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Publisher's Summary

On a remote South Pacific island, the struggles of an elderly tribesman to translate Hamlet into local pidgin English are interrupted by the arrival of an unexpected visitor. William Hardt is an obsessive young American lawyer who has come to help. From that moment on, nothing will ever be the same - for what (and who) William finds on the island will challenge both his and our notions about love, life, and even death.

©2005 John Harding (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Harding's humour is close to hysteria...the novel is that rare thing - painfully funny." (Daily Mail)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Is be or is be not?

Any additional comments?

Oh, this be plenty dang good.<br/><br/>I don't like to give anything away in my reviews. So, if you want to know what it's about I suggest you read the book's summary and you'll get the idea. However, you wont get the heart and soul that this book has. This is one of those times where describing what the story is about does no justice at all to it. There's landmines and lady-boys and drugs and communal defecation and Shakespeare. <br/><br/>There were parts where I laughed out loud and parts where I felt like crying. It makes you want to go to this island and live with these native people. It makes you wish life could really be this simple.<br/><br/>It's a 'feel good' novel.<br/><br/>If you like toilet humor this audiobook is for you.

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  • Liz
  • 08-08-14

One Big Damn Puzzle?

Ok, so I read the reviews and thought I could do with a 'laugh out loud' story to listen to. Also, as a person with (I think) a good sense of humour, I usually have no trouble in 'getting' the joke and laughing along with the rest of them.

However, apart from the pigeon English of the natives, which I have to say was brilliantly portrayed by Peter Brooke, who narrated this story excellently, I was not all that amused really.

I feel sorry for sufferers of OCD, but it did get a bit tedious when I had to suffer the minute and repetitive description of the condition and its manifestations.

The story ended well for the main character, but tragically for the islanders. This does give a sad reflection on modern life which is always a good thing to confront and consider, but all in all, not a story I would want to listen to again in a year or so.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Martina
  • 08-12-14

Loved every minute of it

If you could sum up One Big Damn Puzzler in three words, what would they be?

fantastic, spiritual, groundbreaking

What did you like best about this story?

The cultural insight, getting a feel for the values of other tribes

Have you listened to any of Peter Brooke’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Have not heared him before, but he's doing a great job

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The end ... sobbing away

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr. M. Hohenberg
  • 04-29-16

Marvellous

Story started slowly but I soon got into it. Laughed my rocks off at times and at others melancholy. A superb book, thoroughly recommended

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  • Adele
  • 05-11-15

I can't listen to this any more

I couldn't get past the narrator's voice - I found it really irritating so unfortunately I can't say if the story was any good or not!

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  • B. Nolan
  • 02-07-15

A well narrated bittersweet comedy

A clash of cultures story played out between a compassionate OCD American lawyer and the indigenous people of a Pacific island. Funny for the most part and uncomfortably thought provoking in places.

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  • Celia
  • 01-30-16

Hated this lavatorial story

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Readers who enjoy being immersed in a sense of ridiculousness.

What could John Harding have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not used, the impossible to understand, islander's accents

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Peter Brooke?

No opinion

What character would you cut from One Big Damn Puzzler?

All of them

Any additional comments?

I had to finish it but it was a hard slog.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful