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Girls Like Funny Boys (2010)

by Dave Franklin(Favorite Author)
2.97 of 5 Votes: 1
Baby Ice Dog Press
review 1: This book is very stop-start. When it's good, it's very funny and enjoyable, and there were times when I laughed hard. But unfortunately the times in between are very slow and dragged out, and I couldn't help but wonder what that was all about. The book starts slow. We meet Johnny, 18 and in his final year of high school, having had to repeat a year after getting Ross River Virus. It's the late 1980s, and he has two girls interested in him and little self control. Also, he drinks beer. A lot. Did the boy ever drink anything else?And then he goes and rapes a girl. Good going, Johnny. A+ move there.Only a hundred pages have gone past, and the blurb on the back is gone. Enter stage right 300 pages of a very dislikable character doing dislikable things with dislikable people. ... moreNo mention of the rape is made again, although Gina (the girl who was subject of Johnny's attack) comes back, gets a massive head wound, and then is kicked off a shed and mauled by a dog. Oh, and Johnny gets hooked into some kind of drug deal and blackmailed.The character I did like most was Jen, or should I say Wrath, an ex-Gladiator. You know, the TV show? She was a horrible, horrible person, yes, but she was hilarious and got herself into all sorts of trouble. Like kicking Gina off the shed and subsequently allowing her to be mauled by a dog.Unfortunately, there were more down moments than up. There were good parts, but Johnny et al were some unlikable that I just wanted them to all go away. Gina never got a good ending, I didn't see the point of the epilogue with Angie, and I can't help but wonder if Franklin wasn't sure how to end the whole saga. Were we meant to feel sorry for Johnny? And what of Jen?I also feel that Franklin and his publishers have a tough time coming with a title, cover and blurb. Maybe the title is okay, but the cover should offer more, and should, I feel, be a bit darker. And the blurb needs to be changed, too. It only talks about the first hundred or so pages. What of the fact that the rest of the novel has nothing to do with finishing school? What about Jen, and the gym, and the fact that there's a bunch of bikies going about blackmailing people? Wouldn't that be more to do with the book?Look, this book does have funny parts, but it lacked momentum.
review 2: The first thing I should mention is that the blurb on the book leads you to believe that the book is about Johnny getting through all the trials and tribulations of his last year of high school, however most of the book is actually written 20 years later when Johnny is in his late thirties and dissatisfied as his life hasn't gone as planned. With that said I found this book to be a well written enjoyable read.The character of Johnny was likelable, I felt myself feeling sorry for the situation he found himself in and could understand all his frustrations with the Australian entertainment industry producing the same programs over and over again and not making anything that is new and a bit different. However, the character of Jen, the gladiator, was my favourite I found myself either laughing or cringing whenever she was in the book. She was so self absorbed, most of the book she is either talking about when she was in Gladiators or possibly being in a new remake of Gladiators.I liked how some of Johnny's friends from high school reappeared later in the book enabling the reader to find out how their life turned out which I found interesting.I found myself wondering what happened between Gina and Johnny in the park as it seemed to be a pivotal moment in the book for Johnny. What happened between the two is not really explained until the very end of the book when Gina reappears in Johnny's life and leaves the note. Even though only a small part of the note is mentioned in the book you get the idea what happened and why Johnny couldn't stop thinking about his past and wasn't able to forget the people he went to school with. less
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A darkly funny book set in Brisbane around the Australian comedy scene.
***A giveaway win from GR - soon to be on its way!***
Very well written.
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