Phil: The Parker book pile was getting thin a few weeks ago. Somehow Divorced and Deadly ended up in it. Spying “Fast-paced and fun-packed” on the cover, I gave it a try.
The “story” follows the post-divorce life of Ben. He establishes himself as a narcissist almost immediately – the divorce came about when his wife caught him in bed with another woman, something he thought was “a bit of fun”.
Moving back in with his parents, including murderously crazy mother, he quickly moves out again to a flat with his best mate, Dickie Manse brains-in-his-pants. Yes, that’s his name, and it’s repeated many, many times through the book. A joke that doesn’t get wearing at all…
Apparently, the book is based on a series of real stories that appeared on the author’s blog. It’s written in a diary-style with a series of incidents rather than a traditional narrative.
The result is a bit like a traditional British farce. Unbelievable situations escalate quickly and preposterously. Trousers fall down. Arses are exposed.
None of the characters make much sense. Some of them, such as his ex-wife who seems to devote her life to following him around and hiding in bushes (yes, really) don’t sound very grounded in reality. I’m not even sure why she’s in the book as nothing much happens with her unless you consider a “hilarious” hosepipe squirting incident.
I nearly gave up on this in less than a chapter, but with few other options, I stuck with it. To be fair, it is fast-paced but when you can’t connect with a single character, it’s a little difficult to care.
One for the charity shop book pile rather than the shelf of your library at home. Thank goodness a recent meet-up with the Nolan restocked my shelves!
(In case you think I’m being harsh, once I wrote this, I checked the reviews. Oh dear.)