No Hope for Gomez!
Gomez Porter is your typical everyday kind of man. He gets up in the morning, puts his pants on one leg at a time...he even walks to work (okay, so that's not so everyday, but go with me on this). One would think from the outside looking in, um, where's the story in this? As the old adage goes though, looks can be deceiving.
Upon closer inspection, Gomez is anything but ordinary. He runs an antique store ever since the untimely demise of his parents (while traveling on an antiquing road trip no less) and along with that store came one Hicks. What's a Hicks? Oh, it's a person (whom Gomez sets to sell on eBay, but that is another story altogether)....a person with many different phobias. Perhaps phobias is the wrong word to use though...it's not so much that he's afraid of everything, it's more that anything apart from his slightly-normal/slightly not-so-normal daily routine tends to put him on edge. He's best put to sweeping in the store lest the filing boxes decide to be inappropriate towards him, or the clock change time unexpectedly (yeah, he's a character even though mostly a supporting role). Back to Gomez....
This is a madcap adventure for readers everywhere. The book is written as blog entries (yes, BLOG entries) from Gomez himself. Every day, every particular stream of thought he has written in as a separate blog post. It's quite funny actually (and fun) once you get the hang of it. Gomez is quite the character. Between his paranoia about the smallest things to his ability to create a mountain out of a mole hill (even an ant hill), he imagination only reaches greater heights as he tries to figure out what is reality and what the drugs (or lack there of...hey, it's a drug trial, you never know if you're getting the real thing or a sugar pill) are making into his own reality. Take all of that combined with a superbly talented downstairs neighbor (well, at least in his own eyes) and a case of "who-will-disappear-next", wrap it up, tape for shipping, wait a week for fermentation to occur, look at said package and try to remember why you were shipping it again and then drop it off randomly at a door of your choosing....it's quite a tale (of which I enjoyed).
I normally steer clear of quotes when reviewing (just a choice, nothing personal....I prefer to let you find your favorites is all) however there are times that something just grabs my attention and must be included. This is one of those times. With all the social networking options available, many choose one, two or even all! You know who I mean....it's the person that has a blog (guilty), Twitter (guilty), myspace (nope), Facebook (nope), and the list goes on. Though it's not necessarily a bad thing (though it can be a lot of work to keep updated at all times), it is still a personal choice. The blog entry style of this book was novel to begin with , but this particular quote just made me giggle (not guffaw, but giggle) when I read it (it's all about the wording)....
I performed the only investigative task I could think of: I looked Dietrich Norton up on the internet. There wasn't much to find. Some references to graduations and one or two low profile police cases, that was it. He didn't have any blogs, homepages, or books for his face -- at least, not under his own name. My leads quickly turned cold. -- pg 83
In the end, I would recommend this for older teens and adult readers...younger than that may not appreciate the humor styling used (but of course, that's truly determined by the individual...I merely make a suggestion here). It's a little hard to follow at first, but once you get into the swing of all things Gomez you'll be reading his blog version of life (both edited and un-edited) like a pro. Special talent to notice...the unusual ways things and situations are interpreted by Gomez (the sound of boiling salamanders...hamsters on a stove...)...quite creatively even if at times a wee tad stomach churning.