Friday, December 14, 2012

Review: Ticket To Hollywood

Ticket To Hollywood
Ticket To Hollywood by Gary Reilly

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Comedic mystery
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Anyone who likes to laugh
Trigger Warnings: Excessive laughter? You know, if you have a weak bladder or something you might want to be careful.

My Thoughts: This book was hilarious. Murph was a wonderfully fun character, full of wisdom and wisecracks and strange, random thoughts that cause startled outbursts of laughter. This review will consist to a huge degree of quotes from the book, which I think will do a much better job of expressing exactly why it was I loved this book than all the nonsense I might babble. For instance:

Murph on work:
I hate competition. It’s one of the seven warning signs of work. I’ve spent most of my life trying to figure out ways to make money without working. I don’t know what I could do to get money besides driving a cab, except robbing banks. Both occupations have their pros and cons. For instance, bank robbery isn’t quite as dangerous as cab driving, but it pays better.

My fake weekend has begun. I always take Tuesday off, unless my rent is due and I need to pick up some extra cash. I always take Thursday off, too. I have two fake weekends and one real weekend per week. Sometimes I wish there were eight days in a week just so I could squeeze in an extra weekend. But we all have our crosses to bear. I always say, “Now is as good a time as any to start not doing things.”

I wandered the sidewalk watching all the street performers doing their juggling acts, playing their musical instruments, busting their asses to avoid work. I liked that. But I wanted to tell them there were easier ways to avoid work, like cab driving.

That was how I was going to get things back to normal—by working. I never thought I would use the words “working” and “normal” in the same sentence, but I’ll try anything to avoid facing reality.

Murph on writing and writers:
I have completed and uncompleted screenplays, but they both fall into the category of “unsold.” I’ve seen quite a few movies where the screenplays seemed to be in the “uncompleted” category yet still got sold and made into movies, so I generally refer to all screenplays as “sold” or “unsold.” But that’s just my own filing system.

Writers, even unpublished writers, have a tendency not to notice what’s going on around them when they are the center of attention.

Most of the ideas I’ve gotten for novels or screenplays have occurred to me while I was either shaving or taking a bath. A number have occurred to me while I was driving 127. I rarely get ideas when seated in front of my typewriter, which I find ironic because I have always suspected that typing somehow plays a key role in writing.

It’s a funny thing about writing. You get so balled up in a story idea that you lose your perspective and forget that human beings might read your words someday.

My imagination was running amok again. Twice in one night. This never happens when I’m sitting in front of a typewriter.

My big dream back then was to buy an IBM Selectric. I still have that dream. I really ought to buy a word-processor. Half the cabbies at Rocky own computers. They tell me they can write failed novels ten times faster on a PC.

I was through with screenwriting.... I figured it was time to stop fooling myself. I was no screenwriter. I was going to stick with novel writing...

Murph on LA:
I was in the land of fakes and frauds and phonies—I felt like saying “Howdy cousin,” to everybody who walked by.

I expected Los Angeles to be slick and modern, but overall it had a rundown look and feel to it. Sort of like Denver. Sort of like every city in America I’ve lived in, except San Francisco, which looks cool.

The clerk was... a young man with a goatee and an earring, both on his chin.

I was driving pretty much the way everyone drives in LA, like elephants dancing on each others’ backs at a circus.

Murph on dating:
When I was a teenager, most fathers tended to go berserk when I asked their daughters on a date.... I discovered that all fathers go berserk when their daughters start dating. I have to assume this was because all fathers were once teenagers at some point in their lives, so they had no illusions about whether or not the boys were “up to something.”

She looked confused. She looked off-balance. That’s a technique I employ to get dates, and it always works.

I have a lot more quotes highlighted, and accompanying comments, but I think that’s probably enough. I hope that gives you a good idea of exactly why I enjoyed this book so very, very much. As I finished reading it, I gave one last chuckle and had a huge smile on my face, if that tells you anything about how very much I enjoyed this book. I absolutely must have my own copy of the first book in this series, The Asphalt Warrior, and I will definitely be watching for additional books in this series. Highly recommended to folks who enjoy a good laugh!

Disclosure: I received an ARC e-book copy of this book from JKS Communications (the author’s publicist) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: In Ticket to Hollywood, the second of 11 comic novels about Denver cab driver Brendan Murphy, a.k.a “Murph,” a young woman on the way to a showing of The Great Gatsby leaves her purse behind in Murph’s Rocky Mountain Taxi Cab #127—and then goes missing. Murph finds himself confronted by police and loses his job. He becomes entangled with filmmakers and makes his way to Los Angeles in search of the lost woman and in desperate need to restore his reputation and regain normalcy, which in Murph’s case means doing as little as possible. Ticket to Hollywood follows the June, 2012 debut of The Asphalt Warrior. The first volume of Murph’s adventures rose to #3 on The Denver Post bestseller list.

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