A Jolly Good Fellow by Stephen V. Masse
Genre: Fiction, Comedy, sort of Crime Fiction but not really
Summary: Duncan is driving to the kids house. He has a plan—he’s going to kidnap him. But then he sees the kid hitchhiking in the snow. What better way to kidnap someone that to pick him up off the road and offer him a ride? Duncan dresses up as Santa Clause and sits on the street ringing a bell all day. The funds go to the needy—needy as in him. Duncan wants revenge, and he wants the ransom money. But Duncan isn’t exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer… he has no idea how to do a proper kidnapping.
Thoughts: A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW was really cute. It made me laugh, it made me smile, it had its nerve-wracking moments. It’s right in between a 3/5 and a 4 on the scale for me. The reason why is this—the plot was awesome, very unique, original, and very cute, the characters were hilarious and enchanting, but it was a little slow through the first three quarters of the book. Not that it dragged, just that it felt like the last section was fast paced, and the rest was slower and more relaxed, and those two things didn’t go well together and didn’t transition well.
I laughed a lot while I read A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW. If I had to pick a category, I’d choose comedy. It was cute and funny and a little silly, but silly in a good fun-to-read way.
The characters’ dialogue was written so that you could hear their voices in your head when they spoke. I loved hearing their accents while I read, it gave a lot of life to them. Duncan and Gabriel were very animated. Gabriel (the kid) was so full of life and energy. He was also very real. He acted the way a normal kid his age would act, he wasn’t a “perfect” child, an unrealistic character.
Content: There were a few bad words scattered throughout the book, but not much. Duncan went to the triple-X rated movie one night, but nothing was described. All in all, this was a very clean book.
Recommendation: Ages 14+ to anyone who wants a good holiday laugh. I stayed up pretty late reading this one because I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait for more from Stephen Masse.
*This book won the INDEPENDEND PUBLISHING BOOK AWARD*
About the Author:
Stephen V. Masse was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Educated at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he studied creative writing and historical biography, and was the author of a weekly column, “Out of Control.” His first novel, Shadow Stealer, was published by Dillon Press in 1988. When not writing, he restores and renovates homes in the Boston area, and serves as an ambassador each year in the Santa Claus Anonymous fundraising benefit. You can visit his website at www.ajollygoodfellowthebook.com.
**Thank you to Tracee from Pump Up Your Book for supplying my review copy!**