2 out of 4 stars
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The Misadventures Of Jimmy Crookshank by D.R. Blair is about an Australian criminal, pot grower, and rather unpleasant guy who travels from sunny Australia to freezing England to help a buddy set up his own weed-growing business. Once there, he has lots of adventures, mishaps, and escapades which make him realize his job might not be as easy as anticipated.
I was excited to read about Jimmy’s mischiefs; however, shortly after meeting him, I hated him. There was a palpable discrepancy between the Australian Jimmy and the one in England. They had two different personalities. The few flashbacks and comments about his character showed the Aussie guy as a legend, well-versed in his trade, who had a whole fan club of loyal friends and customers, and who had no troubles putting his wits and charms to work to get what he wanted. He was a successful crook that every wannabe criminal aspired to be.
The guy in England was anything but successful. He had two left feet, did everything wrong, and couldn’t get anything done without being extremely lucky. He couldn’t even get laid when he paid hookers in Amsterdam. The guy was the embodiment of every blond joke out there.
As much as I love reading funny stories with engaging main protagonists, I couldn't connect with Jimmy at all. He doesn’t have any redeemable traits. He doesn’t have a conscience and only cares about people insofar as they give him drugs or help him out. He's racist, sexist, he makes fun of overweight women, blames every screw-up on his friends, and he's just a despicable person. He is not a protagonist you want to root for. The story doesn’t have a hero you can sympathize with. The main character doesn’t grow or evolve throughout the book at all.
Having said that, the last few chapters offered my first belly laugh. Without spoiling anything, it all happened around the time someone died. I will never forget that particular way of burying a body. Suddenly, Jimmy had funny and clever ideas. I loved those last chapters. This was the book I was looking forward to reading with the peculiar crook having unusual flashes of insights to get out of trouble.
As for the writing style, the dialogue seemed somewhat artificial. The author knows to write, and you can get a glimpse of his brilliance every now and then, but the conversations try too much to be funny.
In terms of editing, this was my second biggest letdown in the book. The pages were filled with grammatical and punctuation errors. Semicolons were used routinely instead of commas, comma splices were the norm, and words were missing from phrases. The manuscript needs proofreading and professional editing since every single page has major grammatical issues.
Thus, I give The Misadventures Of Jimmy Crookshank 2 out of 4 stars. I don’t give it one star because the ending had some seriously fun material. When the book is properly edited and the first part is revisited, I can recommend it to readers who enjoy lighthearted, amusing books involving drugs where the main character is a likable jerk.
The Misadventures Of Jimmy Crookshank
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