Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Book Review: The Little Book of Sham by Keith Martin

by M. J. Joachim

“The Little Book of Sham is the result of hours spent staring into space, wondering - not just ‘Why?’ and ‘Why not?’ - but also, ‘How?’” states Keith Martin in the very first pages of his book. I have to admit, it had me scratching my head a bit, wondering why, why not and how? Probably not for the same reasons Mr. Martin did, and certainly never to the point that I actually took the time to write anything down and turn it into a book, but that’s just me. I’d much rather torture myself designing crochet patterns to publish, or studying literary works I’m far to disillusioned to ever understand properly.

Such as it is, this little book is a bit of a sham, and on a few occasions it even had me laughing about it. The formatting could definitely use improvement, though as a stand up comedy type book, maybe it’s supposed to be formatted in a messy way. That’s exactly what I pictured as I read this little book - an awkward guy, a newbie if I’m being kind, standing up on stage in a bar that has far too few patrons, tossing out a couple of bad one liners, followed by an unexpected decent joke, and perhaps one or two really good ones. You could almost see the sweat beading on his brow under the harsh lights, while he makes every effort to captivate his audience and pleads for them to like him. And in the end you’re like, “Okay, he’s a bit raw, but so what? Everyone has to start somewhere, and his humor isn’t really all that bad when you really think about it. I mean, it’s not great, but it’s not bad either.”

Personally I think Mr. Martin should take his act on the road and use this material with props and antics on stage. He’d likely get quite a bit of applause and maybe even be invited back to a few venues. Reading it is okay, but this seems like more of an act for the stage.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I wish you every success with your writing.

M. J.

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