When talking books, I've had more than one person tell me that I need to try Canadian author Terry Fallis. His earlier novel Best Laid Plans has been made into a television series by CBC and I was hearing that it was really good as well. So, I decided to pick up Fallis's newest book No Relation.
I should have listened sooner.....
I rarely laugh out loud when reading a book, but Fallis had me chuckling more than once.
Earnest Hemmingway is the protagonist of No Relation. I bet you immediately thought oh right, the author. Not quite....Although Earnest Hemmingway has been blessed with a famous name, it's a family name and the spelling is different. No, our Earnest is a middle aged man who in one day, has lost his wallet, his job and his girlfriend. And now his father is demanding he take his rightful place at the helm of the family underwear business. The name seems to be the least of his worries. But Earnest decides that with nothing but time on his hands and a good severance cheque in his wallet, it's time to make changes. With the help of some other 'famous' names he sets out on a journey to make the name his own.
I loved Earnest's voice from the first few pages. I appreciated his dry, droll humour and his laid back view of life. Although the license bureau incident was not so laid back - but quite funny. Fallis brings physical comedy to the page very well. Ernest is the everyman that you can't help but root for. He's just eminently likable. Just as warmly written are the band of other famous name folks populating the book - Mahatma Gandhi, Diana Ross, Jackie Kennedy, Clark Kent and more. They're an eclectic, amiable bunch, also guaranteed to endear themselves to the reader.
And don't forget about the family factory. Fallis's second storyline and set of characters, including Hem's sister, father and the requisite 'bad guy' is just as entertaining.
No Relation was a wonderfully fun read - definitely humorous, but also with a touching side. And this reader will be picking up Fallis's backlist. Read an excerpt of No Relation.
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