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on June 14, 2010 :
I quite enjoyed this book, not the greatest I have read. I wonder if being from the UK I have missed some of the nuances, although I have visited Disney a few times. I, too, thought it was far too long with only a few pages devoted to the comeuppance of the wheelchair bound scoundrel.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on May 31, 2010 :
I loved this book, anyone who has been to Disney will see & identify with the characters in this tory. It did have me laugh out loud several times. I had a mental picture of the characters in my head.
I thought the ending was almost a little rushed, but nevertheless, a great read & one I thoroughly enjoyed.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on May 29, 2010 :
This is a fun story, and easy, quick read. Much of the satire is right one, and people will recognize themselves or others in one or more of the characters. Some of the characters are really well developed, and they stayed true to themselves throughout the story. I felt like I really could picture the parents (Vinnie, Nancy, Dave, and Marcie). If you have spent any time in an amusement part of any sort, a lot of this will ring true to you!
On the downside, I wish it had more plot development. I would have given it more stars if it had been a shorter story (I think it had the exact right amount of plot for a short story. At times, I felt like I was reading a report about what happened, with some detail that could have been shared in another way, rather than a woven tale I could lose myself in. The writing styles reminds me a lot of Dave Barry, and his stories tend to be more biographical than fiction, I think.
All in all, I enjoyed this book, and am interested in looking at more of this author's work!
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Feb. 26, 2010 :
This book was hilarious! I could relate to it on so many levels I felt the Author was writing about me! From actually investigating worker's comp claims, to being stuck on vacations with obnoxious friends, to experiencing scouts and worms, I'm experienced it all first hand! Plus, growing up in FL, and having worked at SeaWorld during summer breaks, and visiting Disney World back then and as recently as last year, it's hard to categorize this book as fiction! It was an absolute joy to read, and I whole heartedly recommend it to anyone who has ever had the opportunity of being subjected to the antics of a theme park!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Feb. 07, 2010 :
Humor novels are much like literary novels in that they're about characters, motivations, and precise and truthful descriptions -- only turned on their heads. Dave Conifer goes there in Snodgrass vacation and sticks with it.
The two families of Dave and Marcie, Vinnie and Nancy commit to a vacation to Merv Snodgrass World and we're off on an extended and funny riff on the Disney empire. The satirical details, wacky and too-true names for rides and park mascots and attractions kept me smiling, and the lines delivered by Vinnie kept me laughing. Vinnie's the type who speaks before he thinks, if he thinks at all, while Dave is the deadpanning, analyzing observer. Also good for laughs is Vinnie's wife Nancy, who plans and commands their days at Snodgrass with the focus and determination of a decorated general staff officer.
The amusement park for me said a lot about our obsessions with getting the most from our often meager vacations, for if we stop moving we might just realize not all is what it seems and it might even be a sham. The underground facilities of Snodgrass hint at this but it's never preached. That was just right in a fun story like this.
Much of the plot centered around the two families trying to visit an unending whirlwind of amusement attractions as they fight off increasing hordes of line-cutting families and cheaters on four-wheel scooters and in wheelchairs. This was funny, but I needed more, and I got it when Dave and Vinnie embark on a quest to expose the biggest cheater of all, a swindler named, of all things, Van Morrison, which provides for more confusion and chuckles. Van Morrison becomes their Moby Dick, and I wanted to see more of this and sooner.
But I'm nitpicking. The old cliche that "comedy is hard" is so true. It's tough to pull off in a sitcom let alone a full novel, stringing together funny situations and jokes in a way that builds a story, and Conifer does a fine job of it.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on Jan. 17, 2010 :
I just finished reading Snodgrass Vacation by Dave Conifer. I found the book to be delightful and entertaining for many reasons.
The interplay between Dave and Vinnie was interesting. Just trying to find out how Dave would react to some of Vinnie's dialog was enough to keep me turning the pages. I felt both of these characters were well developed.
The character Nancy was a character that you could both admire and hate. She was domineering, yet at the same time, her methods seemed to help both families enjoy their vacation more than they would have had her personality been less domineering. Her character was well developed.
The character Marcie was adorable. I hope if the author writes a sequel he will further develop that character. I'd love to see where that leads.
Of the children, I think Kyle was the most developed character.
I found the descriptions of the experiences with the crowds to be entertaining. I've never been to such a huge theme park, but I have been to Opryland in Tennessee. My experience there mimicked in miniature many of the experiences related in the book. I even saw some people drop out of the line for the river raft ride after seeing some passengers emerge soaking wet, so in that regard I could really relate to the story.
In some ways this book is a study in human behavior in such an environment. I haven't been a really major theme park, but as I said before, I have been to a smaller park, and what I witnessed there is enough to convince me that the author is probably close to the truth on the behavior of many visitors.
All that, and funny too. Now that is an achievement.
The author told a good story that was entertaining. I highly recommend the book.
Well done sir.
(reviewed the day of purchase)