Book Review – The Hole Opportunity by James Minter
There are some very silly people living in and around Harpsden. Colin Griggs and his wife, Izzy, are no exception. They are struggling rural farmers. Colin brainstorms (in his case, it’s more like scattered showers), trying to find a way to save his small farm and, after being inspired by donuts and electrical outlets, comes up with the idea of hole farming. So many things rely on holes he figures it can’t miss.
His first contract, to make holes for the local golf course, goes astray. He uses rabbits in a complex cage system to build the holes, and the rodents overachieve with humorous consequences.
Colin is a comic character, unsophisticated, impulsive, and seemingly accident-prone, or at least very unlucky, but then most of the town’s population would be at home in a Monty Python sketch. Their mishaps and misinterpretations make for a slapstick comedy of errors with a certain charming innocence. Once you get past the silly premise, it’s a fun read.
I must admit, that was a bit difficult for me. The hole farming thing was just a bit too silly, even for a farce like this. It might work better in fantasy or Sci-Fi, but as a contemporary humor, I just couldn’t quite get into it. The prose is well done, although it could benefit from a smattering of well-placed commas and additional paragraph breaks. I noticed, I think, only one obvious typo (‘here’ instead of ‘her’ – I make this one myself sometimes).
This book is a bit Monty Python, a bit I Love Lucy, and a little bit children’s story. The characters are clowns to be laughed at more than they are heroes to be identified with, and it does have some quite funny scenes. I can recommend it for readers looking for an absurd farce that, unlike many in this genre, does not rely on people being drunk or crude to create a humorous situation.