Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Coming of Age
Approximate word count: 45-50,000 words
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John Vorhaus is the author of numerous novels and screenplays. In the non-fiction arena, he’s written several books on poker as well as a guide on writing comedy for television and film, The Comic Toolbox: How to be Funny Even If You’re Not, which is now in its fifth printing.
For more, visit the author’s website.
“WHEN YOU’RE ALEXANDER POOLE, EVERYONE’S YOUR TEACHER
A skeevy stereo salesman, master of the bait and switch.
A flaky folk singer and his dog that reads Tolkien.
A drug dealer loan shark with a passion for trees.
A ballsy townie chick who turns you on to Springsteen.
Your wiseass roommate whose favorite pastime is smoking your dope.
Your first college girlfriend who has sex with you to confirm that she’s gay.
Even your one true love.
Together they point you to paradise – Poole’s Paradise – but what will it cost to get in?”
I’ve read a few books by John Vorhaus previously, but believe this is my first foray into his fiction. (The others were non-fiction, on poker and writing.) Even when writing with the primary purpose of informing, Vorhaus has a sense of humor that comes through. As you’d expect, when entertainment becomes one of the goals, the humor turns up a notch. That was true. As evidence I’ll point to the girlfriend who had sex with the protagonist to confirm that she was gay. While there is a lot of humor in the situations and the character’s reactions, Poole’s Paradise is not primarily a book of humor.
Alexander Poole, the protagonist, is a college student, learning about life (he believes everyone in the world is his teacher, if he can figure out what lesson he can learn from them). He always wants to do the right thing (what that is, may not always be apparent), and he’s honest to a fault. (His poor future wife better not ask if those pants make her butt look too big unless she’s willing to get an answer of yes.) It’s a fun and entertaining read. Who knows, maybe there is a life lesson or two that you can learn from Poole yourself.
Some adult language and mild adult situations.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four Stars