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  • Writer's pictureVidals

"This collection of short stories is totally absurd and offers witty, light entertainment"

I picked up this book, not knowing what to expect. As someone unfamiliar with absurdist humour, I have nothing to compare it to. So I’m writing this simply as someone who enjoys reading. From the cave dweller who invents fire, to the guy with the fake family, friends and accent, and the fitness trainer who bites off more than he can chew, I was so entertained. Not in a rolling-on-the-floor-laughing kind of way, but chuckling to myself while those around me wondered what was so amusing.

Book description: Welcome to the wild world of Baker Hill's imagination, a place filled with cavemen entrepreneurs, boy band ad agencies, nihilistic kindergarten teachers, and Benedict Cumberbatch. In this absurdly funny short story collection, you'll watch the biggest hit on Broadway, listen to the #1 album in the world, meet the most influential investor in the world, and chat with the universe's best talker. If you are a human in need of a little laughter, look no further than The Master Conversationalist.

The ten stories are different in style, structure and genre. But, what they have in common is that they are imaginative, thought-provoking and, did I mention, absurd? For example, The Ad Guys, tells the story about a boy band secretly managed by a famous business magnate. As for the characters, I’ve always wondered why I couldn’t quite understand Justin Timberlake, and now I know why. Insert *wink*. The titular story, The Master Conversationalist, has me shaking in my boots as I write this review. Those two are my favourites.

However, if the author thought it best to write a disclaimer at the beginning of the book, then so should I about this review... There is no one behind this keyboard.

The stories remind me of family games around the campfire. Or long car trips, where one person starts a tale, and the next person adds to it, with everyone trying to be even more ridiculous. The author must’ve had a lot of fun writing them. His style is conversational and easy to read. The social commentary and life lessons are subtle. In fact, in the world of Baker Hill, no one is safe, as he strings together one hilarious sequence of events after another.

Finally, this collection of short stories is ideal for anyone in need of a laugh during a long commute, or study break. Of course, you can read them for no other reason than lighthearted entertainment. I did, and highly recommend this debut book.

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