Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Review: The Aunt Paradox

The Aunt Paradox
The Aunt Paradox by Chris Dolley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I went into this having read the two previous books, and expecting something light and amusing. I got that, but it was perhaps a bit too light, and not as amusing as I'd hoped. It's very short, and even then the last 10% consists of advertisements for the author's other books and the small press that put it out, so the $2.99 price comes out looking a little high. (I know that's the lowest price that gives 70% royalty. However, I'd normally expect more content, and more substance, for $2.99.)

I mentioned in my review for the previous book that there's an inherent problem with protagonism in these stories. Worcester, the narrator, is completely incompetent, while Reeves is competent. This is inherited, of course, from the model, but Wodehouse managed to make it not matter - I think by putting his hero through suffering and humiliation, mainly. Here, especially where the plots require the heroes to actually do things that matter (unlike Wodehouse), the fact that the problem is resolved by Reeves being competent off-screen doesn't work quite as well. It feels like a letdown.

I was distracted, also, by a few typos, despite two editors being credited. There were half a dozen or so in this very short book, which to me is too many. Mostly missing words, but sometimes missing apostrophes, too.

Is this an enjoyable book, though? Yes, in exactly the same way as the previous two, no more and no less. It's written to the same formula, in other words. I'd advise waiting for a collected edition of all three, unless you're already a big fan of that formula.

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