#BookReview LEONARD AND HUNGRY PAUL by RONAN HESSION @Ofmooseandmen

ABOUT THE BOOK

Leonard and Hungry Paul are two friends who see the world differently. They use humour, board games and silence to steer their way through the maelstrom that is the 21st century.

‘The figure in Munch’s painting isn’t actually screaming!’ Hungry Paul said. ‘Really, are you sure?’ Replied Leonard. ‘Absolutely. That’s the whole thing. The figure is actually closing his ears to block outa scream. Isn’t that amazing? A painting can be so misunderstood and still become so famous.’

LEONARD AND HUNGRY PAUL is the story of two quiet friends trying to find their place in the world. It is about those uncelebrated people who have the ability to change the world, not by effort or force, but through their appreciation of all that is special and overlooked in life.

published by Bluemoose Books

PURCHASE LINKS

Publisher Website

Amazon

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

A sheer delight!  No over the top characters, no outlandish plot, just a story of 2 men who are perfectly content in their own skin.   They have their routines, they live very quiet lives – it may be unconventional for many but for them it works perfectly.  And they both have hearts of gold who will often overthink situations, but that method works for them and I just fell  more and more in love with them with each page I turned!

Leonard and Hungry Paul are the men in question – they’re both very loyal to their families, and loyal in friendship too.  Their quiet way of living is at odds with the louder, more hurried world we’re now living in and as they encounter new situations they try and make sense of it all, seeking solace in a board game and a chat.

There is a real innocence about this book – there are no big egos involved, and they’re completely at ease with who they are and what their place is in the world.  And the relationships between family and friends were so solid and really touching.  They find comfort in one another, but still find time to test the water  and make the scary jump into new territories, without making a fuss or even telling others until it has become a reality or success.

As Leonard ventures into the world of dating I found myself sharing his anguish over how to make the first move, what’s the right etiquette etc, and as Hungry Paul wins a competition and finds a new job, I was almost proud of him, watching on as he navigated a new start – and I want in on the Sunday Night Quiet Club!!! It sounds like my kind of club!!

This is a book where you revel in their victories and share their pain when they’re suffering.  It’s a celebration of the quiet souls in this world who don’t need constant attention or praise and brings to attention the fact that the little things in life can bring the biggest rewards. It’s not about who has got the most money, or the flashiest car, if you don’t have that peace of mind of knowing who you are as a person,  then it’s all worthless. And these men are very clear as to who they are!

So many wonderful little details throughout made this such a perfect book – and I cherished every single page!! Highly recommended!!

🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟

#20BooksOfSummer Man With A Seagull on his Head by Harriet Paige #bookreview

Finally I’m back with another book finished off the list!  This was book 10 and another one from my ‘little’ list, where it’s under 200 pages.  I think that is 7 books read now from my ‘little’ list so I really need to up my game on the ‘large’ book front – if only there weren’t so many other books I need to read for blog tours and publication dates!!

And what a stunner of a book this was!  I don’t know if I connected to it more because it was set very locally to me, but I just found it to be so absorbing and touching!

A gull falls from the sky and strikes a council worker on the beach below. From that moment on he is obsessed, a crazed visionary depicting the scene and the unknown figure with in who filled his view at the moment of impact. The mysterious beauty of his creations draws others to him, but can they lay hold of that which possesses him? And what of his anonymous muse?

‘A bona fide gem. A book that would be a credit on any short list.’Guardian

PUBLISHED BY BlueMoose Books

PURCHASE LINKS

Publisher Website  £8.99

hive.co.uk  £6.25

WHSmith  £6.47

MY REVIEW

Quirky and poignant – my kind of book! And set in the south east corner of Essex that I know so well, this was a wonderfully touching little read that made a very hot afternoon fly by.

Centred around Ray Eccles who lives a quiet life in a quiet cul-de-sac in Southend On Sea, he’s a succesful artist but you’d never know it to see him. Happy to stay out of the limelight and keep to himself – but that all changes when he has a rather unfortunate incident on Shoebury East Beach with a seagull. Witnessed by one woman, he returns home from hospital with her face on his mind and starts his obsession with her that takes over his whole artistic outlook and sees him paint the same scene for 10 years.

The woman who saw the incident with the seagull has her own quiet life – working in a clothes shop, living a normal life but when the work of Ray Eccles becomes a huge success, she knows that the face he is painting is her. She doesn’t know how to feel about it and the struggle she faces is brilliantly portrayed.

The whole cast of charaters in this book are such a wonderful mix of the good and bad sides of humanity. The art studio owners who look upon Ray as their pet project when they take his work to London and have him move in with them, the local reporter from the Evening Echo trying to make her name with a breaking story, and especially Ray himself who never escapes his ‘oddball’ personna and seems happiest when he’s doing his own thing and not living by the rules of normal life.

I loved the touching and human side of the story and the familiarity of the places visited really brought this to life for me – any book that features Keddies is fine by me! It had a great mix of humour and tragedy, and the absurd side of the art world where anything seems to go if it has the right PR behind it, no matter the effect on the artist who was just trying to make sense of what happened to him and dealing with his grief and loneliness.

A stunning little book and one I’m very glad to have read!

★★★★