"I don't think anyone could be disappointed with this read."

When Brenden James' thoughts' on his travels around the States get turned into a book, which becomes a best seller, he never expected the sequel to be a horrible flop. Now, touring the British Isles, he is clueless as well as suffering from writers block on how to write another best selling novel which is the only way to save his writing career. After all, how much can be said about old people and sheep? When he is stranded on the Isle of Man (because his ferry sank) during the annual Mermaid Festival, suddenly, he feels the start of a story that should satisfy his publisher...

The seaside village of Heather Bay has women flocking to the town to try and find their soul mates; a young girl continues the habit of dressing up like a mermaid (started by her grandmother); and all of the local fishermen seek vengeance from "Charlie the Tuna". Then there is the cranky lighthouse keeper that wrote a novel about mermaids, the Priest who wears a close pin on his nose and.... AH Yes! Story Heaven... But the longer Brenden spends in this "mad" town, the more fascinated he becomes with Christine, the local mermaid and the people of the town. How can he put his satirical view on these small town people, which would cause them harm?

Kelly Reno has written a fantastic novel. Besides that I adore the cover (Waterhouse is my favorite artist!) the book also includes pictures that give the story more of the "travel book" quality that Brenden is writing about. This story actually gives you the feeling of being in a small town overrun with tourist during a festival. I loved it!

I haven't read too many mermaid stories, so this is one of the attractions I had to MISADVENTURES & MERFOLK. I was really happy with the "happily ever after" part of the story and found Ms Reno's merfolk fascinating. Because Brenden is a total disbeliever in merfolk, you actually are discovering the culture along with him (very interesting actually!). I really hope that there will be a sequel written about Charlie "the Tuna".

Each chapter is almost its own insane event, which leaves you satisfied with the what is happening (for example the parade) and yet aching to know what will happen next. So if you have short amounts of time to read during the day this book is perfect! You can read a chapter, and then put the book down because you know what happened. However, the energy of MISADVENTURES & MERFOLK will have you picking the story back up at the first possible opportunity because you want to know what will happen next! This was so unique, and I found really enjoyable.

Besides the humorous events that take place between the pages, Kelly Reno has a very different writing voice than I am used too, and I loved it. It was like watching a BBC special where everything is either insane or ...just not what it appears to be. I don't think I can recommend this book enough! I don't think anyone could be disappointed.

Posted January 30, 2005

Reviewed by Cynthia Eckert
Posted November 16, 2006


When Brendan James arrived in the British Isles to write an honest and vivid profile of the craggy landscape and mysterious network of micro-islands, he found little more than sheep and senile inhabitants, too toothless to chat up. But after a serendipitous ferry sinking, James found himself stranded in a remote and peculiar village on Isle of Man called Heather Bay where the locals were celebrating their annual mermaid festival. At first glance, the festivities seemed innocent enough, but as James dug deeper, the best-selling travel writer found himself ill-equipped to deal with the lunacy of the locals who would stop at nothing to persuade him to write kind and endearing things about their home. After being enchanted by a local mermaid impersonator and nearly killed after interrupting the bizarre mating ritual of a merman, James vowed to expose the slimy underbelly of the seemingly innocent festivities in the alien world he's discovered. A place where it's considered fashionable to wear house cats as hats, where mysterious and seductive creatures lurk within the briny depths, and where the local church solicits for an accepts organ donations from tourists. In summary, Misadventures & Merfolk is the tale of seaside village gone mad.


Misadventures & Merfolk
by Kelly Reno

Reeds Press
November 1, 2004
ISBN #1891437011
EAN #9781891437014
350 pages
Trade Size
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