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Book Review: Duck Duck Wally: A Novel by Gabe Rotter

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Everyone wants to know what's up with this book's title. Two sources come readily to mind: the children's game, "Duck, Duck, Goose" and the rude gesture of goosing another person. But you must read clear through the last chapter of Duck Duck Wally to get it. No cheating, either, because you won't understand if you skip the rest of the book. Hah!

This is not bedtime reading, either. If you like to read yourself to sleep, save duck duck wally for the day. Two reasons – one is that you'll never fall asleep enjoying this much hilarity. You may even wet the bed with laughter. The other reason is the dialogue which will stick in your mind so thoroughly that it will still be running through it in the morning. This could be a dangerous situation if you need to speak with other adults. Read this book when you're weary or stressed out. It will give you a lift or convince you that you're life isn't so bad after all.

About that dialogue: Imagine a James Joyce/Woody Allen love child reincarnated as Young Jeezy. Oy, ga-vizzelot! The entire story takes place in Wally's mind as he tells us the unbelievable tale of what happens to a foul-mouthed little Jewish guy who secretly writes rap lyrics in L.A. But you don't need to suspend your disbelief, because this goosed-up rhyme is so intricately amazing and amusing. It's just that those damned rap verbalizations keep vibrating through your consciousness, tripping off your tongue at inappropriate moments if you don't watch out and, let's face it – who can keep his attention on what he's saying at each and every moment of his drab existence? That's an example of the overrun stream of consciousness Wally displays, only his is polluted with a lot of trash talk, profanity and effing. Be forewarned.

The story doesn't need the inclusion of Wally's XXX-rated nursery rhymes (Old Father Goose, if you will) on contemporary adult life, but there they are, set in italics and presented as if facsimiles from a published book. Maybe they will be some day. Just one would have done for an example of what the characters mention peripherally.

Debut author Gabe Rotter may not have a career ahead in rappish adult poetry, but as a humorist he's made a comedic grand entrance on the pop culture sha-zeeny!

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About Georganna Hancock

Retired San Diego publisher, journalist, freelance editor and writer, blogged almost daily for eight years at A WRITERS EDGE. She helped writers on the path to writing success with critiques, edits and publishing advice. Find her author page on Amazon and her tweets on Twitter, where she's aka @GLHancock. Georganna's first writing appeared in print in the 1960s. She worked as a journalist for many years. She reviewed books for the FORT PIERCE NEWS TRIBUNE and THE LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL and wrote for THE MIAMI HERALD, regional publications, and many national magazines. She was a member of the National Book Critics Circle, the San Diego Professional Editors Network and the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild, for which she served as Web Manager. Books reviewed may have been received as gifts. All her writings are protected by U.S. copyright law.
  • liz

    man i love this book

  • glenn farinka

    i read this book — not my usual thing, but really funny

  • susie gardona

    i read this book on a plane ride from Chicago to Dallas and embarrassed myself by laughing and snorting outloud. i actually convinced the young guy sitting next to me that he absolutely HAD to buy it!

  • This is the funniest book I’ve ever read! This review doesn’t even come close to bringing to light the comedic genius that is Gabe Rotter. Buy this book and you will not be disapointed! Buy one for everyone on your holiday list and you will recieve 7 years good luck!