Today I have the boyfriend’s mom, Chris, back on the blog to review another book for me. And just an FYI: Chris has three boys (Sons? They ARE adults. But…boys. They act like boys), so when she talks about guys’ humor, she knows exactly what she’s talking about.
Big Maria by Johnny Shaw
Format: paperback from Thomas & Mercer/Kaye Publicity
Somewhere is Arizona’s Chocolate Mountains lie the Big Maria Mine and a wealth of gold lost for a hundred years. There’s only one problem: those mountains are now the home of the US Army Proving Ground, the world’s largest active artillery range. But for Harry, Ricky, and Frank, three down-at-the-heels guys with few dollars but plenty of dreams, the gold offers each of them a chance for a new life.
Are scuba diving through an underwater ghost town; facing down a hungry mountain lion; doing the hesitation waltz across a minefield; matching wits with potheads, pit bulls, and bikers; and braving the might of Uncle Sam’s full arsenal worth it? With little more than a samurai sword, a severed head, and an impractical amount of optimism, these intrepid soldiers of (mis)fortune are about to find out.
-from the back cover
Why I Started Reading This Book and Final Verdict
Amanda asked me if I might be interested….and of course, I said “sure”. I was also excited to see that Tana French, author of In the Woods, Faithful Place wrote a review for Big Maria.
I like loser characters, lost gold mines, impossible odds, and underwater ghost towns. But it just did not work for me in this book. The problems these guys had came one after another; bam, bam, bam. The situations were too improbable, which works if you get the humor. I mean, Harry’s last name was Schmittberger, and there were pages and pages devoted to jokes about the poor guy’s name. Schmittberger, Shitberger – get it? I know. Pretty bad.
I almost always enjoy reading male authors as well as female authors. That is why it pains me to say that most of the humor and jokes in the book are boys’ locker room stuff. No wonder the dedication page is “For the Fellas”. Possibly guys would get more chuckles with the storyline. There was just too much disjointed action going on constantly. And, I felt sorry for the donkeys. The donkeys were great.