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Book Review: Two Pet Dicks, by John Inman

Two Pet Dicks - John Inman

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Two Pet Dicks - John Inman 2

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Old friends and business partners, Maitland Carter and Lenny Fritz, may not be the two sharpest pickle forks in the picnic basket, but they have big hearts. And they are just now coming around to the fact that maybe their hearts are caught in a bit of turmoil.

Diving headfirst into a whirlwind of animal mayhem, these two self-proclaimed pet detectives strive to earn a living, reunite a few poor lost creatures with their lonely owners, and hopefully not make complete twits of themselves in the process.

When they stumble onto a confusing crime involving venomous reptiles, which is rather unnerving since they’re more accustomed to dealing with misplaced puppy dogs and puddy tats, they take the plunge into becoming real-life crime stoppers.

While they’re plunging into that, they’re also plunging into love. They just haven’t admitted it to each other yet.

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Book – Two Pet Dicks

Author – John Inman

Star rating – ★★★☆☆

No. of Pages – 200

Movie Potential – ★★★☆☆

Ease of reading – easy to read and follow

Would I read it again – No

** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **

Reviewed for Divine Magazine

To be quite honest, this could have been a barrel of laughs, but the humour just wasn’t my cup of tea.

The story is told in 1st person, past tense, through only one character’s POV. Right off, that’s not my style. I can never really get along with 1st past, but this one wasn’t so obvious that it was uncomfortable or jarring to read. However, I’m also not a fan of the characters talking to readers, which this does, at first in the first 4 pages, then in small instances.

For me, the humour was trying too hard. Just about every stereotype that crept up was made fun of – gay, fat, drag, sexist and more. It came across in a more good-natured meaning than cruel or truly vicious, but it still isn’t the kind of humour that I find funny. I don’t really think it’s funny to make fun of people that way, though this was attempted well over a dozen times, in increasingly short-sighted, uncomfortable ways. Every ounce of humour was sarcastic, which also isn’t a favourite of mine.

Funnily enough, the best and funniest parts of the story were when the author wasn’t trying at all. There were a few slapstick comedy moments, some ridiculous instances that were purely for the entertainment value, but there were also sweet moments. The chemistry and relationship of the main couple worked for me and I really liked their dynamic and how it adapted.

I do think the story was dragged out for a really long time. All those missed-moments, where they almost caught a pet, but didn’t, which all led to “funny” moments or injury, just didn’t work and didn’t seem necessary. A few times, the character Maitland was more concerned with laughing his ass off than saving Lenny from danger, particularly when the rooster was pecking his head, which could have been seriously dangerous.

There’s a lot of “harrumph”-ing. To me, that’s a noise and not a word, but I let that slide. It was the constant use of it that bothered me. As with sounds being mentioned, then vocalised right next to each other. Only one is necessary. Both was overkill.

The author was really fond of exaggerated imagery, metaphors and such, using long paragraphs of what a situation was ‘like’ as description for what was going on, in a comedic manner. Again, this didn’t work. Neither did the use of the word “titties” for a man. Nope. Not for me.

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Overall, it’s a simple matter of this book and I not getting along. As this is my first John Inman, it may be either that their writing doesn’t work for me or this is just one odd ball in a bunch. I’ll have to read more of his work to decide.

If you love slapstick comedy, don’t have limits on what you think is funny and you love two gay guys getting into all kinds of shenanigans, then you’ll love it.

For me, though, it was simply trying too hard to be hilarious.

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