the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Book Review; Smokeheads by Douglas Johnstone


images-2It seems the further north you go in the UK, the more diverse and darker the comedy that is written, and this book is a perfect example of that.

While the book follows the exploits of four mates, keen whiskey drinkers hence the local term which is the title and nothing to do with drugs, well, except for the gratuitous use of cocaine, it focusses more on one of the foursome who has grand ideas on one of Scotland’s outlying isles.

What ensues can only be described as a cross between Keystone Cops, Die Hard, and a loose translation of Titanic when rogue cops, car crashes, illegal distilleries, and unrequited love fly off the pages in a quick, witty, and sometimes unbelievable fashion. Personally I liked it although the many references to a drink which I cannot stand was lost on me yet was also a crash-course in Scotland’s finest drams. The first ‘meeting’ the four have with the local constabulary is humorous however things are not so funny the next time round. There will be some shocks to the system as the story unfolds where the humor takes a distant back seat to a crash-bang world of violence, unlawful activity, and jealous ex-husbands…if it were made into a movie, expect it to resemble something that Tarantino would direct!

This book won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and the fact that tea doesn’t enter it is no fluke, but in 300 fast-paced pages it will appeal to more people than not, but the caption on the front page is a beaut way of getting the book off the shelf!

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