Monkey Business – Landon Crutcher

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I enjoy a good laugh as much as the next person, but I rarely find myself seeking out books in the humor category, opting instead for more “serious fare.” I don’t know why. I loved Lamb, had an exceedingly good time with Asteroid Made of Dragons, and have a leather bound and much loved collection of Douglas Adams’s famous Hitchhiker’s Guide series. And those are off the top of my head. Point is, I probably ought to laugh more. So when I spoke to Landon Crutcher about his debut novel— the first to be published by Inkshares’s Quill imprint — I decided it was past time for me to read a book that’d make me laugh.

And laugh I did.

Monkey Business is just like Landon described it in our chat: a zany, shenanigans-filled Will Ferrell-style comedy on paper. I was of two minds when I initially heard that description, as I wasn’t sure how that kind of slapstick, occasionally scatological humor would translate, but Landon did an excellent job of threading a well-paced adventure among his many jokes, the great majority of which landed with great success.

In particular, the strength of Monkey Business is in its banter. The character’s quick-witted retorts and dry humor make an otherwise tragic scene—being marooned on an island—hilarious. Another thing he does well in Monkey Business is physical humor, which I think is rather impression, given the difficulty of transmitting one-to-one the exact blocking of a scene in such a way that the readers see exactly what you intend. I had a hard time not laughing at the vision of a character, screaming at the top of his lungs at sentient trees (which were not, in fact, sentient) and hacking at them with an axe. Or when another character smokes a dubious flower and goes on the wackiest spirit quest imaginable, culminating in his discovery of of a new friend in the form of a long-deceased man’s skull. Perhaps you had to be there. Either way, it was lots of fun.

The book isn’t without its issues, which I think is due in large part to less editorial attention than books receiving full funding support from Inkshares. It feels like it’s firmly between a self-published book and something a little more formally produced, which I believe is more-or-less the purpose of the Quill imprint. I’m curious to see how the imprint develops, with some twenty-five books already slated to be published under it. The machine can only be tuned to run more smoothly, I assume.

If you don’t mind a bit of dirty humor, and feel like giggling at banter between two dehydrated men, a talking monkey, and a dead man’s skull, do yourself a favor and pick up Monkey Business. If can be found on Amazon and Inkshares.com.

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