Tails of the Unexpected: Digressions, a Dog and Project X  - John Donoghue

Tails of the Unexpected: Digressions, a Dog and Project X - John Donoghue

The book arrived and I was impressed with both the feel of the cover, a kind of rubbery feel, and the embossed picture of a Labrador puppy. A very quick skim through the book and I saw a reference to a grey Hillman Imp. As the former owner of several Imps, this was looking interesting.

I settled to have a read and the first few chapters set the tone of what was to come. It was to be a gentle romp through life with anecdotes, dog training and the rather fanciful project X. I’ve got to be honest, I just wasn’t expecting this, I was expecting lots of belly laughs, and, unimpressed I skipped to the back of the book and found an excerpt from one of the author’s other books. That excerpt had tears of laughter streaming down my cheeks. – Why wasn’t the book I’d got so funny?

I left it a few days before resuming my read. During that time my expectations had changed, this simply wasn’t going to be a laugh out loud read, but a slightly amusing look at life and how events can unfold.

The author has a pleasant chatty style, it’s almost like listening to a friend relate his day as you have a couple of pints in the pub after work. I found the style very reminiscent of the early Jasper Carrot’s, ‘A little Zit On The side’ but sadly not as funny, at least in my opinion. As always, I do look to see what other reviewers say and a few claimed that by page 7 they were crying tears of laughter, this wasn’t the case for me; I think it was about page 25 before I even smiled.

However, as I progressed through the book, I found myself warming to the author’s style and gentle humour; so much so, that I ended up rationing my nightly reads as I started nearing the end of the book.

I have to admit to laughing out loud about the author’s unexpected incident with lipstick. Unfortunately, this was in the early hours of the morning whilst everyone else was trying to sleep and I was about as popular as a fart in a spacesuit. But I guess I’ll be forgiven in time?

And so, the grey Hillman Imp that had first caught my eye? Rather a let-down I’m afraid, though I know plenty who would hurl rocks at Imps for simply being Imps and not because they thought it was theirs being stolen. In fact, many might have applauded if theirs had been stolen.

This book isn’t going to win any prizes, literary or otherwise, but if you take it at face value (something I should have done), and have realistic expectations it won’t disappoint you. It’s one man’s humorous observations on life.

I’m going to run to 3 ½ anchors on this one, read it with appropriate expectations and you won’t be disappointed, and will likely be entertained over a few evenings.