Friday, November 30, 2007

Guest Post: Craig Alan Williamson reviews "My Inflatable Friend"

Rollo Hemphill is an ex-con slacker whose only pleasures in life are joy-riding unaffordable cars and dream-riding unobtainable women. Hotel beautician, Felicia, is the prime object of Rollo’s affections, but how is a lowly hotel parking valet supposed to garner her smouldering attention? Jealousy always seems to do the trick in these situations, so step forth the bronzed, brash, boobylicious beauty that is soap queen Monica LaMonica. Of course, Ms. LaMonica would not give Rollo the time of day, but can Rollo seal the deal with her life-sized synthetic body double?

The premise of this novel is full of potential and in the main it has been very well executed. Although the back story takes a little too long to establish itself, the concept of the novel as a written confession is implemented well. Another clever invention is the way that Jones intersperses Rollo’s confessions with occasional chapters from his parole officer – this provides another perspective on the story and really helps to keep the plot intrigue ticking away nicely. The pace quickens when the inflatable doll capers commence in earnest, and the story builds to a worthy climax with a string of unexpected turns.

Jones has succeeded in taking one simple, yet original, idea and expanding it into a creditable novel. While the laughs may be spread a little too thinly for ‘My Inflatable Friend’ to be classed as an out-and-out comedy, it certainly packs enough mystery, intrigue and anticipation to keep any reader thoroughly entertained.

Craig Alan Williamson is the author of college comedy novel ‘A Foreign Education’. Download an exclusive preview at