No Hope for Gomez! Review
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Though I enjoy traditional storylines—thrillers, horror, mysteries—I often like to be surprised by a book that colors outside the lines—one that immediately makes me want to look for another one just like it. Graham Parke’s No Hope for Gomez! is one such book, and I can’t even begin to describe how cool it was.

Gomez Porter is your average guy, slogging through life, hoping for a spark to make him feel alive. Though he knows very little about antiques, he runs an antique store, where he bumbles through enough sales to keep him from starving, and he tries to keep his one employee happy by letting him sweep floors to his heart’s content. When he’s not selling anything, he blogs—a lot.

One day, he decides to become a test subject for an experimental drug trial. Now, when he blogs, he gets to keep track of any weird experiences.

Gomez falls in love with the doctor who meets with the subjects once a week to hand out the pills. When she confesses that she thinks she’s being stalked, he offers to stalk her stalker, hoping he’ll get a chance to be a hero in her eyes.

Soon, strange things begin to happen to Gomez, making him feel paranoid. But when he finds out that one of his fellow test subjects died under peculiar circumstances, he becomes afraid that his own life might be in danger—and that the pretty doctor may be behind it all.

No Hope for Gomez! is a breezy breath of fresh fiction. It combines a mystery with wacky human nature—mostly Gomez’s wacky nature—making it a weird and wonderful read. All of the characters are eccentric in some way, from Gomez’s needy downstairs neighbor to his neurotic employee. Even the doctor has a strange turn about her, and you’ll never really know whether she’s good or bad.

Gomez could be any one of us—anyone who’s stuck in a rut and looking for something good (or at least something different) to happen—and that makes it so easy to relate to him. He faces life with humor, and the story’s best moments happen when he just goes with the flow and ends up doing something crazy, like becoming a test subject or stalking a stalker.

Though No Hope for Gomez! is written in blog format, it’s neither dry nor boring. The story comes alive on the page, and I couldn’t have put it down if someone had handed me a briefcase full of money to do so.

I love to read bizarre and crazy stories about equally bizarre and crazy characters—and No Hope for Gomez! offers plenty of that. And, to make things even better, there are future Gomez stories on the horizon—and I simply can’t wait to return to his world once more.

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