Tuesday, February 24, 2015

QUICK REVIEW: Poole's Paradise by John Vorhaus


WHEN YOU'RE ALEXANDER POOLE, EVERYONE'S YOUR TEACHER A skeevy stereo salesman, master of the bait and switch. A flaky folk singer and his dog that reads Tolkien. A drug dealer loan shark with a passion for trees. A ballsy townie chick who turns you on to Springsteen. Your wiseass roommate whose favorite pastime is smoking your dope. Your first college girlfriend who has sex with you to confirm that she's gay. Even your one true love. Together they point you to paradise - Poole's Paradise - but what will it cost to get in?

Paperback, 212 pages
Published October 4th 2014 by Createspace
ISBN 1500222097 (ISBN13: 9781500222093)

About the Author

John Vorhaus is known to one and all as the man who brought Radar Hoverlander – con artist extraordinaire – to life in the “sunshine noir” mystery novel, The California Roll, and its acclaimed sequel, The Albuquerque Turkey.

John is also well known as the author of The Comic Toolbox: How to be Funny Even if You're Not, and its acclaimed sequel, The Little Book of SITCOM, which continue to be definitive sources of information and inspiration for writers from Santa Monica to Scandinavia.

An international consultant in television and film script development, Vorhaus has worked for television networks, film schools, production companies and film funding bodies in 28 countries on four continents. He recently worked in Bulgaria, recruiting and training writers for that country’s adaptation of Married… with Children, and in Tel Aviv, consulting on the Israeli version of The Golden Girls. He also travels regularly to Nicaragua, where he co-created the social action drama Contracorriente to provide positive role modeling for the poor, young and disenfranchised of that embattled country.

And oh by the way, he has written more than three million words on poker, just in his spare time.

Vorhaus is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and a member of the Writers Guild of America. He has taught at such institutions as Northwestern University, the American Film Institute and the Writers Program of the UCLA Extension. He is the author of a dozen books, including Creativity Rules! A Writer's Workbook, the novel Under the Gun, the Killer Poker series and, with Annie Duke, the bestselling Decide to Play Great Poker.

He sells everything but his soul through his Amazon author page,
http://tinyurl.com/jvauthorpageamazon, tweets for no apparent reason @TrueFactBarFact, and secretly rules the world from www.johnvorhaus.com.

My Thoughts
"Shut up! At the end of the day, can you not just shut the hell up?"  
I accepted this book based on the simple fact that I've read a couple of other books by this author, and really enjoyed both. I've found him to be a fun read, and I was happy to give his latest a try. The last two were part of a series with a fun-to-read con artist as the main character.

This time around finds a college student by the name of Alexander Poole who, like so many others, is always happy to make an easy buck, never one to turn down a warm body, and not afraid to get his hands a little dirty.

Well, this time around I just had a hard time getting into the story. At one point I thought to myself that this book felt like driving down a country road and spotting a sign for a corn maze. You think, “What fun!” So you pull over and pay $2 and begin winding around in the maze. But then an hour later you’re still wandering around in a maze of corn, lost and uncertain why you stopped in the first place.

Then about ⅔ of the way into the book, I started to feel a shift and was able to get into it a little more. But it still never really grabbed me and fell sort of flat. Author Vorhaus still has his talent for colorful, bantering characters, and he's always quick with a clever turn of phrase.
 “Oh, Dawk, the train of your stupidity glides upon the rails of my indifference…” 
But having read his previous work and knowing what a fun ride he's capable of taking me on, I was just a bit disappointed.

My final word: The author is a fine writer of entertaining characters and unusual angles, but certain moments got a little preposterous, and this story felt as if it were written for a younger crowd. It almost had a YA feel to it.There is a niche group for it, like the How To Build a Girl crowd who absolutely loved that novel while I just couldn’t get into it. The reviews on this have been quite good, so this may very well be an issue with a book just not clicking with me. I still remain a Vorhaus fan!

Buy Now:
Barnes and Noble

My Rating:


I received a copy of this book to review from the author, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel.

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