Friday, 26 April 2019

Book Review - Dry Hard by Nick Spalding

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Title: Dry Hard
Author: Nick Spalding
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: 8th January 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Kate and Scott’s marriage has always been a lot of fun, with alcohol at the heart of it. After all, what’s more entertaining than a good laugh and a large drink… or six?

But recently, those relaxing drinks have become more crutch than comfort—and the couple have almost forgotten how to talk to each other sober.

Then their teenage daughter Holly uploads a video of their humiliating drunken escapades, which gets picked up by YouTube superstar PinkyPud—and goes horrifyingly viral.

In a last-ditch attempt to prove to the world they’re more than just boozy idiots, Kate and Scott quit alcohol completely. But with Holly’s… er… ‘help’, what begins as a family promise soon escalates into a social media phenomenon: #DryHard!

With the eyes of the Internet upon them, can Kate and Scott stay teetotal—and save their marriage in the process?

As you would expect with a Nick Spalding book this is really funny.  In fact I don't think there is a chapter that doesn't involve an embarrassing incident,  drunken shenanigans, the sublime or ridiculous,  leading to everything from giggles to full on belly laughs. 

I mean you wouldn't think one couples attempt to give up alcohol for a year would be so funny but it is. Yet within the humour there are clearly important modern social issues touched up. 

There is a lot about the whole YouTube "fame" culture, and features assorted YouTuber, there is a young adult who just wants her parents to drink less and as a result videos them over Christmas and ends up with a viral video from which everything spirals. 

Yet even before Christmas, we meet both Kate and Scott in individual chapters, where they both have a rather ridiculous drunken mishap. One involving a tractor and a wedding and the other involving fireworks and a gin distillery! 

Then Holly's chapters felt like they were written from an omniscient point of view, but also fly on the wall documentary tone.  It felt like the voice was all knowing but at the same time, it really was highlighting very key issues that could resonate with readers. 

This is actually a very clever novel, I thoroughly enjoyed whizzing through the pages and really didn't want it to end.  Dry Hard had quite a different feel to it than other books I've read, and I think it would translate perfectly into a sitcom, with each chapter being a different episode. 

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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