Thursday, March 31, 2011

In the Rooms-Tom Shone

In the Rooms
Tom Shone
Dunne, Apr 12 2011, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312622787

Following a nasty end to a relationship and his work tanking, publisher Patrick Miller flees London for New York. Patrick moans the fate of British expatriates around the world as he toasts London until he spots the literary legend Douglas Kelsey. The man’s first novel made him the top American writer of his generation, but leading with his chin Kelsey got into a battle with his publisher and seemingly vanished.

Knowing how easily Kelsey rages, Miller needs a ploy to meet the man. He stalks Kelsey until he finds the opportunity when the writer enters an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Miller follows him pretending to be an alcoholic so that he can make first contact and hopefully renew his publishing career.

This is an amusing tale that is at its best when it focuses on the changing relationship between the two “alcoholics” as the British expatriate is on a mission to publish the American author’s next book. The story line is rapid fire stand up comic humor that gels nicely when the lead couple takes center stage. The plot loses some of its lampooning of Anglo-America when the tale turns to the changing relationship between Patrick and Lola as that feels more of a requirement though in fairness well written and funny. Fans will relish the jocular British invasion as Patrick sadly muses that he is a victim of the “Sun never sets on the British Empire”.

Harriet Klausner

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