This debut from Tim Scott, who used to be a plasterer and painter, before turning his hand to humorous sci-fi is a quirky book, which left me laughing out loud while also scratching my head and wondering where the plot had run away to.
Outrageous Fortune can best be described as a fast-paced combination of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. It starts off with dream architect, Jonny X, discovering that his house has been stolen. All that is left is a card from the thieves with the question: Don’t you hate it when this happens?
Things go rapidly downhill from here and he finds himself at the clutches of a parachuting saleswoman who wants to sell him a set of encyclopedias, being chased by a mad motorcycle gang called the Four Horsemen and at the mercy of lifts who tell bad knock-knock jokes.
Fuelled by numerous Long Island Iced Teas at the Most Inconvenient Bar in the World and with the help of his friends, he goes about trying to get his life back.
In this future world, the city is arranged by music zones, where people live in neighbourhoods according to their musical preferences. I must say that I found this rather topical as in this new California, media companies have become so powerful that they now rule the roost.
Throw in a bit of big brother too in the form of the Zone Police and Skin Media that allows your every move to be monitored and a lot of zany humour, and you have yourself a refreshing and entertaining romp. Recommended for all those who like oddball stories, even if the plot gets lost a little now and then.
If you are a fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, then you’ll find yourself laughing out loud faster than my kids can say slartibartfast or you can finish a tall glass of Long Island Iced Tea.