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One Big Damn Puzzler Audio Download – Unabridged

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 18 hours and 45 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 17 July 2014
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LNFSOWM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My daughter was given this book for her birthday and spent so much time laughing out loud that I had to read it too. I absolutely loved it - the descriptions of the island, the islanders, and their beliefs and customs really drew me in. I want to go to Tuma when I die! William's experiences with his OCD give you a flavour of what sufferers go through, without it taking over the story. I'm not really a Shakespeare scholar, but I spotted a few bits of plot that looked familiar. I want my friend with an English degree to read the book next so that she can tell me all the references to Shakespeare plays that I missed. How nerdish is that?!
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Format: Paperback
As soon as William Hardt lands on the beautiful pacific island, determined to right all the wrongs of his countrymen, you know how things will end up for the natives. It's a bittersweet tale that left me smiling but also sad. Its a book that will make you laugh out loud. The characters are very well realised and the islanders pidgin dialect is infectious! This is a lovely book to read if you have a long journey ahead of you as it sucks you right in and you never get bored. Its an easy read the gives you something to think about - the arrogance of western civilisation, the americanisation of the globe, death, life, love and the importance of a nice pair of green sling back shoes!
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Format: Paperback
What a fantastic read this was. I had thought it was going to be humorous book about books - and it is - but it's so much more too. The story of how the islanders lose their innocence is full of originality and is witty, dramatic, deep, funny, sad, magical and at times also grotesque. All of this blends together into perfect mixture of a tale that will make you re-think your ideas about the meaning of life. It made me laugh out loud but at other times I was moved to tears. It's also caused me to feel the need to read more Shakespeare, although it's by no means necessary to do so in order to enjoy this book. This is one of my best reads so far this year and I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
I picked this book up on a whim yesterday and I'm glad I did. I read it all day up to midnight becasue I had to know how it finished. Humour is mixed with the more serious messages about capitalism and war, as well as sadness. All the characters are well drwn and I grew attached to many, especially the she-boys and of course the Hamlet re-writer himself, Managua. Yes there is toilet humour but if that is all see in the book it is wasted on you.
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Format: Hardcover
Just a really enjoyable read. On the surface an hilarious Shakespearean comedy but the social commentary when it comes is very topical. Basically a book about the inevitability of the capitalist bandwagon sweeping up all in its wake, but also a very funny and touching story about lonely people finding happiness. My wife is reading it now, and then it will go round the family. One for everyone to enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
There are so many themes in this highly entertaining book that you could spend hours debating the way Harding treats any one of them. It is a highly spiced yam-stew of a book, but infinitely more palatable than the one the author describes on his island. Unlike many of the reviews that feature on the cover, or this website, I didn't find the book laugh-out loud-funny. Constantly amusing, certainly.

What strikes me as particularly noteworthy is the sheer inventiveness of the novel, the quantity of richly drawn characters and the way they interact. You find you really do care about the destinies of the islanders and even William the central character who means so well but has such a counter-productive effect on the people he wishes to save.

One Big Damn Puzzler is alive with Shakespearian references, but even if you have little or no knowledge of Shakespeare, you can ponder the other questions raised by the book, such as the nature of the afterlife, the purpose of life itself, the merits of knowledge, the attractiveness of developed versus undeveloped cultures, the nature of belief - the list is endless. Harding also works in a little 9/11 near the end - though I can't help but feel that this was superfluous; the novel works perfectly well without it.

I get the impression from reading reviews also on the American Amazon that some readers have stopped short at the criticism implied of over-burgeoning American culture and the way it is exported around the world. This is certainly a theme, but if all you take out of the book is anti-Americanism, you have only scratched the surface of what the author is trying to say.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this book by chance and thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it quirky and amusing and the descriptions of the main characters' OCD made me laugh out loud (although obviously I have sympathy for real OCD sufferers). I still think of Managua with a smile. If you want a laugh and to read something totally original, I recommend this book!
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Format: Paperback
This is a book which deals with the clash of cultures between a western lawyer and the inhabitants of small island with some rather 'interesting' customs and traditions.

I liked this book. It has many laugh out loud moments and to some extent does make you look at Western traditions and life styles with a different eye. The story follows William on the island (the funny bits), looks at his life in America and his issues with OCD (not so riveting) , and examines the lifestyle of the inhabitants, including Managua who is translating Shakespeare into the local pidgin , with predictable results, and a variety of other original characters (funny and thought provoking).

This book has a lovely warmth and humour which makes the cast endearing, and some very imaginative and funny writing. The humour is on a number of levels and is held together by great characters and a fairly thin plot. Even when the comedy turns a bit black it is still enjoyable.

While it is thought provoking it never makes your brain hurt. If anything it is a bit lightweight (not a criticism). Some of the jokes wear a bit thin by the end and I enjoyed the use of language but some might not share that.

Overall very good.
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