Saturday 30 April 2016

Reviewed: The Flood by Steven Scaffardi

TITLE: The Flood
AUTHOR: Steven Scaffardi
PUBLICATION DATE: April 30, 2016

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One bet, four girls, eight weeks, multiple dates. What could possibly go wrong?

Following his traumatic eight month dry spell, Dan Hilles is back in the driving seat and ready to put his dating disasters behind him.

But if only it were that simple.

After a drunken afternoon in the pub, fuelled by the confidence of alcohol, Dan makes a bet with his three best pals that will complicate his love-life more than ever when he brazenly declares that he could juggle multiple women all at the same time.

With just eight weeks to prove his point, Dan is about to find out how hard it is to date a flood of women without them all finding out about each other, especially when they come in the shape of an ex-girlfriend, a stalker, the office ice queen and the one that got away.

It’s been a long time since a book has made my jaw ache and my sides hurt from laughter as much as The Flood did. I don’t even know where to begin in describing this book. The plot is a frenzy of crazy people, one liners and dating (in the loosest sense of the word) disasters. From the opening page right until the end, The Flood hilariously details every aspect you think could go wrong whilst attempting to date four women at the same time and I’ll just warn you that there are many, many more disastrous and laugh-out-loud outcomes you haven’t even thought of. This book covers it all.

There are not going to be many, if any, emotional attachments you feel towards this book and its storyline. But you will laugh to the level that you really don’t care. Seriously painful laughter. Despite this, I did love the group of male friends – Dan, Jack, Rob and Ollie, as well as their tag-along Ieuan, and Dan’s flatmate Tuna (yep) and his workmate Steph and several other characters who were fun to read about. Rob’s the one who always pulls. Ollie is the one who is very very dim. Jack is, to be kind, a complete idiot and Dan is coming to the end of a long dry spell and drunkenly agrees to a bet meaning he has to date multiple women at the same time without them finding out.

The book begins with lots of “lad humour” – you know the sort – but then quite quickly it transpires that the author has plenty of things in store to make both male and female readers laugh a hell of a lot. You don’t get a moment to breathe within this book – it’s fast-paced and complete carnage with the group of friends (but mostly Dan) getting involved in car-crash situations again and again and again. Arguments, fights, sex, hangovers, unfortunate train situations, stalkers, giants, dogs, silly bets, even sillier bettors (Ollie…) are just a few of the several chaotic things that happen in The Flood and I found it difficult to make it through even a page without laughing.

It’s hard for me to review much else other than the humour in The Flood, mostly because I’ve just finished reading it and all I’m doing is thinking about the millions of moments in the book that made me laugh (probably about two or three on every page…). But one aspect I did like was that in amongst all the lies and deceit that Dan was very guilty of, his voice and the way he told the story to the readers was completely the opposite – it was honest. He’s blunt and forthright – to the reader, at least – and strangely enough you can relate to some of his feelings and the scenarios he finds himself in. Maybe not to the extreme lengths Dan went to but who hasn’t found themselves “accidentally” stalking someone on Facebook, obsessively scrolling through their photos without even realising you’re doing it? Or made up silly excuses to get out of doing something only for them all to come back to bite you?

The Flood is frenetic entertainment all the way through and it’s the perfect slice of light relief and distraction from any mundane real life. Dan, Jack, Ollie and Rob are likeable characters and it’s fun to follow them through all their bad choices and dating disasters, laughing whilst at the same time being grateful for those extra brain cells you possess (sorry guys) which means you won’t screw up quite as much as they do. I can’t wait to read more from these characters and am looking forward to going back and reading the The Drought, which is the first book in the series.

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