Death, the Devil, and the Goldfish by Andrew Buckley
Star Rating: 5/5
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Paranormal, Humorous
Buy the book: Amazon
Synopsis (from Amazon): From the Bahamas to Heathrow airport, to the rain soaked streets of London the dead have ceased dying. This is inconvenient for a number of reasons but what’s the real reason behind the chaos? In London we find Nigel Reinhardt, a disgraced, confused, and gifted London police constable who owns a prophetic goldfish. In Ireland the Angel of Death questions the value and position of his current employment. At Majestic Technologies Celina McMannis works diligently on a top secret project. At the South Pole there lives a very unhappy penguin. When the Devil hatches a nefarious plot to take over the world by possessing a cute little kitty and seizing a factory of robotic Christmas elves it’s up to Nigel and his group of unlikely companions to save the world or die trying… or both.
You guys! My first read of 2018 is five stars! If you follow this blog regularly, you know I don't hand out five stars very easily. I hope this bodes well for the rest of the year. Fingers crossed anyway. 😆 What can I say about this book? I'm so pleased I read it; I'm not sure words can describe how much I loved it. First, though, let me tell you a bit about how I discovered it.
So I listen to this fantastic podcast called Read.Write.Repeat. I just adore the hosts, Kelsey and Kaisha, and I've had some short fiction featured on Kelsey's blog, Tibetan Lemonade. The podcast is really fun and has a little bit of everything bookish, including author interviews. One of their first of these was an interview with Andrew Buckley. Here's the link for that in case you're interested in listening, which I highly recommend that you do. It's hilarious, and things such as devil-cats, agents, and humor writing are discussed. So, yeah, I learned of Andrew and his books listening to that and pretty much immediately decided I needed to look into his titles. I ended up buying another one of his books, a middle grade story called Hair in All the Wrong Places, for my oldest nephew, but to be completely honest, I kinda wanna borrow it back to read. 😄
So onto the review. I started reading it over Christmas whilst trapped in a car with a rabid, shouty football fan listening to the UVA game on the radio. Pro-tip for life: always have books on you! I've included some real-time pictures of my captivity here. Within the first few minutes of reading, I was cracking up out loud in said car. Andrew Buckley mentioned in his Read.Write.Repeat interview that he really enjoys Douglas Adams-esque kind of silly humor, and he nailed that in this book. It also reminds me of a BBC Radio series called Old Harry's Game.
This is definitely one of those books that I started reading at the right time too. Christmas was a bit stressful, and I had just finished a book that was, while really well written, sad and not really to my taste. Andrew did such a good job of fitting a bunch of seemingly disparate pieces together to make a clever, cohesive story. On top of that, sometimes when authors have a bunch of separate pieces moving around, it gets a little janky and confusing and you're like, "What is happening? This is a lot to keep up with." Not with this one. Nope. Everything happening just kind of flowed, and each piece was entertaining all by itself.
I know this is the part where I would usually talk about what I didn't like in the book, but I honestly have nothing. It's hilarious and well crafted and I've begun telling everyone around me how much they need to read it, sooooooo that's it. Thanks for reading!
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