Book Review Club ~ May
Barrie Summy’s Book Review Club is back with another slate of reviews today, and I am reviewing Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward. I will tell you going in that I picked up this book because I have read all the Spellman novels that Lisa Lutz wrote solo, and LOVED them all. I truly appreciate her wacky sense of humor, her kooky characters, and her twisted, tangled writing method.
So naturally I was curious about the book she co-wrote with an old boyfriend…a writer of poetry.
Evidently they made a deal that specified that they’d write alternate chapters and that neither of them could ‘undo’ what the other had written. They just had to roll with it. Naturally there was some back and forth between the authors during the writing process, and the editor made the excellent decision to include it in the book. So, between the chapters there are notes exchanged that spell out suggestions, frustrations, or general commentary. These are seriously some of the funniest parts of the whole book.
Lacey and Paul are brother and sister, living together in the family house and making money off the marijuana they’re growing in their basement. One night, someone leaves a headless dead body on their lawn, and rather than call the cops (who they don’t want snooping around their property), they decide to move the body and do a little sleuthing of their own. Well, Lacey decides to sleuth. Paul mostly just gets high and watches TV (a point of contention between both characters and authors). When the body shows up back on their lawn and a couple more bodies join the mix, things start to escalate pretty quickly.
I think I laughed out loud while reading this book more than I have ever laughed while reading any other book. It was hilarious and entertaining. However…despite the storyline being quite creative and the characters being well-developed, I have to admit that the plot could maybe have used a couple of tweaks. It wasn’t as clean as I would have liked it to be, but what it lost in stellar storytelling, it made up for in humor. Definitely recommended. If you’re in the mood for funny and crazy and inventive. If you’re a stickler for form and elegantly crafted mystery, maybe not.
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