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on 7 April 2012
There are two ways to look at this eponymous tale and the first is the most obvious. This is the amusing story of the fantasist Cpt. Shoelace and what happens to him when he moves home. We meet him not long after he has moved into the village of Effam and having done so he has managed to attract the attention of his neighbours who then embark on an unrelenting campaign designed to prick the balloon of pomposity that surrounds our protagonist. This sets up a number of situations that allow Johnson (the author, not the neighbour) to indulge in subtle word play, general clever badinage, innuendo, misdirection and all round silliness. Towards the end though, the book descends a little into farce and I found myself rooting for the Captain as he seems to get far more than he deserves. I hope he can get the villagers on his side in the sequel.

The second way to look at this manuscript is to consider this in to-days social context. This is the world where people are bullied online just for being different and people can do so with impunity. I saw parallels in Johnsons writing with the current attitude that one can behave in such a way without being brought to book. Having read the book I don't think that Johnson has set Shoelace up to be deserving of the treatment he gets. His own behaviour does get worse as the story progresses but I saw this as a result of the behaviour he encounters from others. He is insulted by all within the village, simply due to the fact that he indulges in a little harmless fantasy. He is fleeced by local tradesmen, his neighbour and even the doctor! On top of that, he is physically assaulted as well as put upon and all for no good reason other than, he is an outsider.

Nobody suffers any consequence for their aggressive actions against this man - these characters are the twitter and facebook bullies set down in a fictional village the name of which sums up their worldview. It's the concept that this is OK or even funny that jars with this reviewer. This is not a man who is self destructing this is a man who is maligned at every turn for being harmlessly different and is hopelessly and deliberately wrong footed by everyone as he tries his best to get the hell out of town with some small shred of dignity left.
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on 20 October 2011
Very funny in a sometimes subtle and sometimes not so subtle way. Absolutely ridiculous as many of the situations are, parallels can easily be made with everyday incidents in real life. Highlights the ridiculous and shallow standards of many people in this day and age. A good read that will leave you smiling in recognition, possibly, of someone you know???? Read it - it will cheer you up!!
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on 6 May 2012
A village full of not nice people are not nice to their new resident who is also not a nice person.

Captain Shoelace treats everyone in the village he has just moved into as inferior to himself. They in turn verbally abuse him and con him out of his money. The only redeeming character seems to be Mr Claptrap.

There are a couple of clever word plays but on the whole I didn't enjoy this book. The so called humour just seemed to get me more annoyed with each page.
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on 14 December 2011
A great read! Hard to put down once you enter into the crazy world of Captain Shoelace and Co; perfect to get stuck into on these cold winter nights!. A larger than life character that we can all relate to in some way or another!Fun and witty with some clever innuendos, all in all a very enjoyable read!
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on 24 October 2011
A good read if you like a saucy chuckle, just like the seaside postcards. Starts off slowly but the pace picks up and the double-entendres and innuendos come thick and fast. Definite must for the fun-loving older generation.
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on 27 October 2011
This book is a must for any person with a sense of humour and a hate of pompous people, it is well written and a great read. This book made me laugh all the way through, it builds slowly until you laugh out loud at the absurdness of it all. Cant wait for the next one Mr & Mrs Johnson rock!
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on 2 November 2011
A very funny read, would recommend to anyone that likes to laugh at the funny side of life/stupidity of others etc. We all know or have met our own Captain Shoelaces somewhere in our lifes which makes the character even more 'fun'! Well worth buying.
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on 7 November 2011
What a fabulous book, I could barely put it down. A laugh out loud read for anyone with a sense of humour. Simply Magnificent!!
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on 18 November 2013
The story line was very good and I was enjoying reading it but the it ran out of steam, as if the writer got distracted by something
and wanted to finish quick. So it was good but not that good.
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on 20 October 2013
Silly names, even sillier incidents. Don't know what I expected from this book but not this nonsense. Add to that the punctuation mistakes (your/you're) and typos and it's not a good total.
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