The Full Ridiculous by Mark Lamprell

Funny. Not. More cringeworthy.

About The Full Ridiculous by Mark Lamprell: A funny, compelling novel about love, family, and the precarious business of being a man. Michael O’Dell is hit by a car. When he doesn’t die, he is surprised and pleased. But he can’t seem to move from the crash position. In fact, the accident is just the first in a series of family crises: His wife Wendy is heroically supportive, but when his daughter Rosie punches out a vindictive schoolmate, all hell breaks loose. His son Declan is found with a stash of illicit drugs. A strange policeman starts harassing the family and ordinary mishaps take on a sinister desperation. To top it all off, Michael’s professional life starts to crumble. Mark Lamprell’s extraordinary debut examines the terrible truth: sometimes you can’t pull yourself together until you’ve completely fallen apart.

My two cents

I read this very quickly, like two days quickly. Granted, I was suffering from jetlag and I thought this book would engross me enough to kill a few hours. And it did just that. But I didn't quite know what to do with it.

Uh-oh ...

For one, this is severely depressing. About three-fourths of the book is about Michael O'Dell's life just spiraling out of control ... and it starts with a car crash. The remainder of the book is the hopeful part.

Two, this is touted as "funny." Where is funny about other people's woes?

Three, this is realistic as heck. I guess this isn't the right time for me to read this. This wasn't escape, it was pure torture to read. If you want to read about sinking into the depths of every possible problem that a middle-aged man could experience, heck go for it. Wallow with Michael and his near-death experience, his sore leg, a family falling apart, unresponsive and/or rebellious teenaged children, and a writer job that is barely able to make the mortgage ... and top all that off with some depression. Whoopee.

I guess this all bad. But didn't make me feel any better.

What I did like

I chalk this one up to my jetlag. There were definitely a lot of good things going for this book:

It's got very sharp writing, the characterisations are truthful and well-rounded (and very realistic), and there is a moral to it.

Plus the story goes at a rather fast clip reminiscent of scene change in movies ... which isn't surprising when I found out that Lamprell co-wrote Babe: Pig in the City.

Verdict: Short and sweet: highly realistic with great writing and characterisations. I do not recommend that this book be read under the influence of jetlag, depression, or if the reader is looking for an escapist read. This is a debut novel so I think I may just be on the lookout for what else Lamprell has to offer.

Do you think you'd read this book?

Many thanks to Deb at The Book Stop! I won this book during her recent Literary Blog Hop Giveaway.

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall