Loafing by La Brea – Michael Hughes

Good afternoon friends!

I hope your holidays is moving on quietly with a or of nice books, hot beverages and time spent with family and friends! This next book is, uhm, well….The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads:

On a bench by the La Brea Tar Pits, twenty-five year old freelance consultant Nick Conrad sips his coffee and smokes his cigarettes. He has a lot on his mind. There’s the perennial hunt for gainful employment. There’s his buddy Arman, whose self-destructive boozing, coke snorting, and carousing is beginning to take its toll. And then there’s Tara, his ex. She’s found work as a crime reporter, just as a particularly macabre serial killer dubbed the “San Fernando Valley Slaughterer” has started to terrorize the city.
Luckily for Nick, his aunt and uncle have paid him to watch their house in Hancock Park while they take a couple months to travel throughout Europe. He needs the income and free rent, at least until he crosses paths with Lee, a BMW-driving, country-clubbing former coworker of his who may just have a job for him.
Nick bides his time by lounging about in the house and swimming in the backyard when he’s not privy to Arman’s shenanigans or hitting the links with Lee. Nick may feel that life is starting to pass him by, but not without the increasingly frequent interruption of newscasts discussing the murders. And he’s still not quite sure how he feels about Tara. Everything is coming to a head.

Loafing by La Brea is really a slow book. It is next to no action until the end of the book. All the while whilst reading this I was wondering where this story was heading and I figured it out about halfway through (Wow, I actually solved a crime mystery early for once!) Pros with this book is that it is short and easily written. Even though, in my personal opinion, this doesn’t make up for the poor quality concerning the rest of the book. It doesn’t require a whole lot of anything from the reader. It barely requires a braincell. On the other hand I suppose one can view this book as the story of an ordinary person who navigates life after college like Shayla on Goodreads points out. This is a good way to look at it because Nick is presented with struggles that all people who’ve graduated college is familiar with but for me it doesn’t make a great read when the storyline is so boring and the buildup to the peak of the story is nearly nonexistent….

The characters are plain with no interesting features at all. Nick, our main character, spend most of his time loafing about, thus the name of the book I suppose, smoking, and swimming in the pool of his aunt and uncle’s house. A lot of his time is spent driving about as well and Hughes has made a lot of effort telling his readers where Nick is driving. If you are familiar with LA I suppose this creates some entertainment but for a reader who is half a world away and knows nothing about the roads in La it becomes rather boring rather quickly. A Goodreadsreview, written by Sheri, points out that maybe Hughes’ message is that life is mundane and things just happen. I agree with her and it could make for an interesting story but Hughes doesn’t make the cut with his writing, I’m sorry to say.

Loafing by La Brea is to be read when your brain wants to sleep and the reader requires an easy read. This was not my type of book at all but at least I gave it a try. As always this review contains my personal opinion and there is no guarantee other readers will feel the same.

Published: 2014

Genre: Novel

Theme: Daily life

– The Book Reader

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