Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT DIDN’T GET FRAZZLED by David Z Hirsch #Medical #Comedy #wwwblogs

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Didn’t Get Frazzled by David Z Hirsch

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DIDN’T GET FRAZZLED by David Z Hirsch

3.5 stars

The debut novel from this author, who uses a pen name, Didn’t Get Frazzled is about a few years in the life of Seth, a graduate medical student in New York.  The novel intersperses darkly humorous scenes during Seth’s training, with the ongoing drama of his personal life.  It’s intelligently written, well put together, amusing in parts, and I thought the dialogue and the characterisation good (Seth’s girlfriend, April, is particularly so; dreary as hell, and takes herself far, far too seriously).  The contrast between hospital and personal life is well balanced, each giving more weight to the other.  The banter in the practical classes is believable, and it’s clear that the author knows exactly what he’s talking about, all the way through it – nothing like writing what you know!

So why only 3.5 stars? The reason that I haven’t given it the 4 that most of the book merits is that I almost abandoned it three times.  I nearly decided it was a ‘no’ during the first chapter, which I assumed to be written from experiences of the author’s own.  You know when someone tells you about something funny that happened to them, and it sort of trails off with them saying, “Oh well, I suppose you had to be there.”?  That’s what this felt like; a bunch of ‘in’ jokes.  I could see how funny it should have been but it just … wasn’t.   Another time was during the description of an intimate examination of an obese woman.  It wasn’t daringly warts-and-all, it was just disgusting.  I actually closed my Kindle and opened my laptop to write my decline-to-review email, but then I thought, no, I’ve already spent a few hours reading this.

I found the parts about Seth’s personal life the most interesting to read, very well done, but I wonder if the in-hospital sections might contain too much medical info, etc, for your average reader; I did find myself glazing over by about half way through.  And it is, at times, really quite revolting.  But other bits are very good.  I’m in two minds about it; I would imagine that if you’re a medical student, you will LOVE it!

Book Description

A rousing, provocative novel about four years in the life of an intrepid young medical student, set in the grueling world of an elite NYC medical school.

“…the best fictional portrayal of med school since ER.” — BlueInk Review (starred review)

Medical student Seth Levine faces escalating stress and gallows humor as he struggles with the collapse of his romantic relationships and all preconceived notions of what it means to be a doctor. It doesn’t take long before he realizes not getting frazzled is the least of his problems.

Seth encounters a student so arrogant he boasts that he’ll eat any cadaver part he can’t name, an instructor so dedicated she tests the student’s ability to perform a gynecological exam on herself, and a woman so captivating that Seth will do whatever it takes to make her laugh, including regale her with a story about a diagnostic squabble over an erection.

Didn’t Get Frazzled captures with distressing accuracy the gauntlet idealistic college grads must face to secure an MD and, against the odds, come out of it a better human being.

 

About the author

David Z Hirsch grew up on the steppes of Nebraska peddling Kool-Aid off I-129 until saving up enough cash for medical school. After graduation, he moved to Pyongyang to teach pre-med classes at Kim Il-sung University. He soon fell out of favor and was imprisoned at Kaechon where he traded medical favors for soup and toilet paper until he made a daring escape across the border. 

Dr. Hirsch subsisted for the next three years by foraging gooseberries and licking the dew off spiny toads. This led to a burst of creativity, and he wrote the first draft of Didn’t Get Frazzled on bark peeled off a dying Manchurian Ash tree. Ultimately discovered in a semi-feral state by the China Coast Guard flotilla from Liaoning, Dr. Hirsch returned to the United States sixty pounds lighter but more inspired than ever.

David Z Hirsch is a pen name, so absolutely nothing in the above paragraphs are true. This is not lying, you see. It’s fiction. Many well-regarded sources insist that these are two distinct things. The actual guy who wrote this novel is a practicing physician in Maryland. His life story is considerably more prosaic, but in his head he lives a fascinating, fascinating life.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS

 

 

 

WHEN IN A HOLE STOP DIGGING by @ColinGoodwin1 @PublishingPush English Village #Comedy

When in a Hole, Stop DiggingWhen in a Hole, Stop Digging by Colin Goodwin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When in a Hole, Stop Digging is the second book in a series of comedy tales set in a fictional northern England village. A mystery surrounds a drained portion of a canal, a flooding of a new housing estate, murder and a multitude of characters seeking revenge for all sorts of misdemeanours.

There is a large cast of characters in this comedy of errors as more than one person sets themselves up as detectives to solve a case which at first has left few clues. The Lancashire style humour and slapstick disasters are the main feature.

I would like to see a wider use of description to build pictures in my head of the characters, I’m sure the author sees them but they aren’t transposed onto the pages. There are also some dialogue tags which begin to grate a little, too may people barking and screaming at each other.

Overall a light fun read about antics in a rather mad English village.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

An ordinary day in a sleepy village deteriorates into chaos. Livid boat owner Albert vows revenge after a humiliating event, and shocked residents of a brand new housing estate mysteriously find fish in the plumbing. A heartless double murderer on the loose and a gun-toting farmer send shivers through the town of Throttle as two amateur sleuths try to make sense of it all. Meanwhile a pair of sixties throwback detectives attempt to piece it all together, but in reality make matters worse. The local free press needs a story fast, but the novice reporters get a shock as they enter a world far beyond their capability. Finally, one resident, pushed to the edge by a marital issue, sinks to a new low. The mayhem continues…

AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

DON’T GET MAD GET EVEN by @ColinGoodwin1 @PublishingPush #Cricket #comedy #SundayBlogShare

Don't Get Mad Get EvenDon’t Get Mad Get Even by Colin Goodwin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three point Five stars.

Don’t Get Mad Get Even is a jolly tale with a northern counties village cricket club setting. The storyline takes place during one last desperate season for the cricket club as they struggle to win a league cup and thus keep their club open. No win and the land gets turned over for housing.

A large cast of characters fill the pages in this comedy of errors punctuated with dry dark humour as more than one person sets out to sabotage the club and take advantage of their loss. From the couple who have just moved to a house on the green, the long suffering resident who boarders up his windows against the cricket ball, to the lad the team dropped and the greedy son of the landowner who hopes to take advantage of his invalid father.

This book would suit those who have been immersed in village cricket, especially readers who appreciate a bit of Lancashire style humour. It is a quick light read.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

As the cricket season starts, so do the shenanigans…

Life is tranquil in the quintessentially English village of Throttle – until the local cricket team receives a devilish demand.
When industrialist and landowner Sir Alfred Bullock is laid up, his devious son Roland, devises a get-rich-quick scheme. He gives an ultimatum to the cricket club: win a trophy by the end of the season or we take back the ground you play on and sell it for development.
In a desperate attempt to win games and hold on to the pitch, the club enlists the help of a professional whose skills – to the delight of the local ladies – extend far beyond the cricket Field. Roland, together with an unscrupulous estate agent and two dodgy builders, hatches malicious plans to ensure the team loses its games. Meanwhile, village residents whose houses are devalued by being on the perimeter of the pitch take matters into their own hands to ‘fix’ the club’s failure…
Greed, scandal, tragedy and farce ensue as the cricket club fights for survival against increasingly dangerous sabotage…

AmazonUk | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT GOING AGAINST TYPE BY @Authorsharonb #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Sterna, she blogs at https://sternakruger.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Sterna has been reading Going Against Type by Sharon Black

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Review

 

Going Against Type – by Sharon Black

 

I love Charlie, a sports journalist kicking but in a ‘mans-world’, from the first page. The Author does a great job of connecting her with the reader – and it doesn’t hurt that she has a killer sense of humor.

 

After putting a disastrous relationship behind her, Charlie focuses on the one thing she knows she’s good at – sports writing. So when she’s given the chance to write a brand new column, Side Swipe, she jumps with both feet in … landing right in the middle of well-known columnist, The Squire’s, radar. And its war from the get go! Much to the delight of the media and social sites

 

… love is the absolute last thing either of the sparring journo’s hope to find.

 

Derry, a gorgeous straight fashion journalist, who has decided to hide his broken heart behind an endless string of ‘brainless’ woman, is absolutely not Charlie’s type. But the two ‘seemingly opposites’ are drawn to each other from their first ‘foot-stomp-by-panama-hat’ encounter, and as the war between their alter ego’s continue, a relationship develops between Charlie and Derry, surprising the unlikely pair.

 

When the media insists that The Squire and Side Swipe have it out over national radio, their alter egos are revealed for the first time … right after a night spent together!! … and it all comes crashing down! – in the funniest and most heart-warming of ways.

 

The story is well paced and conversation driven, with witty one liners and a great show of knowledge by the author. No frilly romance scenes here, only funny, modern relationships portrayed in punchy and real circumstances, that keeps you turning the page.

 

Helen and Andrew’s back story was just as intriguing, and Charlie and Helen’s friendship had me craving pasta and coffee with my besties more than once.

 

A fun, light read perfect for any beach day.

 

Congrats Mrs. Black – I’ll definitely be reading more from you.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT CROSSING BEDLAM by @cyallowitz #Dystopia #Comedy #IndieThursday

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry has been reading Crossing Bedlam by Charles Yallowitz

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Crossing Bedlam by Charles Yallowitz

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

This is a post-apocalyptic dark comedy. The USA has become the Shattered States and Cassidy’s mission is to drive across America to scatter her mother’s ashes over the Golden Gate Bridge, as per her dying wish. To help her on her way in these dangerous times, she enlists the help of serial killer Lloyd.

Crossing Bedlam is an amusingly written book with lots of good one liners and observations that I appreciated very much, and some nifty characterisation, but for me the combination of a post-apocalyptic world and comedy didn’t mix well enough to be a real page turner. I could have done with a little more background in the first instance; I felt with this one that I’d walked into the middle of a film. The only other negative for me: the way the narrator kept referring to Cassidy as ‘the blonde’.   Why not just ‘she’ or ‘her’? Archaic at best, sexist at worst ~ I didn’t notice any of the men being referred to as ‘the brunette’ or ‘the redhead’…!

If a slightly off-the-wall comedy dystopian novel is your thing, you’ll probably love this, as it’s clever in many ways; I imagine if I was thirty years younger, male and American I might have enjoyed it a lot more! It’s a book I can imagine going down well with guys who like playing Xbox games about these type of scenarios.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

A CLEAR SOLUTION by Eric McFarlane @Eric_McF @AccentPress #Bookreview #comedy

A Clear SolutionA Clear Solution by Eric McFarlane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Clear Solution is a piece of British comedy full of slap-stick moments and misunderstandings. Daniel Dreghorn is a chemistry lab technician at Coatdyke University, Scotland. Meant only as a temporary job he’s already been there five years.

Daniel is ear marked by student Susan Bradshaw as someone who could help her “pass” her exams after he is easily persuaded to give her the correct answer to her practical experiment. Susan’s father is a manager at Barnaby’s Bank and provides Daniel with large sums of money to get copies of the exam papers.

Whilst trying to get the papers, Daniel is discovered by Dr Bernini, who assumes Daniel has discovered information on his dodgy donuts. Bernini’s then keen to keep Daniel on side. Meanwhile Professor Smart wants a chat with Daniel.

In this comedy of errors everyone has a hidden agenda and they all think Daniel can help them as he totters from one disastrous scene to another. I must mention Sadie who works in the canteen, she had a wonderful Scottish accent.

Comedy is a very hard genre to get across to the reader, I could see this working well as a TV show, it ticks many boxes of a classic British sit-com.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Ian Billings’ Lost Property by @mrianbillings #comedy

Today’s team book review comes from Suraya, find her here http://www.thestorymint.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Suraya has been reading and reviewing Lost Property by Ian Billings

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Book Review

Lost property

By Ian Billings

This is a delightful children’s book. I can imagine children giggling over some of the craziness like Insect a side football.

This is a collection of witty short stories and poems supported by drawings. It is spirited and loads of fun.

Just when I thought I was getting to grips with the misspelt words, the weird things the characters did and the variety of typefaces something else would come up and I’d do another double take. It was a thoroughly entertaining piece of writing.

For example who could but smile when they read this:

BEWARE! TAKE CARE!

Our school caretaker, Mr. Mole

Didn’t take care – so he fell in a hole.

 

When your job’s about taking care,

If there’s a hole in the ground you should beware.

The drawing of two skinny legs in big shoes and attached to a very round body falling into a black hole just rounds the piece out.

What a wonderful play on words in the poem and the drawing just adds further laughter value. There are examples of this throughout the collection.

I loved Dame Peggie Slops who was seventy two and still had all her teeth…

in a jar by the bed’.

Sometimes I missed the play on words as in the use of the name, ‘Misstress Gallopp’. The story ends with ‘ What an Opportunity! What appalling spelling!’ and in invitation to read the transcript of the Clapham Police Interview with Missstress Gallopp over missing toe nails.

He plays with topics that make adults squirm. I imagine young people would think tales like ‘The Gruesome Yarn of Mummy’s Nail Clippings’ hilarious. The same goes for the very funny description of ‘Lady Fopp’s beauty spot, which was on her nose, and disappeared after someone squeezed it out.’

However, I can well imagine young people in a group hooting with laughter when they read, ‘From The Septic Tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Sheen.’

Here is an extract:

‘Instead he saw something surprising, so surprising in fact, his wig nearly leaped of his head and hid behind the curtains.’

Delicacies are included in this compendium of what many might call bad taste. For example I imagine every reader will be clambering for prawn ice creams.

This is a lot of fun!

Four stars.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Derek’s Revenge by Mac Black

Derek's RevengeDerek’s Revenge by Mac Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Derek Toozlethwaite is a journalist in Newingsworth who is trying to write a book. So far he has failed to find a suitable subject for his book, instead his research has got him into trouble. He’s also been thinking about his past, he’s never known his Mum, Granny and Grandad Smith raised him and there has never been any talk about his Mum.

Fans of Derek know that his life if full of crazy adventures and comical characters and to this end we find Derek quickly in trouble stuck sideways inside a caravan in a ditch with Hammy. With the help of the local fire brigade the rusty relic finally finds its way into Derek’s garden.

Café owner Anton, provides Derek with an idea for his book when he reminisces about a local rock band, who once used the café as their meeting place. They later found fame in America calling themselves Rabid Revenge. Derek decides he’ll write up the story behind the band and sets out to hunt down the band members.

There’s a surprising romance for Hammy, another falling out between Derek and wife Sally and Grandad is accused of stalking a lovely young American lady in Bisko’s supermarket. Will Derek get the story he needs? And finally write his book Rabid Revenge Revisited?

Another greatly entertaining book in the Derek series written by Scottish author Mac Black, with his distinctive style of comedy.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Guest Author Mac Black

Today our guest is author Mac Black. Yesterday I reviewed his first book in the “Derek” series, “Please call me Derek” here is a link to the review. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-4nZ

Mac Black

Now let’s find out more about Mac and his writing.

MAC BLACK

 

Where is your hometown?

If a home is just an address then I have had a few, but, of course, home is much more than that. There are three places that stand out for me, and all in Scotland. Glasgow was where I was born and brought up – a long time ago! That was in days when ships were built in large numbers on the River Clyde. Back then I worked as a ship draughtsman. A dramatic reduction in the demand for Clyde-built ships, not caused by me I hasten to add, meant a change of employer and of home. I moved to a new job in Dundee, quite a transition, and my family went from living in the big city of Glasgow to the small town of Carnoustie. We were settled there for a long time. It was a great town for two young daughters to grow up in, being not too large and on the coast, and with plenty of local activities. I became a small-town person from then. One further move has occurred, to another small town, to our most recent home in Cupar, a country town in the north of Fife. My wife and I have no plans to move again – at least, I have no plans …but who knows! I await further instructions

 

How long have you been writing?

Although I enjoyed creating amusing poems when I was younger, it was only when I retired from ‘real work’ that I tried ‘real writing’, and Autumn, 2009, was when I first put pen to paper as a writer of prose. (Umm, no… not strictly true as I have always had the luxury of writing with the aid of a computer, though, when I pay bills, my pen does still function – very reluctantly – to sign cheques.)  My first book was mainly factual, based on our family tree. That first attempt was lovingly created by hand – all my own work, writing, printing and binding, three copies only, a learning experience. Finding a publisher was never contemplated back then, it was a novelty and fun. Fiction was not attempted until the next year, in 2010. Another year later, and, after a very short search, I was lucky enough to find a publisher with a sense of humour who was interested in my work.

Where did the idea for “Please… Call me Derek” come from?

After a few false starts, I concluded that serious writing was not hitting the mark. As an amateur-dramatics performer many years ago I preferred comedy roles, so, attempting to write something light-hearted became the thought. My inspiration was to create a special character, one with a fairly unusual name who would gain sympathy through self-inflicted mishaps in simple everyday situations. To be honest, the plot just developed page by page, and, to my own amazement, eventually, I had created a ‘Derek’ story. I tried it out on a few friends, and was delighted to have some good feedback.

Apart from Derek my favourite character was Grandad Smith, which was yours?

As the creator of what is becoming a large fictional family, I really shouldn’t admit to having favourites. That would only cause jealousy and friction amongst them all and that would not be a good idea, now, would it? However, if you read each story you will find that the different characters take turns at playing centre stage in the various tales. Of course, Derek is the pivotal character always. He has to be my shining example of a hapless hero!

“Thelma” adds to the complications in the book, can you tell the readers why Sally’s Aunt Thelma was estranged from the family?

She was a naughty girl, and we all know what happens to naughty girls, don’t we? Continually falling-out with her father and her twin brother, when she was young, led to her leaving home as soon as she could. She has remained an outcast for most of her life, but, it shouldn’t have to continue forever like that. Perhaps she could become part of the family again? Would that be a good turn of events – maybe for her to become reconciled with them, now that she is older? Do you think that she could control her temper, and make peace with her brother, if she were promised a starring role in a ‘Derek’ book? What a brilliant idea! Yes, I might try that!

‘Sweaty’ and ‘Spider’ are great nicknames which you handle really well in the book, how much fun did you have thinking up these nicknames?

Being called ‘Blackie’ by my young pals is one of my own happy memories. We all had them, nicknames. As youngsters, using actual first names felt too proper, and using a surname was reserved for persons in authority, such as the hated schoolteacher, the minister – and the probation officer. A nickname back then was comforting, binding you to your pals – unless it was one you disliked, of course! Anyway, for Derek’s pals in his pre-school gang days, Toozlethwaite was a mouthful; with their childhood lisps it became ‘Thwaity’, and later progressed to ‘Sweaty’. As for Spider, well, that is a generational thing: his dad was called that – and his Grandad too, and, with him being tall and lanky, what other name could he possibly have?

The kidnappers only get £3000; do you think the absurdity of it is classic British comedy?

I’d like to think so. Having the bad guys win never seems morally correct for me, but then again when I write, unfortunately, the good guys tend to lose out too. Is it just me…?

Derek’s story continues in the next three books, can you give the readers a little hint as to what to expect?

One thing for certain is that Derek will inadvertently land himself in more trouble. If he gets married would you expect his life to become perfect? No, of course not! If he delves into his family history, will he find a few surprises? Yes, of course he will! Will he eventually find a subject for his longed-for book? Maybe, but you’ll have to read the stories to find the real answers to the questions, won’t you? Oh, and will he ever be rid of his nickname…?

Are you planning more Derek books?

To date, four books exist in the series, on the shelves as Paperbacks, and also accessible as Kindle versions. ‘Please…Call me Derek’, ‘Derek’s in Trouble’, ‘Derek’s Revenge’, they all came out during 2012; the fourth, ‘Derek’s Good Relations’, has only just been released in December 2013. The stories are in chronological order related to Derek’s adult life, and it is worth while reading them in sequence – if you dare to become hooked!

Do you have the publication date of your next book ready to whet the appetite of fans?

The fifth book is still a ‘work in progress’. It is called ‘Derek’s Secrets’ and is due for publication during 2014. Now, I need a favour, would somebody be good enough to tell me what this fifth story is supposed to be about? …Please!

Please... Call Me Derek

“Please Call Me Derek! and other books in the series available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

Thank you Mac, I look forward to reading more of the Derek stories.

Please Call Me Derek by Mac Black

Please... Call Me DerekPlease… Call Me Derek by Mac Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Please Call me Derek is a grown up comedy following the events in Derek’s life. It begins with a little introduction to Derek as a child and explains some of the history behind the large Supermarket called Bisko’s which was built on an old piece of derelict ground which young Derek and his friends used to play on.

We next meet Derek aged 29 years old and leaving his current job with the wild idea of becoming an author. Circumstances and unfortunate events find Derek struggling to write and in need of finding a new job.

The book is full of some great characters, I loved Derek’s full name, Derek Toozlethwaite. There is Rob the newspaper editor with a gambling debt to pay, a banker with a hidden secret, his wife Muriel, the victim of a kidnapping and many more. Derek lives with his Grandparents, his Grandad has a paper-round which he does on his bike, while his Gran is doing a study on the benefits of keeping the aging mind active.

There is an unusual element in the book in that many of the characters don’t drive cars and they rely on cycling which adds to the comedy. Grandad’s bike has it’s own starring role in the proceedings more than once, and hopefully someone will give it some loving oil soon.

Throughout the story the local police force are half a step behind most of the goings on, and it seems to be the intent of the characters to outwit the police any way they can, from the very beginning chapter when Derek arrives home with a very large security dog on his trail, to the end when the detective known as Andy Pandy finally throws in the towel.

The plot revolves around a complicated kidnapping, with several twists and turns, leave no stone unturned whilst reading this and beat the detective to the bottom of this crime if you can. Yet despite all that happens to Derek, by the end he finds inspiration for his new book, we leave Derek deeply involved in character fieldwork and look forward to reading more in the next book entitled “Derek in Trouble”.

This book is pure entertainment.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Author Mac Black will be our guest on the blog tomorrow, do come back and find out more about him.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.