Gregp's Reviews > No Hope for Gomez!

No Hope for Gomez! by Graham Parke
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's review
Jun 25, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: currently-reading
Read from April 15 to May 09, 2010

I came to this book through a friend of mine. As I completely agree with her review, and she's far more eloquent than I will ever be, I asked her permission to reprint her review:

From the moment Gomez Porter enters an experimental drug trail for some extra cash, his life is turned upside down. For starters, there's Christine, the sexy lab assistant whom he falls for. Christine appears to be one of those rare creatures; the beautiful nerd. An intelligent and attractive girl who is "unable to express herself in terms outside the realm of science." This poses a big problem, as Gomez himself has trouble interacting with women, especially now that mysterious chemicals are running ramped in his body.

"When I thought back over my life, I realized I had been playing hard to get almost continuously. I’d ignored women intensely (to the point of being a danger to them in traffic). I’d ignored them because I’d assumed I didn’t stand a chance."

Their relationship is off to a bumpy start, and then proceeds to become bumpier, as a number of mysterious events occur. One of the trial participants lapses into coma, another goes missing, eventually turning up dead. Christine swears the trail has nothing to do with this, but Gomez is not so sure. His participation in the trail has him so paranoid he wonders whether his feelings for Christine are perhaps merely drug induced side effects. A ploy by the drug company to keep him 'in line'.

Gomez' neighbor, Warren, comes to his aid. Warren is a recluse who spends his days writing huge tomes of literature for non-existent masses. He forces Gomez to proofread in return for nights of undisturbed sleep. The tomes, however, are far from riveting.

"Every once in a while you come across a novel that reminds you why you think you enjoy reading in the first place. A novel so fresh and new that it reacquaints you with feelings of childhood wonder. The novel my neighbor Warren wrote was, quite possibly, the very first example I’d come across of the exact opposite of this."

But in the end it is Warren who helps Gomez unravel the mystery of the trial, and track down the mysterious stranger who's been stalking Christine.

"The stalker, meanwhile, stepped into the road. Didn’t even check for traffic. There wasn’t any, but something told me this was lucky for traffic rather than the stalker"

A number of unexpected twist and turns bring the novel to a very satisfying conclusion. No Hope for Gomez! is a fast paced suspense/comedy that was written as a set of hilarious blogs created by the main character. This ends up working really well, showcasing a fresh style that's not unlike a tasty snack for the brain: fast, light, and utterly addictive. A torrent of interesting little philosophies flesh out each of the characters, making them interesting as well as believable, and some really moving scenes keep the plot going strong throughout.

There may not be much hope for Gomez, but there definitely is for Mr. Parke.

-- J. Wahl.
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Quotes Gregp Liked

Graham Parke
“Mathematicians finally developed a financial model to accurately compare apples and oranges. Any two kinds of fruit can be compared, although guavas still cause minor rounding errors.”
Graham Parke, No Hope for Gomez!

Graham Parke
“We played for about half an hour before I realized we were actually playing two different games. What I’d thought of as ludo was actually a game called gin rummy, and what Warren was playing seemed to be a mixture of craps and table tennis. Once we started playing by one consistent set of rules, though, the fun was really over.”
Graham Parke, No Hope for Gomez!

Reading Progress

04/16/2010 page 20
10.64% "Mathematicians finally developed a financial model to accurately compare apples and oranges. Any two kinds of fruit can be compared - NHfG"
04/20/2010 page 76
40.43% "Been worrying about people born in 1432 AD, who would’ve had a real knack for electronics."
06/25/2010 "Had to read this again!"

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