The Stray American

28 Jan

The Stray American(SKIP IT)

Author: Wendy Brandmark

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

First Published: 2014

Page Count: 240

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 1/5 Stars

Is it a love story? Is it a comedy? Both? Hard to say with the oddball story presented in this book.


*Occasionally Funny


*Ridiculous Characters     *Annoying Love Stories

The dry cleaner  gave him his jackets, winked and asked, ‘You still here?’” Larry is an American who is taking some time off from being a lawyer to teach law abroad in London. He rarely feels like he belongs and craves the idea of love and a partnership with someone. However, after many rejections and a disappointing pool of British women, will Larry ever be able to find someone to truly love?

I might have cracked a smile or a giggle every once in a while. The tone of the book is pretty quirky and sarcastic so there are moments that you smile along with the main character at the ridiculous situations he ends up with on his dates or out and about in London. The book has its moments; I will give it that.

Beyond the occasional funny scene, there wasn’t much I liked about this book. Some books seem odd when you begin and start to make sense as you read on, but I was never able to grapple with a feeling of peculiarity about the story. The characters in the book are ridiculous, such as the group of wacky American’s Larry starts to meet up with to feel a sense of belonging. It’s fine to have a couple of oddball characters in a book, but when every single character seems like a loon, then the story feels like a trip through the loony bin. I might have even labeled Larry as the only normal character except that he insisted on getting into relationships with laughable women…and I mean laughable in a bad way. I get that if you’re very lonely you might feel a sense of desperation and latch onto anything that breathes, but even the fictional main character of this story should have higher standards. The women in his story had bad attitudes, took him on dates he loathed, and made him do things he didn’t really want to do. A good cuddle late at night is really not worth that hassle. For the entire book I just wanted to scream at Larry, “if you don’t like it just leave!”

There wasn’t any point where I felt even a glimmer of hope that I would connect with this book. The characters were too certifiable, the relationships were too unrealistic, and the plot just seemed like it could be solved with a one way ticket back to the good old U.S. of A. If Larry was so miserable with every aspect of his life in London, then why not just leave? You can try your hand at making sense of Larry’s motives for staying, but I’d suggested skipping this book altogether.

*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.


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