2010; 193 pages. New Author? : Yes. Genre : Anecdotal Humor. Overall Rating : 6*/10.
Sinclair has a steady career in retail.
Well, that’s nicespeak for stocking the shelves at the local grocery
store. It pays the bills, albeit barely,
and keeps him happily drinking beer and eating donner kebabs for supper. But his class reunion is coming up in a
couple of months, and compared to the bios some of his former classmates have
posted at Friends Reunited (especially his ex-GF Caroline), shelf-stocker
seems a bit underwhelming.
The time has come for a career change.
But to what? Well, how about
something entrepreneurial? Find a need,
supply a product, make a profit. How
difficult can that be?.
What’s To Like...
The setting is Scotland, and the book gives
you a nice feel for the daily life of the common man there. Neal Sillars is Scottish by birth, and a lot
of the dialogue is in the mother tongue (“So A’ll be needin tae borrow ma da’s motor, if that’s
awright, Mam.”). Some may
find this tiresome, but I thought it added to the scene-setting.
The author has a lot of fun with various literary devices – the Fourth
Wall, flashbacks, a deus ex machina or
two, and the always-popular MacGuffin. This
is not a book for the kiddies – there is some cussing, and Rab turns to sex toys for his product
line. Ah, but the tartan dildo is a clever
marketing …um… device.
humor will not be to everyone’s taste, and Rab will not be everyone’s idea of a
hero. Both remind me of the “Flashman”
series, penned by George MacDonald Fraser, another Scottish writer. Personally, I am not a big Flashman fan, but
to each his own.
a Windsor knot you’re wanting there, Son.
Look at the states of that knot!
Who would ever say you were a son of mine?”
The look of disgust on his face appeared
genuine and I must confess that what he said did make me think, but I couldn’t
imagine my mum having ever been with anyone else but dad. (loc. 638)
We’re not big on cocktails in Lanarkshire
and I don’t think it’s just an issue of price.
We have an unspoken macho code which limits many of the things men are
allowed to do. We don’t cry, we don’t
wear vests, we eat food which is so spicy that it is barely edible and we don’t
walk about holding hands with our girlfriends unless we have just started going
out, to name but a few of these unwritten rules. (loc. 3063)
If You Fly With The Crows sells for $2.99 at Amazon. Neal Sillars has several other books for sale
there, but ANAICT, none are of the humor genre.
“If ye fly wi the craws, ye’ll die wi the craws, Robert!”
IYFWTC has plenty of wit, insight, and musings. Unfortunately, these asides come via way too
many tangents, which simply overshadow the storyline. Rab’s business is an instant success, girls
can’t wait to hop into bed with him, and even when he’s trussed up and dangling
from a crane in Colombia, you know he’s
going to be okay, since he’s writing/telling the story to you.
this makes for very little literary tension, capped off by an ending that just
sort of winds down rather than building to a climax. 6 Stars because, although it wasn’t a compelling
story, neither was it boring; and it’s refreshing to read a story about
Scotland that doesn’t sound like it’s straight out of National Geographic. Add two more stars
if you think that Flashman really is your kind of hero.