humor and smart-alec asides (usually that he keeps inside and doesn’t express outward to whomever he is jostling.

A quick example, “..about the Internet. It is just an accumulation of digital information, with no brains, and no feelings…just like an IT person, in fact”.

All the while he is exploring and walking he is chiding the people of England as well as the people of the United States. Bryson does have dual citizenship as he was born in Iowa and after meeting his wife while on an excursion in England years ago he decided they would live in England eventually.

As a starter he claims the British do strange things in their handling of roads and zones. He says it is not to confuse foreigners at all. They do it to confuse themselves. He does quite a dissertation on some examples.

Also he tells about a secret U.S. training mission in Slapton Sands in 1944 but somehow the Nazis had U-Boats in the area and killed close to 1000 American soldiers on landing crafts that were practicing and not actually in combat! It was one of the most lopsided routs of the war as far as America was concerned.

The entire book is filled with bits and pieces of very interesting information about the idiosyncrasies, occurrences, and people of the British Isles. Not that it is derogatory in any fashion but basically a great telling of tales that have occurred over the many years that England has been a mighty nation in this world.

Bryson has written many books and mostly they are about his musings as he travels in places all over the world. Not too long ago a very good movie was made about another of his walks……it was called A Walk in the Woods and it was a good look at Bryson and his lifestyle I guess you would say.

It won’t be long until I dig into another of his writings because he is very informative, funny and, though not too easy sometimes to read, very entertaining. Try this one and you will see!!!

Expired Listings by D.M. Barr

Reviewed by Chris Phillips

Expired ListingsThis is advertised as an erotic suspense thriller. In all possible ways this definitely qualifies on all counts.

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Dana Black is the main character of the work. She is a troubled adult working in real estate in the same company as her sister and in the same town as her mother did as well.

The only caveat is that this is erotica of a specific nature. There is no graphic sex, but there are adult situations throughout the book. From the beginning, where the murderer is dealing with a victim in their dungeon killing floor area, Barr spends a lot of time filling in the backstory until in the final chapter the surprise ending blasts into reality.

Hmmm? – A Tale of Mysterious Murr-Derr and a Girl by Simon Plaster (Review #2)

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

HmmmHmmm? by Simon Plaster is the latest brilliant satirical novel the author has written featuring small-town reporter, Henrietta, who lives in Henryetta, Oklahoma. In Hmmm?, Henrietta looks for love in all the wrong places, instead finding intrigue. She also finds many things that make her, and the reader, go “Hmmm?” in a novel that has many LOL passages, along with….a murder investigation, or, at any rate, a facsimile of one, conducted by one of the many humorous and larger-than-life characters in the novel.

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Hmmm? has a large cast of characters, revisiting many from past novels in the series, like Henrietta’s overly-dramatic mom, Wynona Sue, who works at the Best Little Hair House. She is looking for the love of her life, but she has an unrealistic set of expectations and instead has a series of flings with men like Professor Alexander Lehough, who is an expert on insects, was a star witness in a trial in a previous novel in the series, Tick, and has a split personality. His other personality is Zander, and Lehough often has conversations with him.

Alexander keeps Zander subdued by drinking something from a “brown bottle of powerful potion that would put the nagging pest to sleep,” but Wynona Sue overhears her lover talking to “Zander,” or at least someone she mistakes as being “Zander.” The person is really Charlene Lehough, Alexander’s estranged wife, who left him for a new lover, Virgil Carter. She heard that Alexander won a Nobel Prize, however, so left Virgil knocked out and duct taped in Texas to return and try to get her hands on some of money that comes with winning a Nobel Prize.

Alexander does not want anything to do with Charlene, anymore, and would much rather be with Wynona Sue. Wynona Sue convinces herself that Charlene must be the “Zander” Alexander has been having conversations with, though at times, she thinks that maybe “Zander” is a male who Alexander has been having a homosexual relationship with.

Wynona Sue hires a local resident, Max Morgan, who fancies himself to be a private detective, to find out more information about who Zander is, so she will know, once and for all, the truth. “Maximo,” a big fan of novels involving private detectives, decides to become one, himself, and his exploits and misadventures adds even more humor to this highly entertaining novel..

Hmmm? by Simon Plaster is subtitled “A Tale of Mysterious Murrr-Derrr and a Girl.” It is a novel that is, in part, slapstick comedy and in part, it draws from film noir movies and hardboiled detective novels. Hmmm? is a novel that can be enjoyed as a stand-alone book, though I highly recommend reading the other novels in the series, as well, because they are all gems that are well worth reading.

Hmmm? – A Tale of Mysterious Murr-Derr and a Girl by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Chris Phillips

0991448065In the new uproariously slapstick comedy mystery, Plaster has his characters up to more shenanigans in small town Oklahoma. There is intrigue, mystery, subterfuge and more.

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Take small town Henryetta, OK, add an expanding cast of characters doing unusual, however, very common things in ways that complicate and add more slapstick to this tale. Confusion and miscommunication as well as assumption and pretty outrageous logic combine to keep the reader laughing from almost the first page. This tale starts getting interesting from the first pages. Henrietta hears from her mother, Wynona Sue, that she is smitten and her suitor is equally smitten with her. However, Mom, Wynona Sue, has to string it out with “Guess Who.” In thought reply, Henrietta describes her quintessential mother and her search for that “MAN.” That was a hard one that could take a whole day and then some Henrietta reckoned. Wynona Sue was inclined to fall in love with any and every man who gave her a tumble.” With this the adventure begins.

Where is Emma Butler’s Life Plan? by Julia Wilmot

Reviewed by Lisa Gilbert-Brown

Where is Emma Butler's Life PlanA sublimely witty and thoroughly entertaining read, Where is Emma Butler’s Life Plan? authored by Julia Wilmot,entrances Chick Lit readers from page to page, with its successful combination of humor, spirituality, and the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment by contemporary woman Emma Butler.

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A light hearted, but provocative read, this intriguing narrative stars main character Emma Butler, she’s single, youthful, intelligent, attractive and gainfully employed, but she begins to realize that she is worthy of something more rewarding career-wise, and with no man in her life her biological clock is ticking away as well. Somewhat complacent with her life, and not quite ready to make any big moves to change her life, Emma’s life stays somewhat stagnant.

BOOBS: A Tale of American Politics and a Girl by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Ronnie Alvarado
boobsA biting, unapologetic, and at times hilarious satire of modern American culture and society, Boobs: A Tale of American Politics and a Girl by Simon Plaster, is a witty read for anyone who is fed up by the at times oxymoronic particularities of the current culture.

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The protagonist of Plaster’s satirical work is the tireless Henryetta Herbert, a newspaper reporter and life-long denizen of the small town of Henryetta, Oklahoma. The unconventional spelling of Henryetta’s name has long been a thorn in her side, and has often led her to question her true sexual orientation. Adding even more uncertainty to her sexual identity is the recent “coming out” of her high-school boyfriend, Dallas Cowboy Gaylord Goodhart to his team mate Billy Ray Williams. Adding insult to injury, Gaylie has now even asked Henryetta to be his best man, complete with a tuxedo.

Finding Flipper Frank by Patrick Garry

Finding Flipper Frank

Reviewed by Rich Stoehr

One of the first things I wondered, before I started reading ‘Finding Flipper Frank,’ was just who (or what) “Flipper Frank” was. Fair warning – if you’re wondering about that, you will find out about it, but it won’t be until about two-thirds of the way in. And by the time you get there, you’ll likely be so involved in the unfolding story that you’ll forget you were looking for it in the first place.

On its most basic level, ‘Finding Flipper Frank‘ is the story of a road trip. Three people, mostly strangers to one another, linked by the need to get from Montana to Baltimore…or thereabouts. On the way, they share the same space and get to know one another. There’s Izzy, an older man full of stories about his youth and more than willing to tell them at any time, whether his audience wants to hear them or not. There’s Moira, a woman in her thirties on her way home, bringing with her an air of optimism and hope in everything she touches. And there’s Walt, our uncertain hero, who mostly listens and doesn’t feel he has much to contribute. Middle-aged, kind of aimless, not sure where he’s coming from or where he’s going, Walt is headed to Baltimore to see Cal Ripken break a baseball record in a game he’s not even sure he wants to be at.

Hogback: A Tale of Inter-Generational Conflict and a Girl by Simon Plaster

Hogback

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

Hogback, by Simon Plaster, subtitled (A Tale of Inter- Generational Conflict and a Girl), continues the author’s satirical and often LOL series of novels featuring a young reporter of a small-town newspaper, Henryetta, named “for the small Oklahoma town where she was born and still lived.” She is employed by Harold Mixon’s newspaper, the Henryetta Weekly Herald, and often finds herself right in the middle of a mix of small-town politics and controversy that makes Simon Plaster’s tongue-in-cheek novels extremely entertaining to read.

In Hogback, one of the many humorous events that Henryetta finds herself covering is a golf tournament that is open to people of all ages to play in. The golf tournament is an event instituted under a new program the town has developed, called the Program for Inter-Generational Sports, or (“P.I.G.S”). The program is designed to put an end to the sometimes open hostility that exists between certain peer groups in the town.

Tiger Shrimp Tango by Tim Dorsey

Tiger Shrimp Tango

Reviewed by Book Bug

Paradise.

That one word makes one think of all kinds of words: palm trees, sand, water, waves, fruity drinks, etc, etc but not scams. No way. The last think you want to think about or have happen to you in paradise are scams or being a victim. That’s exactly what is happening in the state of Florida or at least in this book.

In Tiger Shrimp Tango, Serge Storms is a vigilante. He just really doesn’t like bad people, like scam artists. Who can blame him, right?

Ticks: A Tale of Climate Change and a Girl by Simon Plaster

Ticks

Reviewed by Rich Stoehr

“Never Waste a Crisis”

Never let it be said that Simon Plaster shies away from the hard subjects. Quite the opposite, really – by the time he’s done, nobody is left unmarked by his double-edged pen.

In ‘Ticks‘ the topic at hand is global warming – sorry, “climate change” – and all the science and politics and bickering that comes along with it. Just as in ‘Gospel’ the lynchpin of our story is one Henryetta, a small-town reporter for the town she shares her name with – Henryetta, Oklahoma – just doing her level best to break a big story and win one of those Pulitzer Prizes.

This time, it seems like she might have a shot at it, with a local Grassroots Association making a bid to save the planet and make a little extra scratch for themselves along the way, citing everything from “the Goracle” Al Gore to the “K-yo-to Protocol.” Complicating matters are a local professor obsessed with saving the tick population from extinction, a green activist social climber looking to save the world with a flourish of her hefty checkbook, a door-to-door salesman with a history of also-ran politics, and a country lawyer turned city lawyer, then back to country lawyer. Throw in a few celebrity guests before the ending – from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Bill Maher to Madonna – and you’ve got all the markings of a Simon Plaster tale.