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No Hope for Gomez! [Paperback]

Graham Parke
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 12 2010

It's the age-old tale:

Boy meets girl.
Boy stalks girl.
Girl already has a stalker.
Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.

We've seen it all before, many times, but this time it's different. If only slightly.

When Gomez Porter becomes a test subject in an experimental drug trial, he is asked to keep track of any strange experiences through a blog. What Gomez isn't ready for, is so many of his experiences suddenly seeming strange; the antiques dealer trying to buy his old tax papers, the phone-sex salesman who hounds him day and night, the super sexy research assistant who falls for him but is unable to express herself in terms outside the realm of science.

But when one of the trial participants turns up dead and another goes missing, Gomez begins to fear for his life. No longer sure who he can trust and which of his experiences are real and which merely drug induced delusions, he decides it's time to go underground and work out a devious plan.

Now, years later, his blogs have been recovered from a defunct server. For the first time we can find out firsthand what happened to Gomez as he takes us on a wild ride of discovery.


Product Details


Product Description

Review

Extremely witty and clever writing that contains keen insights into human nature. --California Chronicle

The antics in this book will leave the reader laughing. Graham Parke is a genius. --Readers Favorite

A quick and unputdownable read that flies in the face of reason, and smashes against the wall of detective novels. It's a Coens Brothers' film formatted in book form. --Book Review

A very funny book; a veritable page turner of nonstop laughs. Buy a copy and find out for yourself! --Reader Views

From the Inside Flap

Read an article about a group of mathematicians
who developed a financial model to accurately compare
apples and oranges.

Was stunned. Never thought I’d see the day.

Preliminary indications are that the model allows any
two kinds of fruit to be compared, although guava still
causes minor rounding errors.

Further testing is ongoing.


-- Gomez Porter, blogspace entry.



Chapter One.

Blog note: They asked me to keep a blog.

They told me to be meticulous and exact in reporting my experiences. Leave nothing out, they said, no matter how mundane it may seem.

I have no idea what kind of drugs I’m on. It may be some new medicine, an anti-psychotic, or just a pain reliever. I have no way of knowing what kind of experiences would constitute effects or side effects, so I update my blog daily and let them sift through the mess. Decide what’s relevant and what’s not. What’s out of the ordinary and what’s expected.

Just write down everything, they said.

Blog entry: Slow day at the antiques store. Spent most of my time updating my blog and reading the paper. Came across this article about a guy found near-dead in his apartment. Apparently he'd been comatose for the better part of a week.

Normally this kind of story doesn’t affect me much. It might tickle the part of my brain in charge of morbid curiosity, it might stir up some momentary apprehension about living alone and dying unexpectedly, but then I’ll realize this would bother my neighbors more than it would me, and I’ll carry on with my day. But this article had my hair standing up. Not only did I know the guy, I also had a sneaking suspicion about what had happened to him. And, what was worse, I might be headed for the same fate!

Scanned the article quickly, looking for phrases that proved me wrong, snippets stating the cause of death to be completely natural and, if possible, somewhat pleasant. Found no such thing. Had to buckle down and read the entire article. When I reached the end, though, I was still none the wiser. So far, police had yet to release any information on the cause of the guy’s collapse. They also declined to indicate whether foul play was suspected. There was nothing in the article to soothe my growing dread.

Blog entry: Saturday. Decided to do a little detective work. Headed over to the hospital and queued up at the front desk to ask about visitor’s hours. The nurse told me they’d just started.

“Great,” I said. “Can I just walk in?”

“You can,” she said. “Who did you want to see?”

“A Mr. Miller. Mr. Joseph Miller. He was brought in two days ago.”

The nurse consulted her computer, frowned, then shook her head. “No, I’m sorry,” she said. “Mr. Miller’s dead. He died late last night.” She looked up from her screen. “Would you like to see somebody else?”

“What? No! I really need to talk to Mr. Miller. Are you absolutely sure he’s passed away?”

“I can recheck if you want.” She typed away. “Sometimes this program mixes up some of the… ah, I see what I’ve done now.” She gave me an apologetic smile. “Stupid little me,” she said. “I had the stats of several files mixed up.”

I breathed a sigh of relief. “So, he didn’t pass away?”

“Oh, no,” the nurse said, shaking her head, “he’s still dead, but he died this morning rather than last night.” She held up her hand with a small amount of space between her thumb and index finger. “You missed him by that much.”

“I see,” I said. “Does it at least say what he died of?”

She browsed her screen, bit her lip, and mumbled, “Yes, no, wait a minute. I saw something about…. Ah, yes. Yes, it does.” She looked up again. For a long moment we stared at each other. When I finally arched an eyebrow, she said, “Are you a relative? I’m not supposed to give out this kind of information to just anybody.”

I tried to think fast. I really needed that information but I didn’t know Joseph other than from the clinic waiting area. We’d never even spoken. Then, out of nowhere, the perfect answer just came to me. I told her, “Yes.”

“Okay then.” She was about to tell me when her face clouded over again. “You really should be getting this information from his doctor, though.”

I waved it away, told her it would be fine.

“Well,” she said, reading from her screen, “it says here he died of dehydration and malnutrition.”

“He was found passed out in his apartment,” I told her. “Apparently he’d been out for a while. Does it say what caused him to lose consciousness in the first place?”

The nurse perused the file for a long time, then shook her head. “No, sorry,” she said. “I’ll have to get the doctor for that. Just a moment.” She reached for the phone.

“That’s okay,” I said. I didn’t want to get into trouble for impersonating a relative. “I need to go. Pressed for time. Thank you.”

As I turned to leave, she called after me, “Are you sure you don’t want to visit anyone else? There are some really nice people up on the second floor. Much nicer than Mr. Miller. They’d love to talk to you.”

Blog entry: None the wiser, I returned home, spent the remainder of the weekend wondering what all this meant. It was possible something unrelated to the trial had knocked Joseph out and caused him to die of dehydration, but my mind was still not at ease. I wanted conclusive evidence. I resolved to ask Dr. Hargrove a few pointed questions next time in went in to the clinic.


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A very quirky read! Nov. 4 2012
Format:Paperback
This book is described as being "humourous" which is a genre I haven't specifically tried before. I was a bit nervous, because my sense of humour is a bit dark (e.g. I find Stephen King to be hilarious). The type of humour in this book is quirky - and luckily that is something I liked!

Gomez works at an antique store and becomes a participant in a drug trial for some extra cash. During the trial, someone dies and the book takes on a semi-mysterious edge. In addition, he falls in love with his doctor and starts the stalking of the doctor's stalker.

I thought Gomez' character was really quirky. Actually, all of the characters were a little bit quirky. Gomez makes some rational and irrational decisions, which makes him unpredictable but also difficult to connect with. Once I gave up trying to connect with Gomez, I got more enjoyment out of the story. The characters are the strongest aspects of the book because they are just so weird, but also realistic. His neighbour keeps trying to paw off manuscripts to Gomez to read and critique, but they are terrible. How do you step around a person like that, one that bombards you at the elevator and drills holes in your floor (his ceiling)? These characters are so wacky that you can't help but laugh.

The plot was a bit slow to start and then suddenly everything happened in the last 50 or so pages. So it took me awhile to get into because the beginning was just off the wall quirkiness without any sort of explanation or reason. The writing was Gomez' voice (the book is his blog entries), so normal descriptions of things had a tinge of strangeness to them.

I think this story would make for a funny skit on something like Saturday Night Live because the characters are so impressionable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great hope for Graham April 13 2012
Format:Paperback
Praise for Graham Parke's "No hope for Gomez!"

I'm an avid reader, the kind that spends a large slice of her monthly income solely on books.
I greatly enjoy reading in general, but there are two kinds of books that I have a special shelf for: books that won't allow me to set them down and books that make laugh. Not just smile, laugh out loud. Graham Parke's book made the shelf for both reasons. It is now part of the list of Top 5 best books I've ever read.

This book caught me by surprise. I was looking for funny books to buy, but facing the same problem as always: I'm not an easy laugh. People had tons of recommendations, from Terry Pratchett to David Lodge, but my question to them was always the same: "Did the book make you laugh or did it just make you smile?" If the answer was the latter, than the book was not for me.

Not knowing who else to ask, I googled "books that made me laugh out loud", which led me to GoodRead's list of "Funniest reads of 2010... so far". I scrolled through it and checked out some titles, but one in particular caught my attention. It had such a curious name!
I checked out a second list on the same website: "Best humorous books". And there it was again, the thinker and the sombrero, making me wonder what was the story behind that cover. I read the synopsis and skipped the reviews. I had already made up my mind: I was buying "No hope for Gomez!"

I often buy books I hope will be good, but this one surpassed any expectation I had: it was freaking hilarious! Graham Parke creates a plot and characters that are so incredibly absurd, you can't help but absolutely love them! His writing is intelligent, very, very funny and much more daring and unapologetic than most of the humor writers I've read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this book Now! June 13 2010
By JB
Format:Paperback
I believe this is very close to what the concept of Literature would look like, if you turned it inside out, set fire to it, and had sex with it over a long weekend. I read the whole thing twice before picking up anything else, and it's been a long time since that's happened to me. There is definitely hope for Graham Parke!
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