Friday, July 01, 2016

Guy Novel -- Michael Ryan

It's 1996.  Robert Wilder is a comedian, not a hugely successful one, but one who has some pretty good gigs. It's his wedding day, and when he stops by a bank in a pouring rain, he offers a ride to a beautiful woman, who says her name is Sabine.  Before long they're in Baja California and in bed, and the intended bride is left waiting at the altar.  The next day Sabine is gone, along with a suitcase containing $200,000.

So far, so good, you might think.  We're in Gold Medal territory here.  I know where this is going.  Well, trust me, you don't.  Wilder goes home to his dog, his many irate phone messages, his landlady's disturbed daughter.  He talks to his best friend and finds out how much trouble he's in.  He doesn't care.  All he can think about is Sabine.  His best friend hooks him up with the best lawyer in L.A. to help him out with his increasingly complex situation.  

The less said about the plot after that, the better.  I'll tell you that about halfway through the book, Sabine shows up again.  Sabine, of course, isn't her real name.  Neither is anything that the lawyer has supposedly found out about her, and Wilder is in for the ride of his life. 

Naturally I got a kick out of the bit where the Commander of the Turkmenistan Border Guard reveals that he went to "Yootee."  "Hook 'em Horns . . . Happy hour half price Lonestar Longnecks killer nachos Waylon and Willie . . . ."

This is essentially a love story, about a guy who doesn't know himself but who learns a lot.  You have to swallow at least three huge coincidences, but what the hey.  The book is fast and funny and surprising.  Check it out.

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