Saturday, 17 September 2011

Book Review: Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith

Alison WonderlandAlison Temple's life is full of colourful characters, like her psychic postman, club manager friend Taron whose mother is a witch, and inventor lodger slash might be boyfriend Jeff. After using Fitzgerald's Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I) to catch out her cheating husband she takes a job there. It primarily comprises dull temping jobs to get the goods on other women's cheating husbands but now the boss, Ella Fitzgerald, is on to something big, related to animal experimentation taking place in the South West of England.

The plot basically involves the investigation into what is going on in the South West, and Taron's search for an abandoned baby to become an apprentice to her mother. However these elements really feels like a backdrop for the goings on of the author's zany characters. Alison seems lost and has plenty of opportunity to ponder those strange little things in life, with myriads quirky observations that made me smile or nod, and wonder along with her. Alison doesn't seem like much of a PI but she is warm, funny and full of interesting thoughts.

This book encompasses some very diverse characters, lots of drugs and even bestiality, but despite this it is a quick, light read with a quirky sense of humour. I'm still wondering what the meat of a shig (sheep/pig) would taste like and what sauce you'd have with it. Don't read it expecting a crime story or any obvious Alice in Wonderland connections, but do expect some humour and some soul-searching as Alison tries to move forward after her divorce.

I have read a couple of Helen's other books before this, but this was her first. I think her later works are probably more honed and show a wonderful development of the author's descriptive talent, but Alison is a strangely likable character and I found it an enjoyable read.

Format: Kindle, I think I won this book in a giveaway
My Rating: 3*


Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Wow bestiality?! Hmmm... I don't think I've ever read a book that included that.

TC said...

It's not a big part of the plot, and when it's a man on a stepladder with a giant sheep/pig it's not entirely serious but it's there.