Having just missed one hundred books in the first year of The Book Challenge, in 2010, I made the full tonne. Still reading, but without the challenge, take a look at the reviews for the books that I have read this year.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Book 93 - The Lawnmower Celebrity

Book - The Lawnmower Celebrity
Author - Ben Hatch
Year - 2000
Genre - Fiction

In The Lawnmower Celebrity, Jay Golden shares with us his diary as he is fired from multiple jobs, fights with his Dad and tries to come to terms with the death of his mother.  He is also one of the most annoying protagonists in any book I have ever read.

With regular comments made about JD Salinger's Catcher In The Rye, Jay sees himself as a voice of a generation, but in a very Adrian Mole kind of way, he is just someone who has an overinflated sense of ego.  He is lazy, unappreciative, mean and unperceptive, but less like Adrian Mole, unfortunately doesn't seem to have any upsides to go along with all of these problems.  Occasionally he shares an entry from his earlier diary, written whilst his Mum was suffering from the latter stages of cancer, and in here we find a character worth caring about - still probably over privileged and flawed, but decent and undergoing real problems.  The Jay we read about in the main throughout this book however, is so obviously and continuously wrong, and entirely unrepentant about the damage that he causes to others, that it is impossible to like him, and made the first hundred pages or so an awkward, difficult read.

It is not the most terrible book in the world, and a couple of the characters such as Jay's Dad who seems to have had most of his flaws balanced out by his wife for most of his life, so becomes slightly inept without her there, are actually fantastically written.  However, hearing everything from Jay's horrible point of view, when you know that you disagree with everything he thinks anyway, ruins much of the good will that the other characterisation gives.


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