Thursday, 1 August 2013

Lad Lit Book Reviews: Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace

Books For Men Book Reviews! Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace
When I grow up and (hopefully) become a proper writer, I want to be Danny Wallace. His words simply trickle off the page like treacle oozing off a spoon, and in Charlotte Street he has a real winner on his hands. Here was have the story of Jason Priestley (not of 90210 fame although he gets that a lot...) whose brief encounter with a mystery beauty on Charlotte Street results in him being left with her disposal camera.

Besotted by the mystery woman and encouraged by his best friend Dev (who is arguably the best character in the book), Jason decides to get the pictures developed to try and use it for clues to find her again. With shades of Friends Like These, Jason ends up searching the length and breadth of the country (well, Whitby anyway) in what becomes a slight obsession to meet this woman again.

Along the way he meets old and new friends (Matt – the kid he used to teach, his ex Sarah and her fiancĂ© Gary, his work colleague Clem the wannabe stand-up comedian, Abbey the free spirit); all have their own rich identities and personalities that Wallace captures so brilliantly well, and weaves them into Jason's life in a way which makes each character seem equally as important to the story, no matter how much or how little they actually appear in the book.

In a way, they all play their part in Jason trying to find this woman which inadvertently means he ends up finding himself. There are plenty of laughs along the way, and the dialogue between the characters at times is nothing short of brilliant, yet so simple. The story is told to us by Jason, which means you get closer to the character as you share his inner-most thoughts, no matter how quirky or silly they are.

One of the greatest triumphs in this book is that even though Jason is going through a tough time in his life (his career is going nowhere fast) he never becomes whiny, and instead as the reader you urge him on in his journey like he is an old friend.

There are lots of funny moments in this book that range from Jason becoming the poster boy for the local pizza restaurant's marketing drive to turning up at his ex's engagement party and being part of a plan that gets all of the guests high on marijuana; Wallace describes them all in that all-so-easy style that makes it feel like the man is sitting next to you in a pub telling you the story himself.

Just in case I haven't made this clear already - this is a really enjoyable book which I highly recommend. If you are looking for a new lad lit book to read, then look no further...!

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