Having previously readAt Least the Pink Elephants are Laughing at Us I knew that Westlake was a good author. However, Just a Bit of Banter, Like is beyond a good novel. It is amazing. It is has been added into one of my all time favorite books.
The book is a journey of the main character Nick. It is a coming of age novel for someone in their mid twenties. Which is apt, because who really has life figured out when they are adolescents? When an unexpected event tears apart his plush life in London, Nick decides to head back home to Wales. As with any coming of age story, that is where the story truly begins.
The writing in the book is amazing. The story is structured beautifully. The characters are detailed and real. It felt more like something I would have read in one of my English classes, and to find something that brillent from a independent published author is rare.
There was so many supporting characters, yet there was never any confusion about who they were. They all had back story that was beautifully woven into the story. Even the two older ladies on the bus that appeared in one brief scene were vivid and easily remembered.
The journey of Nick in many ways is predictable, yet this is it's appeal. It is very relatable to the reader. It is not really positive or negative, it is life, and how life is portrayed depends on how you look at it. It is also who you choose to share it with. Which is ultimately a deep message. While I loved all of the book my favorite part is the ending. I was wondering through the whole story how it would end, I knew (ok hoped) that as a reader I would not be left hanging. I do not think I could have predicted a better ending.
As a caveat this book does take place in Wales which seems to require a lot more alcohol than other places in the world. It also does contain talk about sex (and mild portrayal of sex), however the language is clean (well at least from an American stand point). With that being said I strongly recommend you at least check it out.
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