Lines, Tears & Spirits
by Cormac G. McDermott BA MEconSc

"That does be even madder than a mental hospital full of domineering whiskey-drinking wire brushes trying to translate Japanese alphabet spaghetti to drunk red-headed Iranian war mongers arguing with a disturbed hornets’ nest’!"

What would your life look like if someone peeked in for a few unconnected moments at a time? This is what the author does in this book, and the result is an interesting look at our tendency to make light of everything. Full of dry humor, this series of 24 vignette dialogues shows us a glimpse into the everyday life of a number of people over the course of one year (from Spring 2015 into Spring 2016). The dialogues do not form a single narrative but instead provide bits and pieces of one, leaving the reader to fill in the rest—or simply enjoy the dialogues. Each conversation has a "punchline,” a moment (or a few moments) of humor provided by the characters as they discuss everyday events and topics.

The jokes won't make you laugh out loud, but rather seem meant to draw out a chuckle or a nod of agreement. Presenting these silly moments are an authentic dialect and a cast of seemingly ordinary characters, and as a result, reading this book feels like walking through a neighborhood and overhearing snippets of conversations along the way. The writing features many colloquialisms which may make it a bit difficult to read for those who don't know the slang, but for the most part, the humor is of the kind many can relate to. The book's denizens make social and cultural observations about kids, neighbors, and other societal norms that, seen through their eyes, take on a ridiculous state. This book likely won't elicit a guffaw from readers, but it will offer them a place to escape from their own everyday lives for a bit.

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