Title: The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure
Author: Jack Handey
Published: Grand Central Publishing (2013)
My Rating: 4/5
Man, this book is just what I needed.
Jack Handey is a surrealist comedian. It's the only way I can describe him. If you enjoyed his "Deep Thoughts" that were on SNL in the 90s, then you'd love this book. Picture one of his Deep Thoughts in a (somewhat) coherent / fluid narrative that has a beginning, middle and end about traversing the jungles of Honolulu in search of a golden monkey. What is absolutely hilarious about this concept is that you realize that the protagonist is actually amongst tourists but he makes it seem like him and his friend Don are in a very secluded environment.
I feel like I'm not making any sense here. Picture the most annoying person in the world to go on a vacation with. Now picture that person with various mental disorders, including not being able to accurately interpret his surroundings. Lastly, picture that person having absolutely no empathy for the human race. This is Jack Handey's main character in this novel.
Here are a few excerpts that show what this book is all about:
"We finally got the window open. Don took a deep breath, and threw up on the ground below. A mangy dog came by and ate the vomit, then emitted a gas so foul that we had to close the window. Then we passed out."
"A skeleton is more afraid of you than you are of him."
"The more you flip something, like a pancake, the more flippable it becomes."
"If you put your shoes on the wrong feet and walk around, eventually you will split in half."
"The jungle grew darker and more mysterious. Bugs seemed buggier, and the trees almost seemed alive. The sun was like a blazing ball of fire in the sky. Strange little birds hovered over flowers, stabbing them with their long, pointed beaks. Sinister rock formations appeared on shore and even reached up out of the water. I guess that’s where Hawaii got its famous nickname, “Land of a Thousand Nightmares."
"I saw myself with a beehive stuck on my head. Then I saw myself putting a sombrero on top of it, so I could go to a costume party as a Mexican beehive."
"I dreamed I was swimming upstream, fighting my way up waterfalls, until I came to a slow, shallow pool, where I laid my eggs."
I could go on and on with sharing passages. Jack Handey is a comedic genius and it's the type of comedy that people either seem to like or hate. I love it.
Ideally, if I was able to give half stars this book would be rated 4.5/5. I think the only reason I knocked a half star off was that I wish there was MORE. It was a short read.