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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elvis is all shook up, 7 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Hound Dog (Paperback)
Picture Elvis; what do you see? A coke-snorting, sexually-obsessed self-professed psychopath, who sells skunk to teenagers, has no respect for the vows of marriage and harbours a seething hatred for his own music? Meet the number one Elvis impersonator in Cambridgeshire. Aided and abetted by "Fat Elvis" and "Gay Elvis", his two reluctant and recalcitrant backing singers, he trails havoc in his wake as dank social clubs and depressing town halls receive his dubious talents. Not really the life he would have chosen, but not really all that terrible either. That is until his partners rebel, and Elvis is left out of pocket and up a certain creek, his omnipotent delusions rendered rather impotent. Cue the intervention of some local gangsters, and all hell is set to break loose.

Blandford's debut has all the grit and dark humour of an Irvine Welsh novel, but with the added bonus of being intelligible. The depraved and desperately comic lead is a man possessed by demons he can't understand or rather refuses to face, and filled with a rage he is unable to diffuse. With a distressing lack of responsibility, he attributes his wilful rampages to a nonexistent mental condition, but there is the sense underneath of a man hiding from the light in the shadows of his own decrepitude. With little hope of redemption and therefore no regret, Elvis marches resolutely towards his demise bearing with him the tools of his destruction. Funny and frightening, Blandford has forged a tragicomic novel around a curiously underused paradigm.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the funniest book in the world, 4 Mar. 2007
By 
Mr. A. Wake "wakey03" (West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hound Dog (Paperback)
I didn't know what to expect when I bought this book. On the face of it a book about an Elvis impersonator doesn't sound like too much, but I can honestly say that this is the funniest book I have ever read.

It tells the tale of a cocaine and masturbation addicted ex con known only as Elvis (you never get to know his real name) who, with his two backing signers Fat Elvis and Gay Elvis, takes his disastrous Elvis show around Cambridgeshire and hates every minute of it. Like the line from the Manics' song he is overweight and out of date and to make matters worse..... he knows it. Elvis has to keep his show going though because it affords him other more interesting things like funding his coke habit and sleeping with loose middle aged housewifes.

Things change for the worse when his Elvis mobile gets trashed at gig and he is forced to go cap in hand to Eddie, a vicious gay gangster that Elvis met in prison, in order to buy a new van and honour his up and coming gigs. The problem is, Eddie doesn't want the money back, he wants the three Elvis' to perform at the birthday party of another notorious gangster. This sounds easy enough, but it really isn't. I won't go into what happens from that point on but let's just say it's a page turning, calamitous, violent and drug fuelled tale that will make you laugh out loud.

I hope to see a small screen adaptation of this very soon, in the meantime I await Mr Blandford's next full length work.

Bye peps
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bloody marvellous, 5 Sept. 2006
By 
David Dixon (Southampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hound Dog (Paperback)
This really is one of the most unusual books I've read (I mean, Elvis impersonators?), and definately one of the best this last year. In true brit style it leaps from wipe-your-eyes funny, to a gutterful of grimness with out missing a beat. After reading this book, I don't think there will be many people left unrevolted by Elvis and his unsurpassed capacity for self destruction. Which makes Blandfords achievement in getting the reader to empathise with this useless, fat has-been all the more laudable. The language and subject matter in the book manage to cover pretty much every obscentiy going. If it's wrong, Elvis does it, has done it, or intends to do it. It's hard to describe him properly without using the vernacular. But he is, without question, one of THOSE. For me, it was his brutal, unflinching honesty that gave him hope, and made me want him to drag himself out of the tragedy his life has deteriorated onto. Naturally, the Law of Elvis dictates that the harder you try, the deeper you spiral down. One step forward, three steps back. The phrase could have been invented for this character. Wont spoil the plot, but will insist you get this. I've felt compelled to buy it for 3 friends already (only the broad-minded types!) and it's going down well. I loved it. It deserves a cult niche, it's so off the wall, and as a an intelligent critique of our dubious humanity, it's made for some first class beer-fueled conversations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uncomfortable fun, 9 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Hound Dog (Paperback)
Hound Dog plays with the idea of the anti-hero, pushing the Elvis impersonator's unpleasantness almost to the end of its tether; but somehow we retain a glimmer of sympathy for the selfish, lecherous pig. He's the product of his environment, and never have the Fens seemed so bleak, so calculated to drive a man mad. Blandford has a sure comic touch and a wry turn of phrase; his novel won't change your life, but it should make you laugh long and hard, even if you feel guilty doing it. Like it lots.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anti Elvis, 10 July 2007
This review is from: Hound Dog (Paperback)
I had expected a whimsical and quirky British comedy in the vein of Robert Rankin but what I got was a totally original, venomous, unbelievably rude, deeply tragic and exceptionally honest and very funny book. Imagine the works of Bret Easton Ellis and JG Ballard having all the pretension squeezed out of them and then replaced with Jerry Sadowitz's humour and a dash of scorcese's Goodfellas...and you sort of get somewhere in the right ballpark. Brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very original black comedy, 19 July 2007
By 
R. King "Writer" (Somerset) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hound Dog (Paperback)
A belter of a dark comedy that rattles along faster than the King of Rock and Roll managed to down deep-fried hamburgers. I don't particularly like Elvis and I didn't much like the main character either but I still wanted to know what was on the next page. Some books with unlovable main characters overdo the bleak and depressing aspects, but not this one. Could be destined for cult status, especially amongst the lads. Thankyouverymuch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Put It Down (Even Though You Might Want To), 4 Oct. 2009
By 
Marsha Moore (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hound Dog (Paperback)
Reading this book is like watching bad accident: you want to look away, but you just have to see what transpires. 'Hound Dog' is brutally honest: no details are spared, and it's that candour that reels you in. I don't like Elvis; I'm not a man lusting after practically everything that moves; politically incorrect labels make me feel awkward, yet in an uncomfortable sort of way I enjoyed seeing the world through the eyes of the main character. In a way, the book reminded me of 'Catcher in the Rye' - you have the same access to the character's inner world. The plot zips along, there are some very comical moments, and despite his flaws you can't help but like (at least a little) the main character.

I liked it - despite myself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's only my opinion..., 12 Aug. 2006
By 
Charly "Charly" (Winchester, Hants, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hound Dog (Paperback)
My review isn't to be as in depth as the fantastic and accurate ones below, but I do want to give my opinion anyway. I got a proof copy of this book and read it over 3 days. I couldn't put it down. It's well written, engaging and exciting. Most of all, it's fresh. It's not some tired re-hash of a Shakespearian play trying to be modern. It's original. I don't think I can give a higher accolade than that. So my recommendation is this: if you want a book that's a great read and pulls you right in to the story, then this is the one for you. Enjoy!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect gift for any man with a strong stomach, 12 Jan. 2007
By 
Sockpuppets (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hound Dog (Paperback)
Laughed out loud, gagged with revulsion, almost cried at the end and felt shellshocked throughout. Would make a great british movie - have fun casting it in your head as you read.

Would recommend this for Fathers Day, gifts for brothers and brothers in law, 'modern' grandfathers and uncles. Not for the puritanical.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it!, 17 Oct. 2006
By 
P. Banham "Banhampants" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hound Dog (Paperback)
Im not really fiction lover and in all honesty brought this book thinking it was something else!

It was great!.... Funny really wierd but funny! I read this book in 2 days, I think one of the quickest books I have ever read. I couldn't put it down. If you like comedy and odd goings on buy it!

you won't find a story along the same lines anywhere else and it was a great read.
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Hound Dog
Hound Dog by Richard Blandford (Paperback - 7 Jun. 2007)
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