How You Ruined My Life
Rod is very happy despite living in a small two-bedroom house with just his mother after his father left two years before. He has a great girlfriend, Audrey, the kind of girl who makes people ask, “How did he get her?” Oh, that’s right, he’s also in a band, the Fanged Grapefruit, a punk rock group with very long titles for songs that plays on Monday nights at a local bar for the underage crowd. When his cousin, Blake, comes from California to stay for three months, he has some misgivings – they haven’t seen each other in a long time, and he’s a bit spoiled. What happens next can only happen in a Jeff Strand novel.
Rod is a quirky storyteller, telling his tale with asides and parenthetical comments. His combativeness with his cousin and subsequent fallout with family and friends may be somewhat predictable, but his method of attempted revenge is humorously satisfying. The story moves quickly, the dialogue is witty and fun, and the tale is entertaining for just about any age. Much like Paul Rudnick’s It’s All Your Fault, life is not the same at the conclusion, but it could be worse. Maybe.