Book Review: Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace
November 8, 2012 36 Comments
This not only sounded like a fun novel, but it actually was a fun novel. Some of it, especially at the beginning was laugh-out-loud funny. Literally (and I don’t use that word lightly, only when something really is literally the case). So, I laughed out loud, hiding it with a cough, or trying to explain what was so funny.
I’d say this is lad-lit (see also my review of My Legendary Girlfriend and the comments there, on lad-lit), i.e., chick-lit for men. But no less fun for women!
Charlotte Street: What it is about
From the publishers: “Jason Priestley (no, not that Jason Priestley) is in a rut. He gave up his teaching job to write snarky reviews of cheap restaurants for the free newspaper you take but don’t read. He lives above a video-game store, between a Polish newsstand and that place that everyone thinks is a brothel but isn’t. His most recent Facebook status is “Jason Priestley is . . . eating soup.” Jason’s beginning to think he needs a change.
So he uncharacteristically moves to help a girl on the street who’s struggling with an armload of packages, and she smiles an incredible smile at him before her cab pulls away. What for a fleeting moment felt like a beginning is cruelly cut short—until Jason realizes that he’s been left holding a disposable camera. And suddenly, with prodding and an almost certainly disastrous offer of assistance from his socially inept best friend Dev, a coincidence-based, half-joking idea—What if he could track this girl down based on the photos in her camera?—morphs into a full-fledged quest to find the woman of Jason’s dreams.”
Charlotte Street: What I thought
Besides being laugh-out-loud funny at times, this was an entertaining read. Poor, hopeless Jason goes on a quest to find the woman he saw in Charlotte Street using the photographs from a camera that she left behind. He involves his friends (or, more precisely, they involve themselves) and visits several of the places on the photographs. Slowly, they find some clues as to the identity of the girl.
I loved this book. Jason is a likeable person. He isn’t quite over the break-up with his girlfriend yet, but his working life is looking good, for a while, at least. He has a great friend in Dev, a long-standing friend who he shares an apartment with. They love going to pubs and drinking beer, but Dev is there for him when he needs him, too. Jason helps other people, sometimes inadvertently, and turns out he did a good job as a teacher, after all, even if he didn’t think so at the time.
An easy and fun read.
Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)
Number of pages: 416
First published: 2011 (this edition 2012, paperback edition by William Morrow (Harper Collins))
I got this book: for review from the publishers
Genre: contemporary fiction
Have you read this book?
Did you enjoy it?