Monday, July 27, 2009

Book - A Jolly Good Fellow

A Jolly Good Fellow by Stephen V. Masse
It’s almost Christmas and times are tough, Duncan Wagner needed money to live off of so he concocted a plan to get one hundred thousand dollars by kidnapping and ransoming off the kid of State Representative Winthrop Booker. After several attempts to put the plan in motion, Duncan watches as Gabriel Booker misses his school bus and then, as he is hitchhiking down the road, gets into Duncan’s car. No snatching, no screaming, no tying up, just gets in, sits down and says ‘Just trying to get a ride‘. All this made the first part of the plan so much easier than expected. Turns out the kid was running away from home an decides that Duncan seems nice enough to spend a few days with and will go ahead and play along with the whole kidnapping thing for a while, it might even be fun. Duncan wonders if the rest of his plan will work this well also or if he is going to get caught and go to jail.



A story of friendship and finding a way to move on, get over and get through life. Kind of cute even though it is predictable for so much of the main plot. I enjoyed the way Gabriel was written, a young boy at a difficult age, a boy very independent and with signs of his intelligence already creeping through but still having kid problems and in the end, he misses his mom and dad (how great is that). This was a different style of writing than I am used to , not just because the narration was written as if Duncan was thinking everything (first person), but it was set in Boston (nothing wrong with that) and some of the grammatical slang or dialect maybe, is what gave me difficulty. It was the ’by the by’ and the ’so I says to him’ (with the S on say, and not using said) even in the narrative. It caused a distraction for me (grammatically speaking) and I wasn’t able to get past it enough to enjoy the story more. I do typically like the happy endings and this one had mixed messages there. No real closure, for the most part it left the characters almost in a sad state and the expected answer was avoided. (***)
Jul 27, 2009

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