Disclaimer: I received this free review copy from the author, as part of the LibraryThing Member Giveaway program. There was no payment, and I will never accept payment for a good review. The following is an honest and unbiased review.
From the Back: Herodotus Shapiro has had an unbelievably bad week. His wife left him. The IRS is after him for thousands of dollars. His home/bookstore burned down. On his way to take refuge at his brother’s place, he got a speeding ticket. And now his car has broken down in the middle of the desert in front of a large mansion. What more can go wrong? But now his world takes a turn for the weird. The mansion has a snowman on the front lawn–in the desert, in July. The house, which is bigger on the inside than on the outside, is owned by Polly, the most preternaturally beautiful young woman he’s ever met. Polly is an acrobat, a gourmet chef, a psychologist, an international financial consultant, a physicist, and a woman of who-knows how many other incredible talents. She has an unbelievable library, an art collection of all the world’s great masterpieces, and a print of a previously unknown Marx Brothers film. Her toilet paper is actually silk. And she seems to have some mysterious plans for him ….
Cover: The cover of Polly caught my eye, but unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. It looks like something I could have thrown together in word, and keep in mind that I am by no means a graphic designer. The text is simple, with the author’s name on the bottom of the cover and the name of the book to the side. The typography looks like standard Microsoft Office WordArt, which is disappointing. The image on the cover looks like a slightly warped stock image, but the Awesome Indies Approved seal in the upper right convinced me that the book was worth a shot.
Content: While the cover didn’t give me high hopes for the book, the content was high quality. Stephen Goldin manages to make fun of everything, from country music to the IRS. The book itself is classified as a “Humorous Satire”, according to Amazon, and that description is accurate. The plot is whimsical, and at times makes no sense, however, that is common among books in this genre. The author uses humor and interesting conversations with “Polly”, the titular character, to reveal his views on religion. The way he presents his views is clever enough that no matter how I present them here, they will not come across as effectively as the author shows them, so I will let you discover his views for yourself.
Characters: Polly is filled with original characters. From the protagonist, Herodotus Shapiro, to the titular character Polly, every character is unique. I was impressed with the realism of the main character, even while surrounded by otherworldly, even supernatural, people and situations. He reacts to events in his life the way anyone would, and that adds to the realism of the character. I especially enjoyed the character’s names for their… weirdness, for lack of a better term. Example: Herodotus.
Letter Grade: B
If you want to purchase this book, you can do so here.
Stay tuned for my next review, of The Blue Ridge Project.