Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/
Terry has been reading Fat Boy by Joseph Cobb
3 out of 5 stars
Fat Boy was not what I expected from the blurb – it’s actually an experimental sort of structure, more a series of short stories, poems and intertwined scenarios than a novel, though they do tie up later.
The setting is mostly the English West Country, though it may not be one you recognise, with its humorous and fantastical characters.
Joseph Cobb clearly has much creativity and a good eye for the absurd, leaning towards observational humour. I think this book has potential, though it needs further editing. There are many delightful turns of phrase, amusing metaphors, funny situations and comic book characters, but some areas felt a little ‘first draft’, with lazily structured sentences and rambling paragraphs that simply needed more work. The book as a whole comes over as somewhat haphazard, as if the author’s many imaginative ideas have been splashed across the pages without much thought for cohesion; I couldn’t work out, at first, what I was supposed to be reading; was this a book of short stories? Was Chapter 2 related to Chapter 1? Chapter 3 was written in poetry format, about yet more characters; these appeared again, later in the book. The poems were amusing and cleverly put together, for the most part.
To sum up, I’d say that that Fat Boy has much to commend it, but I would recommend further redrafting to tighten it up, and perhaps the assistance of an experienced content editor to streamline and cut the superfluous, thus highlighting its strengths.
Way out west, in the tumbling greens of England, something’s going down. Two boys attempt an escape from the clutches of their poisonous parents… A good policeman fights to sidestep the corruption that blows like hellfire down his neck… A calamitous filmmaker and her witless lead actor scramble desperately to overcome their mucky pasts and make a Hollywood hit… A trio of nude-nutted nasties thrash their way through the picturesque countryside, collecting debts but finding more than they expected… Then there’s Captain Grubbe: the eminent, manipulative and falsely titled antichrist. He hosts a spectacular annual Christmas party, and this year’s is set to be even more extraordinary than usual.
Fat Boy is a treacherously fictitious rhapsody, taking a tongue-in-cheek look at the best and the worst of humanity and treating it with the disrespect it deserves – love and hate, corruption and extortion, car chases, gunfights and high jinks, all set against the green and pleasant land of the English countryside. It is ludicrous. It is raucous. It is a modern classic.