I was delighted to receive a copy of Jon Teckman’s ‘Ordinary Joe’ from Goodreads (www.goodreads.com). ‘Ordinary Joe’ was published by The Borough Press on 16th July 2015.
Joe West is a slightly too short, slightly too fat and slightly too balding Jewish accountant, so when he finds himself in bed with the glamorous Hollywood actress Olivia Finch he doesn’t know what’s hit him (literally at times!).
The opening sentence of ‘Ordinary Joe’ propels the reader straight into a madcap narrative that maintains its pace and attraction from beginning to end. The writing is witty and engaging so that I found myself sniggering and laughing aloud on many occasions. The plot twists along with some real surprises along the way. I thought the style was assured and well maintained throughout.
Although the central character, Joe, has committed an act of adultery for which he cannot be forgiven in my view, he is presented with such skill that I had to sympathise with him, even when I felt frustrated with him as he tried to cover his tracks and spiraled himself into greater and greater lies and difficulties. He is, however, frequently self-deprecating and directs humour at himself so that he feels like a real person rather than a character in a book. The first person narrative style is so natural it is as if a friend is recounting the events.
Scenarios are vividly described making them easy to picture. Without wishing to reveal the plot, I loved the moment, for example, when Joe finds himself in a counselling session with his belligerent work colleague Joseph Bennett.
Jon Teckman’s ‘Ordinary Joe’ will appeal to anyone who wants a well plotted, well written and highly entertaining read. It put me in mind of the classic comedies of British television like ‘Dad’s Army’ or Morecambe and Wise.
If you don’t get around to reading ‘Ordinary Joe’ then I have one piece of advice – be careful what socks you wear. And if you do read it, you’ll know exactly what I mean!