Wilt Fusarium, a clueless American ad executive, unwittingly finds himself in the middle of political intrigue and revolution on the tiny island of Costa San Rica, while trying to save the ad agency's Choad Banana account. Complications and misunderstandings abound, as the island's despot leader thinks Wilt is a revolutionary, the revolutionaries think he's a government agent, the banana company thinks he's CIA, and the CIA, well, they don't know what to think. As the dead bodies begin to pile up around him, and with his ad agency breathing down his neck, Wilt is forced to take extreme action to save his life, his job, and the Choad Banana account.
©2012 Jim Yoakum (P)2016 Jim Yoakum
Stranded on a desert isthmus.
I've had Jim Yoakum's collaborations with the late great Graham Chapman (of Dangerous Sports Club fame) in my collection for years, so I decided to see what he's been up to lately (Jim, not Graham). So I read his audiobook, Joe Perk, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked it so much, in fact, that I loaded up the ol' iPod with another of Jim's books just prior to a much needed do-nothing vacation. The Banana Massacre. I liked the title. Knew nothing about it, but liked the title. So it was somewhat of a happy coincidence as I found myself, a graduate in advertising, in the Caribbean, listening to the story of ad man Wilt Fusarium sent on assignment to the Caribbean. I could almost "see" the island of Costa San Rica from the beach where I was listening!
Based on a true massacre (Google it!) that occurred in the 1920's, Jim's version of The Banana Massacre includes a bit more humor than the original -- along with intrigue, suspense and a lot of mistaken identity. This is the story of ad man Wilt Fusarium (Google him!), a man who doesn't like bananas, sent to save the Choad Banana account. This is not the story of Carter, Inman and Adams, the "agency" bosses who sent him there against his wishes, nor is this the story of Jose Martinez, manager at the Choad Banana plantation. This is not the story of Jacobo Gomez, el Presidente de Costa San Rica, nor is this the story of his half brother, the revolutionary Alejandro "Chi-Chi" Lopez, former pitcher for the Yankees with a chip on his shoulder who now plays the game by a slightly different set of rules. This is not the story of Satine Santa Rosa, once engaged to "Chi-Chi", nor is it the story of her father Miguel, or of Chet, even, the spy, keeping a close eye on the clueless Wilt. No, this is the story of Wilt Fusarium and his cab driver, Emilio Chavez. Wait, hang on, scratch that. This is not the story of the cab driver. Nor is this the story of the hotel desk clerk. One thing for certain, this is definitely not the story of famous author, Rita Fulstrom. But hey, they're all in it. And it wouldn't be much of a story without any of them now, would it? And what a story it is!
I loved it! They say the book is always better than the movie. So read it now, before it's a movie! Or if you don't want to read it, listen to it!
Highly recommended reading by Jim Yoakum, and well read by Pavi Proczko (Google him!).
This is the first of Jim Yoakum's books that I've had the opportunity to experience. From what I read ahead it time, it seemed like a short humorous novel that would be enjoyable regardless of the quality. With this knowledge in hand, I was impressed with how much I actually enjoyed the book. The protagonist, Wilt Fusarium, is the classic straight man thrust into an endless torrent of absurd interactions and facetious situations. The story has all the charm, suspense, and intrigue of a classic spy novel with layers of dark humor and dramatic irony that recaptures the spirit of campy 80's comedies. It's not hard to imagine Chevy Chase or Bill Murray portraying the same interactions that Fusarium experiences throughout the story. As a satirical commentary on the heartlessness and encroachment of US industry within the fictional nation of Costa San Rico, The Banana Massacre comes across in a way that even those without knowledge of these situations will be able to understand. All in all, Jim Yoakum has done a tremendous job of creating a comedic novel that makes for an enjoyable read.
I enjoyed this story and actually laughed at a few points. The front desk guy's different pleas of "No trouble!" in particular are worth a giggle. And I still want to know what that mysterious stomach remedy is. The narrative is relatively lighthearted with a bumbling, hapless lead character who is thrown into one bad situation after another. There was some violence toward the end & it seemed that the plot was a little hastily wrapped up in the conclusion. Still though, it was an amusing listen.
Got a free copy from the author. Pretty funny story. Some of the humor reminded me of a Seinfeld episode. The desk clerk alone was hilarious!
The Banana Massacre was a thoroughly enjoyable story that is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. Jim Yoakum cranked the absurdity and ridiculousness of this novel up to epic proportions. The story was highly interesting for me and I found myself constantly wanting to know what will happen next. The story does a great job poking fun at the CIA as well. Pavi Proczko did an awesome job narrating this book. He really brought all the characters to life and he nailed their emotions and personalities perfectly. If you’re in the market for an entertaining and unique story, this is definitely worth a listen.
This audiobook was provided by the author at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
Note: I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review
I enjoyed the story and Pavi Proczko's narration in this unusual story. I think fans of 'Comedy of Errors' will find a lot to like here. If you listen to the audio sample, and like the type of delivery and humor there you'll probably enjoy the whole audiobook.
The writing is quite clever, and delights in it's own absurdity. The pace is a fairly quick, and the crazy situations continue to stack up as the novel goes on. Personally I enjoyed the comedy quite a lot.
Like some of the other reviewers have mentioned, the last chapter almost feels like a different book. I do wish that there was a little more comedy in the message, and a little more message in the comedy rather than being so starkly separated. Still, it was an enjoyable listen. Will check out Jim Yoakum's work in the future.
Wilt Fusarium is a advertising agent on a business trip to the tiny island of Costa San Rica. Unfortunately for him, the island is on the cusp of revolution and he is continually mistaken for a 'secret agent' and the ad agency he works for is mistaken for The Agency, the CIA. However Fusarium is oblivious to all this, with all these issues going straight over his head.
The book is very amusing, with most of the comedy coming from Fusariums absolute cluelessness. There is some great satire in there too, poking fun at American and her politics.
A quick read, with an interesting story. Highly enjoyable.
Narration by Pavi Proczko was good. His pace is quick though, so I had to slow down my playback a little to make him match most other readers. Possibly because of the reading pace I felt that early on he missed some of the comedy beats. This certainly improved over the course of the book.
Proczko provided a variety of voices and emotions and was generally very engaging. Overall I was happy with the narration work, really enjoying it towards the end.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
A fun listen for most of the story, as the pieces are laid out. But ultimately the novel stalls in the final chapter with a deus ex machina ending that is too cynical by a half.
Maybe. Proczko was great. Yoakum was... interesting? I mean the book is weird.
This starts as a funny little book but then last chapter gets DEEEEEEPPP and deep fast.
AMAZING PERFORMANCE! Great all around.
Interesting book but damn.
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