“Fensetter Falls” by Jack Young

Genre:  General Fiction/HumorFensetter Falls
Pub. Date:  May 14, 2019

I am starting to wonder if I am the only person who has read this novel or even heard of Jack Young.   After finishing the book I googled the author to learn that he has written two other novels. When I googled “Fensetter Falls,” I could find it on sale in all the usual places, but not one single review on any of the standard reviewer websites. So, I may be the first to tell you that this is a dark comedy.  At times it is very funny.  At other times it drags out.

So here is what we got: Two over-the-top wealthy brothers who have never worked a day in their lives.  They also happen to hate one another.  One is an obnoxiously pious (and probably insane) clergyman wannabe.  The other is an obnoxious drunk who is a woman chaser.  They come home to New Hampshire for Thanksgiving to learn that the family estate is now broke and so are they.  We meet their mother who lives in denial regarding the mental health of her religious son. Their father is simply a dirty old man who enjoys nothing more than to cop a feel on any attractive female. Then we meet a woman from NYC who is a gypsy con-artist raising her streetwise, twelve-year-old nephew.  They both move in with the family.  Throw in a tax lawyer who loves Fensetter Falls, which is her hometown.  And, the sweet local cop who is trying to get the attention of the gypsy but he is clumsy with his interactions with females. There is also the lovable town’s sheriff who will remind you of Barney Fife. Oh, I almost forgot, you will also read about a near-sighted hitman who is sensitive in his own weird way. He too moves in with the family. The mother views him as an Italian, cultured European.  Now keep that all straight in your head. Actually, Young does a good job of balancing all his kooky secondary characters into the plot.

The whole story is a hoot. However, at times there is excessive detail similar to a comedian’s monologue that goes on too long and ceases to be funny.  For example, I really didn’t need to read more than a few sentences on when the religious brother (in middle age!) discovers masturbation. Or how all the male characters enjoyed the size of the con artist’s breasts.  However, there are laughs to be had in the tale. I think what I enjoyed most about this novel is that the author seems to be having so much fun, which allowed him to write a completely unbelievable, yet witty, satire.

I received this Advance Review Copy (ARC) novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

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