I enjoyed the first few chapters of 'Brown' so much that it was on course for a definite 5-star review; I liked the short chapters, fast pace and easy humour, plus the subject matter and events were reminiscent of Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently novels. By half way through, however, the humour had worn thin, as had the plot. There were still occasional moments of genius, such as the introduction of the character Mr Casbarian, whose sporadic appearances livened up some of the book's duller passages. James Polster has an interesting writing style: very minimalist. This works for dialogue, allowing conversations to move quickly and flow in a natural way. When it comes to description, though, Polster's bare prose - which is almost entirely lacking in sensual detail - fails to evoke emotional responses in the reader. His minimalist style, therefore, is a double-edged sword. By the end of the book, I found myself happy that it was over, and looking forward to reading something with more substance and descriptive flair. At its best, 'Brown' melds humour and cleverness to excellent effect. Too often, though, the story struggles. At these times, Polster often throws in preposterous situations, relying on the ridiculous to keep the reader interested. It doesn't always work.