I’m a big fan of Chris Westlake’s previous novel “Just a bit of Banter, Like” and was super excited to find his latest book. The story centres around three comedians in what might become some kind of reality-book extravaganza. But, there is more: The chosen three have nothing in common and are all linked only by childhood trauma and their upbringing in Bridgend, Wales. They are an odd trio and soon we wonder why has Herbert chosen them as his central characters? Is he writing the story line before it unfolds…?
In true form, Westlake writes in his signature warm and humorous style. The characters are well chosen with some hilarious laugh-out-loud moments as well as some subtler tones. The overall sentiment, the character portrayals, the story lines and the denouement are all really good and satisfying.
I enjoyed this as it reminded me of the best bits of your ‘banter’ book and a bit of some of the really great John Irving books, like Owen Meany and Garp. I also loved the Welsh and Ghana connections of the characters, bringing a real exciting cultural blend into the occasion.
The storytelling is sophisticated with jumps in the time line that may prove a little confusing, but add to the suspense and mystery. The ending is excellent with such an elevating feel good book and I was really pleased when it all came together. I really enjoyed this and think Westlake has established himself as a truly unique voice, which is a rarety.
Eternally optimistic newspaper reporter, Herbert, has a fantastic idea for a book. All it requires is a simple proposal to a trio of unlikely comedians: join forces to perform a week of shows at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival Fringe. They are to be his central characters and their misadventures will form the plot. After all, nowt is stranger than fact. The chosen three have nothing in common and are all linked only by childhood trauma and their upbringing in Bridgend. Or are they? Why has Herbert chosen them as his central characters? Is he writing the story line before it unfolds…?
At Least the Pink Elephants are Laughing at Us is life-affirming contemporary fiction at its very best. The story combines intrigue with a relentless dose of dark and often outrageous humour. It takes you on a journey of demotivating motivational speeches, dingy back-alley pubs and disastrously funny comedy gigs. You will laugh out loud; but will anyone else apart from you and those pesky pink elephants…?
Meet the characters: James is a fifty-something year-old desperately trying to retain his ponytail and dispose of the dark shadow left by his comedian dad. Connor is protective of his zany but troubled Ghanaian mother and harbours resentment towards his headmaster father. Mandy was often used as a goalpost by her two older brothers. Now she is searching for their dad, who has been missing since she was a little girl. Herbert is the mysterious newspaper report who has plucked the trio from obscurity and into the limelight. But who is he really? And is his offer too good to be true…?
From Chris’s Amazon page:
Welcome to my Author Page. Congratulations! You are my 1000th visitor and so you win…
Sorry, I’m getting carried away now.
So now I tell you my books are absolutely fabulous? Honestly? I’m very biased. My suggestion is that you check out the samples and decide for yourself.
You want just a little more? Okay. My books often tackle dark and complex topics from many angles and viewpoints. You’ll relate to and care for my characters because they are just like you and me, like people you know and love. Oh, and my books are funny. They really are very funny.
Now some some impressive information that will no doubt shock and amaze you.
I was awarded 1st place in the Global Short Stories Award, 1st place in the Stringybark Erotic Fiction Award, 2nd place in the HASSRA Literary Award, short-listed for the Stringybark Short Story Award and short-listed for the Stringybark Young Adult Award.
See? I did tell you.
You can follow me on:
my website at https://www.chriswestlakewriter.com
on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChrisWestlakeAuthor/?ref=bookmarks
or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org