It’s not only BEST TO LAUGH (Univ. of Minnesota Press) when you start reading one of Lorna Landvik’s novels, it’s impossible not to split one’s side. She’s one of the funniest story-tellers and creators of memorable quirky characters that you’ll ever come across.
Lorna comes from the land of 10-thousand lakes, also known for the phrase, “you betcha,” “hot plates,” and weather temperatures varying from extremely cold to deathly frigid. We’re talking about Minnesota. “Fargo” recently won the Emmy for Best Mini-Series, so Americans appreciate that part of the heartlands special brand of humor. Lorna Landvik serves it up in huge helpings. BEST TO LAUGH is Lorna’s own fictional account of going to Hollywood in her twenties to try to make it in stand-up comedy! She takes a real funny story over the top.
In BEST TO LAUGH, we meet Candy Pekkala, half Korean, half Norwegian, one-hundred-percent Minnesotan. Her parents have died and she is raised by her grandmother. Soon after she graduates from college without any plans for the future, her cousin calls from Los Angeles asking her to sublet her apartment, so Candy picks up and moves. It’s good-bye Minnesota, hello California!
Candy moves into Peyton Hall, a two-story apartment complex smack in the middle of Tinseltown right by Sunset, Santa Monica and Hollywood Boulevards. There’s an Olympic sized pool designed by Douglas Fairbanks in the center of the complex which is gossip central for residents. Peyton Hall is full of old and new Hollywood characters, which provide 24-hour drama. There’s a female body builder, a ruined nightclub promoter, a well-connected old Romanian Fortune Teller, as well as those trying to make it, those who have made it and lost it and those who will never make it. Once she hits the stage, there is no turning back. The friends Candy makes at Peyton Hall create a family for her but her grandmother is her biggest cheerleader.
Thank you to the University of Minnesota Press and http://www.netgalley.com for a kindle copy of BEST TO LAUGH for an honest review. I look forward to reading more from Lorna Landvik.
FYI: I’ve read several of her previous novels, including her 1996 debut, PATTY JANE’S HOUSE OF CURL and 2004 ANGRY HOUSEWIVES EATING BON BONS. She’s written a total of ten and after you read BEST TO LAUGH, you will want to read them ALL!