Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Barber's Conundrum by John Hartnett

John Hartnett writes short, droll pieces on marriage and raising children for a newspaper syndicate in New Jersey.  The Barber's Conundrum is a collection of thirty-seven of these articles.  It was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Reviews 2013 Best Indie Book Award Winners.

Hartnett's humor is gentle not sarcastic or cutting.  It brought me to the point of laughing out loud repeatedly.  He writes in the style of a James Thurber or a David Sedaris or a Bill Bryson.  Readers who enjoy those authors will enjoy this collection.

One of my favorite pieces was the one about The Catalog, how agreeing to receive only one mail order catalog results in a variable deluge of others.  There are also pieces about Canadian geese, customer service representatives, soccer parents and the horrors of monitoring children's homework.  The title piece is about how difficult it is to obtain a decent haircut.

None of these topics are earth-shattering.  They reflect the day to day items that make up the mundane world most of us inhabit, and point out the humor in the situations we all encounter.  Readers who dip into these stories will finish the book with a positive feeling and a new author to watch for.  This book is recommended for everyone.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

This sounds like a delight of a read. May have to find myself a copy. :-)