Fiction Thoughts – Mango Bob
by Jamie Downes
Author – Bill Myers
Genre – Adventure
Published – 2012
Length – 233 Pages
Synopsis – A man begins a more spontaneous new life after his wife files for divorce, setting off on a road trip across America with a cat named Mango Bob.
There may not be a better one-word description of the bizarrely titled Mango Bob, the tale of an unremarkable American man, admirably coping with the imperfect cards life has suddenly thrust upon him. There’s not a great deal more to it, but that’s the beauty of the beast. It doesn’t weave a complex mystery, draw an intense emotional response or provide laugh-out-loud humour. It neither wants nor needs to. What it does, is offer a refreshing change of pace and a procedural style of first person narrative that is strangely compelling and perfectly suited to such a laid-back story. It undoubtedly suffers from character inconsistencies, a frivolous, undetailed approach to key scenes, and a rushed, throwaway ending, but Mango Bob retains a certain easy-going charm that allows these things to be mere irritating bugs on the windshield rather than a big red stop sign terminating the reader’s enjoyment.
It has its problems, and in truth I could understand if they were to render the previous line untrue for some, but Mango Bob’s no thrills account of a likable protagonist starting a new chapter in his life is a thoroughly enjoyable one. Sure, there are some plot twists along the way, but it’s really the felicitous simplicity that allows Mango Bob to shine, and it’s this that will be responsible for my own inevitable return to the series in the future.