Professional Zero – Review

Currently on Loan from the Library:

NanJing Requiem by: Ha Jin

Bring Up the Bodies by: Hilary Mantel

A Traitor to Memory by: Elizabeth George

Other Books I’m Reading:

Anathem: by Neal Stephenson

Professional Zero is a first novel by Henry P. Mahone.  It is also the very first independently published book I’ve loved/hated enough to review.  In this case it’s love that makes me write today.  It is just a funny book.  Especially if you happen to be a late-night cable access junky.  Which I was in a time long ago and far away.

Profressional Zero is set in the late 1990’s in Kansas and it is about Barry.  Barry who hates his job as the head of the local cable access channel.  Barry who hates his roommate, while being achingly in love with said roommate’s girlfriend.  Barry who has really started to hate his life.  Which sounds very trite.  But wait!  The thing that makes this book charming and funny is that Barry is a realist.  He knows he could be, maybe even should be doing better at work.  He knows that he has to actually ask women out in order to date.  He knows that his friends aren’t helping the situations.  He even knows that he could change things.  Still, like all of us from time to time, he is completely bumfuzzled about how to make those changes.  Then fate, two crazy men, evil incarnate, and the roommate’s girlfriend give Barry and irresistible push forward.  Which shoves Barry, and everything else into total meltdown.

This book is full of vivid characters and settings that are terrifyingly real.  The real stand out though is the one scene of corporeal exuberance.  Normally I note that such a scene could be skipped over easily.  In this case, if that sort of thing offends you, this is probably not the book for you.  It would be a shame not to read the scene.  It was the most horrifying/humiliating/scream out loud funny scene I’ve read in a long time.  Maybe ever.   I was doubled over with laughter by the time I finished.

It must be understood that at its heart this is a book about guys being guys and all that entails.   Yes, they do things they know are moronic.  Yes, they rain destruction on themselves and those around them.  Yes, things go boom.  But they are guys, and they will soldier on.  I’m just thankful we get to laugh along with them.

Enjoyability: This is a five star read.  No doubt.

Where to read this book: Anywhere, really.  You can find it here both in paperback and Kindle format:

Further reading: I don’t know exactly.  But I have several options waiting for me.  Sadly none of them is the next Henry Mahone.


Posted on April 20, 2013, in Fiction, Reading, review and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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