The Defenestration of Bob T. Hash III

David Deans, Author . Random $22 (242p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6700-8

This whimsical but disappointing debut provides a Kafkaesque metamorphosis, but in reverse. Bob T. Hash III is a family man and publisher of illustrated grammar books. While he attends a business conference, his place is taken by his African gray parrot, Comenius. The former parrot has no trouble fitting into Bob's life: sex with Bob's wife, Matilda; playing games with his three children, Betsy, Jane and Bobby; and being kowtowed to at work by Bob's obsequious employees are delightful to parrot-Bob—which they weren't to Bob. The parrot's biggest challenge comes in figuring out what to do with the latest iteration of Forward with English! , a grammar book that has been subversively edited by a bored Bob (and of which sample chapters are interspersed in the narrative). How Bob the parrot rectifies the real Bob's acts of grammatical sabotage and falls in love with Matilda form the core of this fitfully amusing, farcical fantasy. But the sendups of educational texts, corporate culture and suburban life leave the book nowhere near as fun as it should be. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 04/21/2008
Release date: 07/01/2008
Open Ebook - 175 pages - 978-1-58836-700-6
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