By Alastair Pack
I am gonna run this review a little differently, kids. This book has a lot going on, so I am not going to try and explain its beautiful madness. Let just start by saying I would love to meet Alastair Pack, have coffee (assuming he drinks coffee, if not, then tea, perhaps), and talk shop. Rarely does an author capture the essence of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams while bearing a style all his own.
Quentin Cundick and the Web of Machinations, is actually three seemingly separate stories in one novel. My favorite is the first, the fall of Quentin Cundick – detective and world-class narcissist; however, the other two tales are awesome as well.
I love Alastair’s writing – a perfect mix of humor and intelligence akin to the best of British writers. I don’t know how many of you actually read Terry Patchett’s The Colors of Magic, or have seen the TV movie, but that’s what I turn to when classifying great, English comedy and mystery. I wouldn’t say this book is quite on par with CoM, yet the writing is there.
The best way I can explain the type of story this is, would be to call it a modern fantasy/ mystery/ comedy.
My only complaint lies in the comic timing and pacing of the story. As for comic timing, the dialogue has to flow very quickly culminating in clever humor, in order to capture the feel that Alstair was going for. I feel that only happened 60% of the time. As for pacing, the book could have used to be quite a bit smaller, in order to eliminate the few dry spells that it suffered from.
In the end, the tale surprised me. What I thought to be a compilation of unrelated stories, came together harmoniously towards an intricate climax. I highly recommend this book to anyone into the… well anyone, actually. I absolutely loved Quentin Cundick and the Web of Machinations and I hope you will too. Well done, Alastair Pack!!!