I was very excited about reading this book as it was the first proper paper copy book I’ve been asked to review. Not only was it a real book sent from America in a jiffy bag (its always exciting getting a jiffy bag through the post) it was also on really shiny white paper which for some reason I found very pleasing.
However I am not someone who can talk myself into liking and therefore finishing a book just because I should. If I were, I would have read War and Peace, and actually finished anything by Stephen King. There are too many books I want to read to waste time on stuff that is hard going.
I’m pleased to say therefore that the Vanilla Gigolo Prescription was anything but hard work. It was excellent. The story, albeit only loosely fitting the description of crime, was focused on script writer Sean who is part of an improvisational acting group called the Vanilla Gigolo Prescription. They have spent years playing small venues around Hollywood, never making the big time. Now with four members, they started off as a five piece until Finn became a famous movie star and left them behind. He returns looking for help from Sean but having been stung by him before they are understandably wary. However Sean obviously does get involved (otherwise it would be a very short story) and gets in all sorts of trouble as a consequence.
I really enjoyed this book, and at points it had me laughing out loud. The story itself was fast moving, and just when you thought you knew where it was going it would switch direction. The main characters of Sean and Finn are both well drawn using flashback scenes, which eventually show why they have ended up the way they are. Sean is one of those people who just need a good wake up slap, however by the end of the story, thanks to his humour and wit I found I was really routing for him to make a go of it all.
All of the characters seemed very believable and unlike some books a lot of the conversations were the kind of mundane chit chat that tends to make up the majority of conversation between friends rather than specifically put in just to move the plot forward. There was a lot of the interaction between the group and I’ve learnt more than I ever needed to know about how improvisation groups warm up and practice, it’s not just getting up on stage! One thing I really enjoyed with this book was the style of writing. As well as the fact that it was all very quick witted and amusing, it was also very cleverly written. If one big word could be used instead of a small one then it was. This all added to the atmosphere of the book, and made it a very enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend it, especially to fans of Carl Hiaasen.