Loving Hector by John Inman

Loving Hector - John Inman

I really wanted to like this story but unfortunately this didn’t work for me. Ultimately I’m blaming the fact that humour (or humor, and that missing u may have been the issue) is more subjective than any other form of writing. Think ‘The Hangover’ and ‘Dirty Grandpa’ and you have the sort of humour that most closely resembles this book. I found both of those films amusing in places but mostly just embarrassing. That pretty much sums up the way I felt when reading this book.

 

Pros

John Inman can write. My issue here isn’t with the writing. (Actually, that’s not true there is one issue with the writing but I’ll come to that later. And it’s not a deal breaker for me if I’m really invested in the story.)

The dog. Chester/Noodles. Brings the couple together. Great plot device for a romance. The animosity surrounding the return of Chester/Noodles was great and should have gone on longer IMHO.

The cover – I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I like Paul Richmond’s artwork. And it does have the right feel for the content.

Multicultural/interracial romance. There aren’t enough of these around.

Grandpa – Grandpa is a scream. A funny comic creation. Horny and happy to explore his sexuality. The scene at the dinner table was priceless and possibly my favourite part of this book. He’s also obviously adores Dill and is his greatest advocate. His speech when Dill brought Hector over for dinner brought a lump to my throat.

 

Cons

The cover – Hector (the guy in the front) is supposed to be Mexican. Dill harps on constantly about the contrast between their skin tones. Brown. He uses the word brown a lot when talking about Hector. So why is this not reflected in the cover.

The head-hopping – OMG. So much head hopping. Bad enough if it was just between the MCs but we had side characters getting in on the act on occasions. At some points I had no clue whose POV we were in.

Insta-love – I’m all for instant attraction and whirlwind romance but they had two ‘non-dates’ and then they were moving in together. This after Hector had confessed to wanting to take things slow and having trust issues due to a former abusive relationship.

The self-editing – Dill is a writer and he self-edits in his head. That got annoying fast, as did reading some long-arsed sentences that were excused with the ‘that thought needs editing’ line at the end of the passage.

The geriatric threesome – More power to them that they all got their groove on but I didn’t need to read about them discussing it. Or Dill imagining it.

The villain – Just give him a moustache to twirl in a ridiculous manner and let him tie Hector to the train tracks.

The side characters – I’ve thought a while about whether to comment on this because nobody else has picked it up but I found the way he wrote a lot of the side characters to be borderline offensive. I know it was being played for laughs but every immigrant was fat or ugly, had an annoying screechy voice or bad hygiene, or was a homophobe with a hard-on for guys and a wife so fat she couldn’t leave the house. At the rescue, Dill’s Dad and friends arrived armed with plungers, mops, and wrenches (fine, they were plumbers), while Hector’s Mexican cousins arrived armed with switchblades, bicycle chains, and a burrito. Like I say, I can’t find another review that considered this an issue, but it made me uncomfortable. So much so that I nearly DNF’d.

 

This was my first read by John Inman. It won’t be my last. I’m willing to try another book, well another four, because I read this as part of the John Inman’s Greatest Hits anthology. But I might take a break before I read the next one.