I thought that I had my top novels of 2016 list all done and dusted until a review copy of the new Adam Howe book found its way onto my Kindle. I am already a fan having seriously enjoyed ‘Gator Bait’ and his novella collection ‘Die Dog and Eat The Hatchet’, but with ‘Tijuana Donkey Showdown’, Howe has blown everything else he has written right out of the water with an Uzi 9mm.
The excellent artwork simply doesn’t prepare you for what you are getting yourself into. Howe’s book is hands down the funniest novel I have ever read, and let me tell you that I am a hard man to amuse, particularly when it come to fiction. Howe’s brand of humour is very similar to my own and at times the book is truly bizarre as Reggie Levine returns, this time to aid used car salesman Harry in reclaiming his stolen dog, which is of course mistaken for a Chupacabra, and is being held at at a circus come gas station! Things take an even more bizarre turn upon the discovery of a well-hung donkey called Enrique, a porn star mule with a secret stash of cocaine in his belly. Levine’s situation continues to spiral into chaos with hilarious results.
This book is absolutely magic. Howe’s love of action movies is evident throughout and Levine is like an overweight version of Patrick Swayze from his Roadhouse days. The dialogue and banter between the characters is what makes this book stand out particularly the dialogue between Levine and Harry and his employer at The Henhouse, Walt. I can’t count how many times I laughed out loud over the absurdity of the situations the characters find themselves in. Some of it reminded me of episodes of ‘Police Squad’, starring Leslie Nielson, which I adore. It’s not all about Levine though, the supporting cast is equally as entertaining, each given their own moments to shine in the book and when an A-list celebrity makes an appearance at the books end I was truly in reader heaven. With all of the craziness going on this book could’ve been a bit of a train wreck but Howe’s writing shines and the book simply gets better and better.
If you’re looking for something a little different then Howe’s novel is absolute dynamite! A short novel, yes, but damn it’s a good en. Without doubt this is one of my favourite books of 2016. In fact, scratch that, this IS my favourite book of 2016. I sure hope this isn’t the last we’ve heard from Reggie Levine.
Do not hesitate in picking this up. It’s a bloody ripper.
Pick up a copy from here.