Review of Certified

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Brendan Donaghy
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Review of Certified

Post by Brendan Donaghy »

[Following is an official review of "Certified" by Roger Wilson-Crane.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Certified is the debut book of UK writer, Roger Wilson-Crane. Set in Yorkshire, England, it’s a fictional memoir inspired by real events. The story is told in the first person. The autobiographical tone of the book is underlined by the fact that we are never told the narrator’s name, something that allows the reader to assume, rightly or wrongly, that it is Roger the author telling his story.

The book is divided into three sections that cover a birth, a wedding, and a death that affected or involved the narrator. In fact, each section touches upon more than one birth, wedding, and death. The stories, therefore, have a wider lens than first impressions might suggest. The author writes with an easy, conversational style that is laced with humor. At the same time, he is not afraid to confront some difficult and emotional topics. The result is a book that is funny, sad, and philosophical in equal measure.

This is a book that you won’t want to stop reading once you’ve started it. The author’s humorous writing makes for easy reading, but don’t let his light touch fool you into thinking this is not a serious book. Certainly, there are a few laugh-out-loud moments, but the author also deals with some tough issues; he doesn’t shy away from some of the more difficult episodes in his life. More importantly for those who enjoy character-driven stories, he draws his people with great skill. One puts the book down feeling that characters like Dawn, Big Mac, Louise, and the author himself are old friends. The author frequently steps out from behind the keyboard to address comments to the reader directly. It’s a risky strategy that could seem contrived and confusing, but it works well here and adds to the conversational tone.

There isn’t anything about this book that I didn’t like, but readers should be aware that there are many cultural references in the book that will make more sense to people in the UK and Ireland. These include personalities from television and sport. Several UK television programs also get a mention. Other references will be familiar to an international readership; people all around the world are likely to have heard of Princess Diana, Justin Timberlake, The Beatles, and Oasis, but names like Russell Harty, Peter Beardsley, Thelma Barlow, and Derek Trotter may not travel so well.

I am pleased to award this book four out of four stars. It has been professionally edited, and I came across only three very minor errors. The book has some salty language in one or two places, and there is mild profanity throughout its pages. Notwithstanding the book’s pervading humor, there are some adult themes covered, domestic violence being one of these. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys humorous autobiographies and fictionalized memoirs.

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Post by Rishi_reviews »

I was really attracted to it by it's vibrant cover and after reading the review I think it's pretty interesting. Thanks for the review.
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Post by GideonWrites Review »

from this review, it's clear that the book really promised a wonderful and thrilling read. It's a good feature that writer's tone is conversational. This is a well presented review
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Post by Gargoylegarden »

I think I would enjoy this one as I always like an historical fiction.
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Post by Shilisia »

I love memoirs although I'm usually afraid that they might be very repetitive is not well organized. I really appreciate how the author wrote this one. Thanks
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