Teach Her by Mark Kotting

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Teach Her by Mark Kotting

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: An unusual book about unusual characters, this is one to stick with as the ending is a highlight.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 256 Date: May 2014
Publisher: Legend Press
ISBN: 978-1909878570

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This is a very strange book. Jim January would not typically warrant his own book, one in which he is the star, if not the hero. He’s a bit too bland and boring for that. He is a barber. And that is all he is. He has unfulfilled dreams of traveling the world. And his wife’s about to leave him. Throw in a disgruntled soldier and a troubled former pupil and you have a lot of anger and regret bubbling around together. And, when those things combine, it’s only a matter of time before things end in handcuffs and imprisonment.

This book has its moments. It’s funny, in pockets. It features people you probably wouldn't normally meet, which is sometimes good, though the more time you spend with them, the clearer it is that they're weird folk you don’'t necessarily need in your life. This is a small town, stiflingly so, and the small issues that have such a major pull on their lives reminds me why I'm so glad to be a city girl.

At the same time, this book is too bizarre to take seriously. I read it in fits and starts and while the last few chapters drew me in, it was a little too late. The finale was a boom but the run up was more of a bust.

Sometimes you find books full of dark humour, but this was just dark and, in a lot of places, sad. Not poetic sad or emotional sad, but pathetic sad. I think that was the point, that these characters were such underdogs and had so little of interest going on.

This is a confused, muddled book, but the lack of punctuation is surprisingly not that difficult to see through. The style was actually quite nice and refreshing, it was the banality of the lives of the characters that dragged it, and me, down a bit. It’s not the sort I’d necessarily want to read again, but I’m glad I made it to the end, and the finish definitely bumped the star rating up a bit.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

This reminded me of Shorty Loves Wing Wong by Michael Smith which I read many years ago. I rated both about the same, so if you like the sound of Teach Her you should check this out too.

Buy Teach Her by Mark Kotting at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Teach Her by Mark Kotting at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Teach Her by Mark Kotting at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Teach Her by Mark Kotting at Amazon.com.


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