I got a digital copy of this novel from the author free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. That fact didn’t influence my opinion in any way.
What would you do if you found out you had an incurable and inoperable brain cancer and you have more or less one year of life left? Some people would spend most of their time in a hospital, hoping against hope that good doctors would miraculously get lucky. Some would look for cure on their own in all available and unexpected places. Some would get depressed and kill themselves. Liam Walker, a young Edinburgh plumber approaching thirty, decided to do something else. He decided to enjoy the remainder of his life to the full and have the time of his life.
He stopped working, withdrew all his savings, started picking up all the girls he fancied, and, generally, tried his best to find the best closure of his whole existence, straightening the many wrongs he used to tolerate or forget. He even found a girl of his dreams – the lovely but a bit mysterious Celine with an ample bosom and equally luscious bottom; a girl after his own heart who even shared his taste in books and poems. Still will it be enough?
I am quite aware you can criticize this novel (or rather three short novels constituting a series; I got them all in one copy, it is explained later why) for many things: notably bad language, overindulgence in sex descriptions (‘her sex’, damit! Please, do me a favour and outlaw this expression worldwide!), some paragraphs with strange punctuation and spelling, quite intrusive Scottish brogue, never properly translated (but hey, I got the meaning almost every time and I am not a native speaker so it is not completely hopeless), even those poems in English and in French. Still in this case I feel like being a devil’s advocate.
Why? There’s just one reason: despite its shortcomings the novel worked for me surprisingly well.
Firstly because it had a real, solid story at its core and a great story too. Liam’s illness is something thousands of people are facing every day – all of a sudden they are informed by their doctors they have one month or one year left and I suppose nothing could have prepared them for that. It is quite understandable they might act differently, doing something very wise of very foolish, most often a mix of both.
Secondly because the story of Liam was told with a great sense of humour and irony. I admit I skipped some sex scenes because, even if they featured the divine Celine, they tended to be a bit repetitive; still otherwise I couldn’t wait to get to the bottom line and understand the first part’s opening paragraph to the full. What made that a bit oversexed but overall rather sensible man behaving the way he was behaving?
As far as I know it is a series consisting of three rather short novels. A word of warning: if you are not put off by the adult content and you decide to buy the first one, save yourself a lot of frustration and buy also the rest. Every one of them ends with a big, fat cliffhanger, leaving you rather annoyed if you know you can’t continue the story.
I was asked by the author whether I wanted the whole trilogy or just the first part. As I like longer novels I ended up ordering the whole lot. It was probably the best decision I’ve made as a book blogger and reviewer so far. The ending of the third part was truly riveting and a bit heroic too. I can’t write anything more specific because I would be spoiling you to the extreme; let me just say I didn’t expect such an ending and I consider it a good point.
Last but not least – I must mention something which warmed me to the author significantly. At the end of the book he asks the readers to leave a feedback of any kind as he appreciates any kind of review, bad and good. Reading it I grinned like a fool at the moon. Yes! Finally somebody sensible enough to appreciate the value of negative opinions and impartial criticism! God bless you, dear sir!
A very enjoyable and original novel which, even if far from perfect, still managed to hold my interest till the very end. I am really happy I agreed to read and review it.