You know what one of the more interesting things about the Internet is? Meeting people from all over the world from the comfort of my living room and not even having to take my feet off the ottoman. I’m still waiting for flying cars and personal jet packs, but at least I can meet people I’d likely never come across IRL (that’s l33tsp3@k for In Real Life). I’ve met a couple of new friends from the U.K. and a couple of authors from the same place.
Reading their works is fascinating because it gives me an external view of America. Tom Benson’s A Taste of Honey was the first one I read and the most recent is Carl Jones’ The Lunch Hour. Since I only speak American I’ve had to compile a few internal look up tables to translate. For instance: Your car doesn’t have a hood, it has a bonnet. It’s not soccer, it’s football. You’re not eating a sandwich, you’re eating breadystacks. And so on.
So, on to the review.
Everyone who gets together in the lunch room at work has realized they could solve all the world’s problems if only those fools would listen to us. Get people, any people, together in a small area and let them talk and you’ve got a recipe for interesting conversation. That’s the gist of the Lunch Hour. It’s the conversations a group of normal people have during their lunch breaks at an after-hours job. They cover everything from World War II to Football (the soccer kind), history, views of the United States, current events, and so on.
Bear in mind, these are mostly average people doing what we all do when we get together with our coworkers.
A drama teacher of mine used to love to say “we don’t write plays about people brushing their teeth.” She was trying to get us to understand that we need to write about extraordinary things if we want to keep people interested. She was actually one of my favorite Theatre (yes, it’s spelled right!) teachers in college but I’m going to have to respectfully counter her argument with The Lunch Hour. Average people doing average things is fascinating if it’s handled by someone who knows how to handle it.
Carl Jones knows how to handle it. He’s got a strong command of the language, can casually toss out witticisms like bread at a Roman Colosseum, and handles his characters well. If you’re into action, this isn’t the book for you. Nothing explodes. There are no knife fights in the hallways, and not a single nun fires a machine gun. Frankly, there are no nuns, either. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. If you want to read a book by someone who can handle language well, check out the Lunch Hour.
Buy The Lunch Hour on Amazon
Find Carl on Twitter
Carl’s Goodreads page.
More links to come once I find his blog and website.