Dog & Pony: Volume I - Aloha Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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" The industry is so crazy. I have even housed dogs and ponies in my offices. The good news: dogs were house broken; the bad: ponies weren't " .
We have a talented author, Mr Herr, who has had a career as actor, comedian, musician, stage manager, graphics computer expert and stager of Dog and Pony shows. The book has 115 chapters and is divided into five parts. The chapters are short and more in the form of 5 minutes scenes on stage. It is a book read with fun in mind and does well entertain readers, players and all. It is fun to spend time with the characters in the book. It is a comic fantasy novel of a maker of comedy and can he write! His majors were Theatre and English at university.
We meet the real world we all know where humans start developing a dual personality based on the life of a computer. Humans start doing trouble - shooting, have cut and pasting ideas, pausing, stopping, using wizards...like computers. And, computers take on the role of humans, while in a sense, humans start having robotic conversations, human brain crashing and after having a mind overload, chaos happens.
We see how in this Dog and Pony business, humans fail in terms of:
meeting protocols, payment of taxes, asset control, security, programming and execution. We have to contend with challenges in the form of evil minds, fire, abduction, elves portrayed as fantastical forces that sow the seeds for laughter and peril.
Persons working in the corporate world, will recognise the mentioned vocabulary the author describes as Corporatese. We enjoy his satirical approach to bureaucracy, giving delightful jargon to the reader to play with.
In this chaos, Harry decides the one remedy that will work is to appoint a traffic manager or controller. Her name is Peasblossom. She, in fantasy terms, becomes "the babysitter of Harry" who delightfully combines forces with the team to "travel away from danger as she assists in a magical way, to overcome the stumbling blocks.
But, like in most books we also get the battle between good and evil. In this book we have for instance to deal with the ghost of Harry ' s ex-wife, Mirabel, and he is forced to face his demons and evil magic. He finds out that the strength for the battle against evil, lies within man bearing the chaos.
Synergy between men is the answer to magic which come in many forms. If we put our core capabilities together as a team, we can turn the real world in this melting pot into true magic, live in a world, beyond the mortal world. We meet Peasblossom. She navigates between "magical and martial".The traffic is controlled with no "crashes" and hysteria. She is on the lookout, she puts forces and strategies together where there is display, expression of angry magicians, power hungry industrial giants, and a deranged ex-wife. Peasblossom channels "the magic which is already there". We just need to focus and she will act as a catalyst. Grumpy the printer starts doing extraordinary things with Harry, the computer short - circuits the brain and becomes "a bossy voice" to contend with. We have a plant eating money....... which becomes a joke at the IRS offices. Delightfully a stalker " with green eyes" more robotic than other, keeps popping up into Harry's life...is it Mirabel? An incomprehensible evil appears and disappears as magic folk, wizards bringing bad magic that reach the occult world into Harry's life in the form of a fireball of anger... An entity in human and tyrannosaur ghost shapes, a raging, a fire - goddess stalking. Trouble. This is the rich imagination of a very talented man with quick wit and flair for the comical.
We all need Peasblossom in our lives and we wish to hear from her soon. She makes Harry a sort of hero. He is a target of the bad elves. She is the elf in the real world keeping him grounded.
15 July 2015
If you made it through that you are primed for this novel. Richard is a crafty comedian and his story sounds a bit like insider jokes in the corporate world. First, his synopsis: `Harry Chatham's company puts on corporate presentations, otherwise known as Dog & Pony shows. When he hires a Traffic Manager to make his work easier, he finds the opposite happening. His new employee displays extraordinary skills and perceptions that drag Harry into realms he didn't know existed. Harry is thrust into plots to take over both this world and another that was previously invisible to him. His life becomes mixed up with CIA plots, corporate counter plots, strange evil mages, lovely green-eyed young ladies, and numerous otherworldly beings, both pastoral and predatory. Dog & Pony follows Harry on a comic romp through fantastic perils as he tries vainly to return to his life to the way it was before the strangely-named Traffic Manager joined his company. Fortunately for the reader of this series, he never seems to escape the Trouble he's found himself in.'
Now, it is in the delivery of the story that Richard gains momentum and shines. A couple of disconnected excerpts: `Lies, lies, lies. There was flop sweat coursing its way down the small of my back, and my pant legs were hiding quivering knees. But then lies and fear were the crux of my business. I do industrial presentations, Dog & Pony shows, as they're known in the business. And they are always a last-second rush. To say that midgets were tap-dancing in my stomach would be an understatement. It was more like giants doing a Zulu war dance--and enjoying it'......"Harry, where's my alimony?" It was Mirabel. "I didn't check with my atomic clock," I said. "How many picoseconds late is it?" "I expected that money ages ago. If I miss out on achieving my fifth-level Mage ranking, there'll be hell to pay, and you'll be paying it." My blood began to boil as Mirabel prattled on about her damned phony magic. "Yeah, that ranking, and a MetroCard, will get you a subway ride." "I'll have you know my Wizard Master said that I show great necromantic skills. I need the money to take more courses." That was it. When Mirabel talks about her damn magic, I totally lose it. I silenced the phone by clobbering it across the nearest hard object I could find, the backside of the display piece. The phone shattered into a lot of small bits.'
And that is what is in store for the reader - light, a touch naughty in language, bizarre infusion of magic, and many guffaws. Richard Herr will keep you howling and nodding in agreement for hours. Grady Harp, June