3 out of 4 stars
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Father Francis Gold has been assigned to his new parish;Saint Francis of Assisi, Florida. Frank, as he would rather be called, is on a plane to the US as the story begins. He takes us onto his arrival in the US where a few things don't go as he would have liked it. Did I say a few things? Everything is wrong with Frank; from as simple as his carry on, to his passport. Clumsy, unwittingly funny are a few words to describe Frank who has a hard time trying to get out of airport security.
Hot and humid weather is one of the things he has to contend with in Florida. Then there is Martha, his house keeper or habitational technician as Bill would say, who does not see him as being fit for his position. And there is Gene Charmois whom he has to please to keep his congregation and the money coming to the church. But despite Father William's prompting, Frank does just the opposite of that. From there, it's an up hill ride for Frank who is abandoned by all, including Bill(Father William), with only Martha for a companion.
The story narrative is in the first person as Frank takes us along on his journey to Saint Francis of Assisi and there after. Right from the start, you can't help but crack a smile as you go along with him. All of his experiences, instead of bringing a tear to your eye, sets your ribs cracking so hard in laughter they hurt. That's just about the only pain you feel for Frank. There is also the differences between British and American English highlighted in the most hilarious way possible. To a point, Frank is cautious about saying anything so as not to convey a different message from the intended one.
Characters are portrayed as being human, not superhuman. Each has their strengths and weaknesses. Frank who is not a drinker in the first place, is influenced by Bill into drinking. Sometimes I wondered if they had hit their heads somewhere and forgotten they were priests. Again, Frank has to deal with temptation from women who find him alluring just for the fact that he is a priest. He is seen to stare, regain himself, and then pray for forgiveness. This serves to show that every human, no matter his calling, is liable to be tempted.
I rate this book 3 out of 4. It was a great read and thoroughly edited book up until the end. But the author's attempt to infuse a bit of romance into this did not go so well. It was good; not as great. And if my eyes weren't playing tricks on me, I think the space bar was misused a little.
This is a book for a wide range of audiences and except for young children who may not understand it, this is a book for everyone. Or perhaps you might have hurt your ribs in some way, it may hurt more when you read Can I Be Frank. And I strongly recommend not to read this book in a public place, just so you don't burst out laughing out of nowhere, everyone gives you that "you're-weird" look. I kept on laughing a few hours after putting this down, my two year old nephew kept asking I was doing okay.
Can I Be Frank?
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