Boomerang

March 7, 2010 at 3:38 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

I present to you: Boomerang by Alan Hutcheson. $1.99 at Smashwords.

This is a book I chanced upon when the author was promoting it at mobileread.com.

Summary: “Ted Hogwood’s beloved guitar is in the window of Topp Dollar Pawn. The only way he can get the money to rescue her is to accept an assignment from the AABC, a not nearly official branch of the US intelligence community. He is partnered with Jerry Kwiatkowski to steal a boomerang containing secrets that should have died with J. Edgar Hoover. It would be simple if they knew what they were doing.”

Score: 4/5 

This story is much more complicated than the supplied summary indicates. It’s a book version of an extremely successful Cohen brothers movie: quirky, funny in unexpected places, and more than a few twists and turns before you reach the end. The story is told from many opposing viewpoints, but it unfolds easily; just start reading it and let it do the work. The flip-side of an effortless read with so many characters is that the reader doesn’t really get “sucked in” as if the intensity of only one or two main characters was portrayed.

I could tell Boomerang was very carefully written. There are no wasted words, and no fluffy padding of any kind. The humor in the narration reminds me of Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, one of my personal favorites. If you aren’t into very dry, pompous, “Ministry of Silly Walks” type jokes, there are still plenty of laughs in the dialog and the situations themselves.

At times I found the characters’ motivations and alliances hard to keep track of, but at the same time I liked how the chapters jumped from person to person. It kept the tone from getting overly serious, which would have been disastrous for this particular book. I guess that makes that issue a wash.

The Bottom Line: Boomerang is a light, humorous book that doesn’t make you think too terribly hard, and doesn’t preach any morals. I’d recommend it as a leisurely summertime read.

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