Out of work, late twentysomething Danny Brown still lives at home with his Dad after the death of his Mum. In an effort to make a quick quid, Danny is often drawn to more dubious means of employment involving less than savoury characters.
Whilst enjoying a beer in his local pub he is made an offer too good to refuse .....
Primarily set in London, England and accompanied by childhood friend Jamaica Dave, the pair embark upon a journey of hope. A journey which is driven along by a local wannabe big time gangster and his ultra menacing minder.
Hope soon turns to hopelessness .....
The Brown Stuff is the first part of a black humour fiction trilogy, featuring Danny and Dave's comical adventures that many readers may (worryingly) be able to relate to.
Strictly for adults only and not for the easily offended.
You have been warned.
The Brown Stuff by Richard Mason was published on 5 November 2015, it was self-published via New Generation Publishing.
Many years ago, I worked with Richard Mason; the author of The Brown Stuff. Our working environment was challenging, tense and always dangerous. Apart from the obvious advantage of actually being able to do the job, there were two main requirements that ensured survival in that place; one was a sense of humour and the other was that you couldn't be offended by bad language.
Those two requirements come in pretty handy for readers of The Brown Stuff too; this story is full of the blackest, crudest toilet humour and littered with the baddest of bad language. Think of The League of Gentleman, crossed with Chubby Brown and populated with characters from The Young Ones or Bottom and you'd be on the right track. So, you HAVE been warned!
The thing is, I like that sort of funny and The Brown Stuff really appeals to my foul/sick sense of humour, and not only is it very funny, and very cringemaking, it's also very very good.
We have two lead characters; Danny and Jamaica Dave who are completely believable (sadly!). Danny's the brightest of the two and beyond the swagger and idiocy, he's really a pretty decent bloke. He just gets himself into the most ridiculous and dangerous situations. Trying to get the better of local hard man Bullshit Bob and his built-like-a-brick-shit-house minder was never a good idea, and enlisting the help of always stoned and forever horny Dave just makes it all one big disaster, from start to finish.
Richard Mason can write. He's paced this story very well, the action is unrelenting, from the back-street dog-fighting, to the stag night in Cardiff and the faux holiday in Egypt, and then in between, there are the scenes from the asylum. Personally, I'd like a bit more of the asylum because the author has created a fabulous sense of place within the few pages that do take place there. Hmm, the smell of sweaty blokes and the joys of the day-room, absolutely perfectly done.
I laughed and cringed my way through The Brown Stuff. The author takes no prisoner, there's no hiding place for any reader who can't cope with crude, rude, foulmouthed blokes, or dirty little teenage manipulative girls, or dogs on Viagra .... do you get the picture?
Richard Mason is very skilled at what he does. He's created a cast of characters who are loud and rude but lovable, and the reader really does back them and want them to beat Bullshit Bob. The stag party in Cardiff chapter is hilarious and the asylum scenes are perfect.
I have no idea what is going to happen in parts two and three of this series, but I look forward to finding out.
The Brown Stuff is a great read, I loved it .... I just wouldn't want to live there all of the time!
I also want to mention the fabulous cover of The Brown Stuff. All too often, self-published books have really naff, stock photos as their cover. The Brown Stuff cover is great, I like it very much, it's eye-catching and doesn't scream do-it-yourself. I'm very impressed.
My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review.
About the author ....
I was born in Nottinghamshire, England in 1973 and grew up on a healthy diet of Marvel Comics, cheesy American TV series, music, movies and very few books.
My tastes haven't moved on too far, although I don't read the comics anymore, but I do enjoy the Marvel movies and TV shows.
Despite not being a great book-lover as a child, I always loved a story, whether in a comic panel, on TV, or writing my own, it didn't matter.
My first written stories were about the superheroes that I followed and I wish that I still had them, so I could sell them to Marvel .....
My debut self-published novel The Brown Stuff is out now and is the first book of a black humour trilogy.
My usual writing genres are crime, thrillers, action, adventure, conspiracy, so when the black humour reared its sarcastic head, I embraced it. I have a broad sense of humour and this allowed me to produce a piece of work with few boundaries. What started as a collection of hand-written short stories 7 years ago soon developed into a full story, with two more books to follow in this trilogy, and maybe more after that!
I work full-time, have a very young son and a very supportive partner; they are my motivators and a huge part of my life, and my writing has to take a slight back seat. This gave me the opportunity to delve into self-publishing after many knock-backs from publishers and literary agents.
My hobbies, away from my writing, still involve music, movies, American TV shows, UFC and football. The dust continues to gather on my Marvel comic collection.
Follow Richard Mason on Twitter @RichardMason73
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