So according to a twitter poll my next blog needs to be about something other than fashion or music, luckily I have just the thing. An email landed in my inbox a while ago about a book, Six Lies it was called. The author, Ben Adams contacted me and offered to send me a copy. As he seemed like a thoroughly nice chap I agreed, promptly followed him on twitter and got one of those God awful auto DM’s. These make me want to down a large bottle of wine or dunk my head in a bucket of mud… or both. I honestly find them very annoying but I rolled my eyes, opened it and I was met with this wonderful sentence:
“In my opinion auto DM’s are worse than a mild case of flu”
God love him. Our shared hatred of these messages meant I felt we could now be on first name terms and I found myself looking forward to checking out Ben’s book.
Six Lies is about this normal bloke called Dave who has a not-going-anywhere-fast band, a wife that buggered off with a dork and around the time of his mum’s funeral finds out that she wasn’t actually his biological mum anyway. In trying to sort things out he causes himself and others untold woes and comes to discover several other bombshells which rock the relationship he has with his father.
Ben’s writing is smooth and authentic, it reads like a man’s diary if men kept diaries, which I doubt. I liked the way he made abnormal family situations seem completely believable and carves out his characters with a Nick Hornby-esq ease. Sidebar: I was quite pleased with that comparison until I saw that someone else had already mentioned Hornby on the front cover. No points for observation then.
He doesn’t shy away from showing us that Dave, is a bit of a berk either. Like when he sleeps with a mate’s ex (SER.I.OUS.LY?) and the totally crap but lovable way he goes about trying to get his girl back. He’s the sort of guy that if you met him in real life you’d doubtless go for a drink with but would probably end of slapping him for something he said or did as well.
The story flows almost too easily as you find out more about Dave’s family, friends and his hapless love life. If I’m being a pedant, an awful habit which I’ve picked up from my husband, a couple of things did annoy me a tad. Like when the narrator who is normally Dave, switches to his dad or another character, but just the once. It’s mostly Dave we hear from and if this is to happen at all I’d prefer it switched back and forth several times to get a real feel for both characters mind-set.
Another slight irritation is when in a few sentences one word is used several times i.e. “After looking after Dad returning to work after Christmas was a blessed relief. But I’m being really picky here and am acutely aware this is a pot-kettle-black situation as I’m more than guilty of a few badly laid out sentences myself.
That a few sections made me laugh out loud, and one of those was in the acknowledgements, gives you an idea of Ben’s style. My husband wants to read it as well which shows the range as we are rarely interested in the same books. I would have finished Six Lies ages ago had I not been off ski-ing last week. Now that I have I’m rather annoyed that I don’t get to find out what happens to Dave, or Lou, or Boring Bren. Unless… there’s a sequel in the works!
Have you read any Ben Adams’ books?