Book Review: All the F*cks I Cannot Give by Michael Carlon

November 23, 2018 Book Reviews 4

Book Review: All the F*cks I Cannot Give by Michael Carlon

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

All the F*cks I Cannot Give by Michael Carlon
Genres: Humorous, Fiction
Published by Uncorking a Story on May 17, 2017
Pages: 320
Format: eBook
Source: Author

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A standalone novel that is both annoying and funny, as Kelly Carson starts to give a fuck.

This eBook was sent to me by Uncorking a Story for an honest review.

My Take

All the F*cks I Cannot Give truly is funny, and the wisdom that evolves, the changes that take place, will burn in your mind. It was still annoying, though, how passive Kelly is. He never confronts anyone. He never stands up for himself. And I suppose that’s the great conflict in the story.

The other really annoying part was Kelly being fired made no sense whatsoever, as he’s “the most productive moderator in the company”. But then I suspect I’d flunk Big Business 101, and of course, another inciting incident would be lost.

On the plus side, Carlon has got such a way with words, oh man, you will be LYAO.

“…bury herself in beaver like a fat man at a Las Vegas buffet.”

“At 42, I’ve only had sex with two people — the latter being the lesbian who hasn’t touched me in ten years.”

“…seduce the reader and give them the best orgasm of their life.”

“…Ella and I have come to view you as a liability.”

“I’ll never know what it’s like to raise kids and live vicariously through them, to burden them with one’s own disappointments.”

“Ecclesiastical calisthenics.”

It’s fun listening to Terri critique conflict in Kelly’s draft, the one that doesn’t have any conflict, much like its author. What’s not so much fun about her is how pushy, provocative (not in the good way), and loud she is.

But it’s Terri who pulls out the man who gives a fuck. The one who discovers how much fun it is being with someone who shares your interests. Carlon does have fun with those pop-culture references.

What is it with mothers who blame their kids for being born? It’s not like any of us had a choice about it. Of course, his mother is real piece of work. Oy. Then there’s FishFace, oops, I mean Laura who has been leaching off Kelly for years. She’s so impossible to believe that she’s fascinating.

Oh, does that scene hit a nerve! And it’s so true, no one wants to take a risk anymore with “Hollywood … [making] … the same five movies over and over, and each “new product I test is just a variation on a theme”. Who can’t relate to that one! And such a metaphor for Kelly’s life.

I gotta agree with Kelly, I had no idea there was so much involved in planning a swingers’ party… And some of those guests, oh, mercy…ROFLMAO…

You know, it may be true that nice guys finish last, but this nice guy finishes well.

The Story

Three weeks before Christmas, New York-bound, mild-mannered Marketing Consultant Kelly Carson gets fired from his job over the telephone while sitting in an airline lounge in the Los Angeles Airport.

Terri Flynn, a fiery and controversial starlet who is running away to New York after walking off the set of her latest feature film, overhears Kelly’s unceremonious firing and becomes hellbent on transforming him from the Clark Kent he is into the Superman the impulsive actress feels he’s destined to become.

After their flight to New York is cancelled, Kelly and Terri take a last-minute jaunt to Hawaii, putting in motion a series of hilarious events and misfortunes that shake both of their worlds to the core, but not always for the better.

From diverted flights, romps on the beach, and overindulging on edibles to swingers’ parties, it just gets wilder and wilder.

The Characters

Kelly “Clark” Carson is a research analyst who can’t say boo; Pete calls him “Farmer Kelly“. He’s also an aspiring novelist who decides he’ll be Hunter Carson. Laura, a.k.a., Fuck Face, Tartar Sauce, and FishFace, is his wife…and a lesbian. (Her father is a mechanical engineer and can do it all.) Dr Josephine Carson is Kelly’s twin sister and a lesbian who spotted Laura at the Meow Mix. Vanessa, a TV news anchor, is her current girlfriend. Their guilt-ladling mother, who is more concerned about appearances than anything, or anyone, else, has a sister, Mia. Eddie is Kelly’s GTI five-speed.

Owned by Dallas, the Tequila Mockingbird, a.k.a., The Bird, is Kelly and Jo’s favorite restaurant, and Jason is Jo’s favorite bartender although Ryan is great too, while Hugo Garcia, Cesar’s brother, is their favorite waiter, and Emilio is a bus boy. Lino, his cousin, had the flu last week.

Zora’s is an independent coffee shop, and Zora knows people. Zora’s sister runs Coraline’s, a trendy bar where Ivan, Aleksander, and Karlo play dominoes. Gail Dexter is Connecticut’s preeminent swinger; Charles is her husband.

Angelo, one of Kelly’s best friends from high school, handles snow removal at their place. Cesar Garcia is the driver Kelly uses in Connecticut. Jim Peters is one of Ella’s lawyer friends. Stanley Rothstein handled Vanessa’s divorce — she’d been married to the network’s president.

Terri Flynn is the obnoxious actress Kelly meets at the airport. Angelo has her last film in his spank bank. Jimmy Walker is supposedly making a comeback film with Terri. Woody is Terri’s agent. Her dad is career military, Captain Kevin Flynn, and despises Terri’s acting career. Joan is his lady friend.

Omnivore is…
…a holding company that bought Stahl and Partners, a research company run by Michele Stahl who wants to sell out and where Kelly works…worked. Pete Jackson is Kelly’s new boss and a true jerk. Heather, Laurie, and Brian haven’t had a project in months. Sharon is the bubbly office manager/receptionist. Mara is a friend who works in the field management group. The clueless Destiny is with HR.

Natasha is an Australian client of Kelly’s with a new product, Popeye condoms, who takes it to Carson and Partners. Steve, a.k.a., Mr Fur Coat, is an art director; Oliver, a.k.a., Skinny Man, is a copywriter who calls Kelly “Questions”.

Hawaii

Todd Fucking McKay is a scum-sucking paparazzo who doesn’t care about the truth.

The Stahl Center for Peace and Balance is…,
…Michele’s new scam, er, I mean, business. Or should I say Vanilla? Safron is a rep. Sumac, a.k.a., Thomas, is her chef.

The Ritz Carlton
Andy, who looks like the actor, Ted McGinley, is another jerk. Carl is the bartender. Brenda is the target that first night. Rogerio is a bus boy; Isaac is a waiter. Jara and Howard are a couple of guests, and Jara is not happy about where Howard is directing his attention.

Chicago
Detective Nick Thomas and his partner Detective Chris Roberts have questions. Andy Wind is one of Kelly’s fraternity brothers who opened up Pasta LaVista, a restaurant that is a fusion of Mexican and Italian.

Deerfield, Illinois, is…
Swingtown, the best swinging city in the country. Seems a swinger who goes by El Capitan wants in on the focus group. Kelly rents the Willette house for his focus group. Jeanette Wainwright is his very nosy new neighbor who gets all her ideas from the Bobby Williamson who blew up his mother’s house. Tucker is her dog, and Harold is her husband. Piper is an overly talkative clerk in Deerfield. Patrick is a waiter at the American Steakhouse. Father Daniel “Danny” Josephs is about to say Mass. Officers Wilcox and Baker show up to investigate.

Swinging 101 is all about the fake names: Adam and Eve, Jack and Diane, Ross and Rachel, Billy and Allison, Luke and Leia, Ricky and Lucy, Joanie and Chachi, and Mulder and Scully. “Sergeant” Pepper Gardner is the party planner, the woman who proves there are outliers in any population.

Hart Literary Agency is…
…owned by Pam Hart. Andre Taylor works in her office. Elizabeth is an editor. Mick George is her favorite client.

Blaze Hazelwood is the lead character in Kelly’s book, Allison is his love interest, and Victor needs to be broken out of the nursing home.

Farrah Graham is a podcaster with Uncorking a Murder. Ted McGinley (the real one), Andrew Shue, Jennifer Grey, and Jack Wagner will sign up to work in Return to Casa Grande.

Ella is the Carson’s handywoman. Beverly works the airport’s customer service desk. Squeaker is a barista. Mary is the baggage office clerk in Hawaii. Frank Luntz runs focus groups. Diane is with the Flying Colonel frequent flyer program. Eva (she’s really Madeline, a.k.a., Maddy) was their flight attendant on the plane over. Charles must be a coworker, a gay one. Michael is the flight attendant back to the mainland. Kelly’s fellow commuters include “How are ya?” Ed, Crazy Tom, and “Hey Mom” whose previous boyfriend was Mike. A TSA agent at LaGuardia, Fred, must have had dreams of becoming a proctologist.

The Cover and Title

The cover is pale with its white background and sky blue polka dots. The title is in a complementary royal blue right down the middle. The author’s name is in a deep gray at the bottom. The only embellishment is a nod to the Superman lurking under Kelly “Clark” Carson’s man-on-the-street persona with a unique “stopper” of a gummy bear (you’ll see!) in that third word fo the title.

The title says it all, All the F*cks I Cannot Give from a man who just wants to be free.

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