Saturday, November 16, 2013

When Pigs Fly - Bob Sanchez

    2006 (Kindle version : 2011); 307 pages.  New Author? : Yes.  Genre : Humor; Arizona Crime Noir.  Overall Rating : 9*/10.

    Ex-cop Mack Durgin wants to find a fitting spot to scatter his former partner’s ashes.  Diet Cola wants to retrieve the lottery ticket that he stole.  Sally Windflower doesn’t want to part with her science project pet javelina.  And Elvis wants his unrequited love to be ...well... requited.

    They will all find the answers to their wishes in Arizona desert.  But to varying degrees of fulfillment, generally not in the way they envisioned, and when pigs fly.

What’s To Like...
    The characters are great.  We have our hero (Mack) and a fine supporting cast of good guys, including a love interest and his parents.  His Mom may be senile, but don’t cross her when she has a bullwhip in her hand.  Poindexter the javelina is a hoot.  Well, an oink, actually.

    The bad guys come in varying shades of evilness, and they all have redeeming qualities.  Two are lovably dumb, but with shoplifting skills to die for.  Another redefines the phrase “insanely jealous”, and even Diet Cola has some admirable leadership skills and can tell when someone is bullsh*tting him.

    The humor consists of puns, double-entendres, and wacky mayhem.  Most of the story takes place in Arizona, which is home to me, so that’s a plus.  It’s obvious that Bob Sanchez knows the state, and he varies the settings from Tucson and Tombstone, through Phoenix and Apache Junction, and up to Flagstaff and Williams.

    The disparate plotlines come together smoothly, and everything builds to a satisfying ending.  The last scene is warm and fuzzy and bloody, and all the loose ends are tied up.  This is a standalone novel.

    The cute ticket agent looked at them like they had just dropped in from Pluto for a week in Disneyland.  Ace scratched his crotch whenever he figured nobody was looking, and Frosty scratched everywhere all the time – his neck, his forehead, both ankles and all four cheeks, pretty much all the body parts known to man.
    “Sir,” the agent said to Frosty, “are you gentleman able to fly?”
    Ace said, “If we could fly we wouldn’t need an airplane, Miss.”  (loc. 3505)

    A wild pig slurped the cherry-flavored ants on Elvis’s face.  It was the ugliest, smelliest creature Elvis had ever encountered except for Diet Cola.  There were long, curved tusks and bristles on its face that would break a razor blade.  It grunted soft, sweet nothings, then stuck its raspy tongue into Elvis’s ear.  The gesture had a calming effect on Elvis, who thought this was the most gentleness he’d felt in a long time, even if the creature only liked him for his syrup.  (loc. 10632)

Kindle Details...
    When Pigs Fly sells for $2.99 at Amazon.  There is no sequel, but Bob Sanchez has two detective novels available for the Kindle, also priced $2.99.

“Mooned by a pig.  This is the best wedding ever!”  (loc. 14647)
    Everybody’s sense of humor is different.  If you like Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey’s Florida crime humor but wish they’d set some books in other states, When Pigs Fly is for you.  OTOH, if you don’t find anything funny about burying someone up to his neck on an anthill, then you might want to skip this genre.

    For me, this was a thoroughly entertaining, light read.  I LMAO’d all through it.  And at one point, a pig really does fly.  Well, a javelina, anyway.

    9 Stars.  Subtract one-half star if you find Arizona boring; subtract another one-half star if Monty Python humor isn’t your cup of tea.

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