Friday, November 18, 2016

Better Late Than Never: It's a Book Review!



So hey, apparently I forgot that I was supposed to have a blog post ready for last Thursday. And didn't remember until tonight (a week later) and still didn't have something ready to go. Usually I'm a little more organized than this, but life has been happening a lot in my little world, and things have just dropped right out of my brain without telling me.

Since I had nothing but a couple drafts sketched out and nothing really ready to go, I thought perhaps I'd do something I rarely do here: a book review. Typically I'll promote some of the books I work on, and those are more hit-and-miss deals than anything, but I almost never review a book I've simply read for pleasure.

Today I break all the rules to bring you a brief review of Tuck Watley: Freedom Fighter Fighter, Book 1 of the Tuck Watley series by our very own A Beer for the Shower guys, Bryan Pedas and Brandon Meyers.

I should preface this by saying that I almost never get the time to read for the sake of reading. And reading is my default "what to do when there's down time" activity, so I don't waste time reading crappy stuff. Anymore, I don't bother continuing a book unless I'm completely captivated by the first chapter.

I should also say that being a book snob doesn't mean I only read classics. I'm a snob in the sense that I won't waste the effort on a poorly written novel, or one that's lacking in creativity. I'm definitely not a snob when it comes to genre. Humor in the style of Douglas Adams works as well for me as an epic from Tolkien, incredible science fiction, heart-stopping old-school Stephen King horror, or an autobiography.

But this . . . this book . . . I can't even adequately describe what I felt while reading it. First of all, you need to get it. I don't care who you are: if you like to laugh your butt off, get it. Read it. Butt = gone. Seriously. I have no butt anymore because I laughed it off.

Tuck Watley is, as best I can gather, an idiot. But no, he's a genius. Or lucky. Or I don't know what. Just when you think he can't be any more of an inept boob, he comes through with the solution to what's troubling America and solves a case in the most unlikely way.

Tuck works in government surveillance—protecting the American people from . . . themselves?—and the scenarios he encounters are both over-the-top ridiculous and incredibly believable, given the state of our country. His escapades remind me of Inspector Clouseau (Pink Panther), with every bit of clumsy success attached to them. He has a sidekick, DB, who is the muscle of the operation—and who would never, ever be mistaken for the brains.

I can't go into details without giving spoilers, but I have to say that this was a book I had a hard time reading without laughing out loud, or trying to read portions of it to whoever was sitting near me at the time. Brandon and Bryan are not only witty, but they manage to make even the most dorky, immature, bathroom humor hilarious to a full-grown adult, and it's all due to their skillful writing.

These guys are hilarious. I already knew that from their blog, A Beer for the Shower, but after reading Tuck Watley, I have even more respect for the fact that they know how to express themselves not only in a short web-comic a couple times a month, but for the long haul of a full-length novel. Anyone can have a funny one-liner, but what really impressed me was that I did not stop laughing from page one all the way through the end. Yes, some of the jokes were totally juvenile, but you know what? They were still stinkin' funny, and mostly because of how cleverly the writing was done. And I have to add, of course, that as an editor, I was overjoyed to read something that was edited well in addition to being written skillfully.

This is the first book I've read from Meyers and Pedas, but it certainly won't be the last.