Saturday 23 September 2023

Book ~ "Huge" (2023) Brent Butt

From Goodreads ~ It's 1994 and three stand-up comedians have embarked on a tour of smaller communities across a remote stretch of rural Canadian countryside. 

Dale is a 40-something comic from Chicago who's on the back half of a mediocre career and thinking about quitting the business. Rynn is a 20-something fast-rising comedy star from Dublin with a big break into TV on her horizon. And who is this third guy, the hulking young man added to the bill at the last minute by a booker with dubious motives? He goes by Hobie Huge, and his enormous physical presence is unfortunately not matched by his skills as opening act. But his brutal lack of ability as a comedian turns out to be the least of his companion's problems. 

Huge starts to show signs of a terrifying capacity for brutality offstage too - and for Dale and Rynn, the tour becomes less about getting laughs and more about getting off the road alive.

Dale is in his 40s from Chicago and had been a comic for years but has no money to show for it. His daughter is heading to university and his ex-wife expects him to share the cost. He has finished his run on the road but takes on another in rural western Canada to get the extra cash. Rynn is a comic in her 20s from Ireland, living in the U.S. and has a Canadian work VISA. While she's waiting to hear whether her big break in TV is coming up, she signs onto Dale's run of gigs. The third comic is Hobie Huge, signed on by the promoter to get experience. As they travel from small town to small town, Dale and Rynn discover that Hobie, who thinks he is amazing, actually sucks so they try to guide him and give him tips. They also discover that Hobie has a dark violent side and is quick to anger and they eventually experience the consequences.

This book was okay. I found it took a couple chapters for me to get into it ... it picked up once Dale, Rynn and Hobie were on the road and in the clubs. It is written in third person perspective depending on where the action was and whose focus it was. Butt's experience is obvious when Dale and Rynn are performing and when they are explaining to Hobie how he can improve. I found Hobie to be an extreme character and a bit farfetched. As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

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