A library in a small town in the southern United States has its funding cut by the city and the librarian, Serenity, fights back in an unusual way.
There is a slight sense of Catch-22 or M*A*S*H (the book series) humor here, with average people doing absurd things in order to get a positive result, and of course the situation is unfortunately too common, too real. In fact, I selected this book because I could identify with the problem. As the former chair of a public library board of trustees, I’ve stood in front of city councils pleading not to have the funding cut, so I thought I might enjoy this wacky-sounding book.
Unfortunately, the idea may be stellar, but the execution fizzles.
This book never rises above stereotypes and infantile sexual references to get a cheap laugh. None of the characters seem real in any way but rather cheap copies of Dukes of Hazard caricatures.
While our primary figure is a strong woman, misogyny is rampant throughout the book and I was embarrassed just reading this.
Quirky things happen here. That’s okay … quirky things are supposed to happen in a screwball comedy. But there are supposed to be consequences for those quirky things when it goes wrong, and what is supposed to make it a lovable comedy is that it all manages to work out in the end. Unfortunately here there are no consequences. There is the occasional threat of a consequence, but ultimately Serenity does what she wants, even a little underhandedly, and she gets her way. Hooray! Except … yawn, we’ve probably lost interest as these stock characters are moved about.
I had really hoped to like this, but other than the premise, this just doesn’t work.
Looking for a good book? Ask a librarian for a recommendation … a real librarian, not a MAD one.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
author: Michael Guillebeau
publisher: Madison Press
paperback, 404 pages