Sunday, April 3, 2016

One Flew Over the Banyon Tree by Alan Jansen

One Flew Over the Banyan Tree
by Alan Jansen

My rating: 2 stars
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This delightful book follows the adventures of a young boy’s memorable stay at his cantankerous Grandmothers house after his father loses a top job and abandons his young family. Amusing chapters takes the reader through a remarkable panorama of adventures featuring the unique palavers and adventures of the “Breakfast- eaters” at an illegal shanty restaurant (which for want of a signboard is dubbed the “Nameless”), the ruminations of a tree-climbing canine philosopher who despairs of the human race, a dastardly election campaign, an elixir for becoming young again, headless ghosts, dubious scholars at a private school, and plenty more lovable incidents and adventures.

The book paints a portrait of life in a specific district of a fictional former British colony in the early sixties.
One Flew Over the Banyan TreeThe sixties, when times were more rigid, small towns fell heavily under the snipes of gossip and tongue wagging and sitting around a shanty-like restaurant was the highlight of the day for old men. Enter this simple town and feel the weight of the incessant talk of females as objects, hear the gossip and see this author’s vision of what young girls do. Then read past that to meet a young man trapped here, under the thumb of his vile grandmother who is unable to show love, except on Christmas, but she can wield a whipping cane like Mickey Mantle could wield a bat. His family lived as the Cinderellas in a house where they were treated with disdain, as they waited for their father to return and take them away.

I am all for satire, humor and dark tales of small-minded, insular people, but there must be rhythm and reason woven into the chaos. One Flew Over the Banyan Tree by Alan Janssen has the makings for a delightful read, but the execution was poor and disjointed. Satire and humor should ring a bell with the reader and for me I heard nothing. I did, however root for Rohan and his family to have a happy ending, as through all of the chaos, their story had true heart.

I received a request to review from NetGalley, accepted and this was my honest review.

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