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Breakfast at Cannibal Joe's Paperback – July 20, 2015
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"Funny, shocking. Demands to be read." Arthur Smith, comedian, writer, and broadcaster
"Too clever by half. Too funny by three and five-eighths." Niamh Greene, author, The Secret Diary of a Demented Housewife
"Savagely funny and deftly anarchic, Jay Spencer Green's writing is as exquisite as it is deliciously dangerous." Lisa McInerney, author, The Glorious Heresies
"Witty, acerbic, and wired to words." William Wall, author, This is the Country
About the Author
Resident in Ireland for the past 22 years, Jay Spencer Green has worked as a factory laborer, hotel dishwasher, van driver, conveyor belt supervisor, college lecturer, court coverer at Wimbledon, stagehand for the Chippendales, correspondence course tutor, and database editor. The consequent cornucopia of negative work experiences has provided enough trauma for several novels, which are now being stealthily introduced to the reading public like a slow-release poison. The first of these,Breakfast at Cannibal Joe's, was voted one of the top ten indie books of 2015 and won the Lord of the Book Covers award. Lisa McInerney, winner of the Bailey's Prize for Fiction, described it as "Savagely funny and deftly anarchic."
Over the years, Jay has launched a number of projectiles into space, usually in the direction of the TV.
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Top Customer Reviews
Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s is a uniquely dark comedy story, which has many bizarre occurrences happen throughout the book. It is mainly via those occurrences that the humour is produced.
Unfortunately for me, I just couldn’t get into it. The book sounded a lot of fun, and I really did want to delve into it, basically to have a laugh, but I found it hard to grasp. I really can appreciate the skill involved in creating such a story, and linking it altogether with humour even if it was beyond my understanding.
I was intrigued enough though that I wanted to persevere and finish the book, which luckily I did. I believe that this book would appeal to people who like strange, funny, dark humour, which I have realised, I must not! :-(
Reviewed on Whispering Stories Book Blog
*I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed
Trouble is, Dublin’s not a sinecure anymore. Because Joe’s under pressure to cut costs. In fact the book begins with a tense online meeting between Joe and his superior in New York, the Chief of International Trade (United States). Or to use her full acronym, COITUS. And things sort of go downhill from there, until Joe’s up to his neck in vice and crime. Not that that stops him jotting down cocktail recipes now and then. (My favourite was The JFK: 1 oz. Green Spot Irish Whiskey, 8 oz. Tomato Juice, 4 oz. Cuban Rum, Three slugs of Harvey’s.)
Jay Spencer Green’s Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s is very funny. I have rather a dry sense of humour, and I suspect I laughed less than most readers. But I still some serious snort-my-coffee moments, including one or two while riding on the New York subway at rush hour (and trust me, that doesn't happen often). Joe’s CIA drinking companion Frank, torturemeister from the US Embassy, refusing to watch tennis: “If I’ve got to watch two lesbians grunting and squealing, I expect at least one of them to be wearing a strap-on.” Asked how he got on with a date the night before: “Excellent. I’ve always liked Stiff Little Fingers. Just never had them up my ass before.” Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s is not only funny; it’s also filthy.
But it’s also very dark. We’re in a dystopian Dublin in what seems to be the very near future, cynical, with everything for sale. In passing, we hear that troops have shot 15 Travelers dead near Kells; and that they drive around the city at night, spraying homeless people with sewage so that they’ll inspire disgust and will be easier to persecute. It gets worse. A virus strikes the pork industry and the government takes action to save the pigs: “For years, pigs’ organs had been used to keep human patients alive. Why not the reverse? Who’s going to miss a few winos and Travelers so long as there’s bacon on the plate of a Sunday morning? China showed us the way years ago, executing criminals to order.” Late in the book things start to take a very sinister turn, with bombs and disorder that don’t seem like an accident. Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s is very funny, but I wondered to what extent Green wanted the readers to laugh, or to think about the world post-2008 crash, and where it’s going. I think he mainly wants to make us laugh. Even so, the black humour is part of a book that is intelligent and subversive as well as funny.
As Joe’s friend Delia says at one point: “It’s what’s known as gallows humor, Joe, Gallows being a small town in Scotland where Methodists go for their annual comedy festival.”
Jay Spencer Green delivers his humour at such a tremendous rate, with a plethora of one liners that you’ll miss if you blink, and a running dark comic tone of the cleverest sort, that it feels like the author could work as a sketch writer or a stand up comedian just as much as he could as a novelist.
Inside the pages of Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s, you’ll discover plans for coke deals to top up salaries, CIA shenanigans, sex, whiskey, and the staff of Joe’s publishing company inserting hidden messages into their boring copywriting pieces via the code of reading the first letters of a sentence – so: for unabashed comedy kicks and masterful, accomplished zing, obtain now.
Did I mention Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s is brilliant? Really brilliant. I even read through the acknowledgements at the end, it’s that brilliant.
While I envy Jay Spencer Green being honored with the royal title of "Ne'er-do-well," I surely hope he won't tarry on delivering a follow up tome.