Monday, 17 March 2014

Making Out with Blowfish by Brian Sweany

Release Date: 6th March 2014
Available from AmazonKoboBarnes and Noble, and TWCS PH

Reviews by Witchypoo - Guest Reviewer

Exotic Music of a Belly Dancer

This is not a book that I would not have chosen; the cover and the title did not appeal to me, but my daughter recommended it, so I took the plunge and read a chapter... then another and another, until the tale was told. And I'm glad I did. I now think that everyone should read this book.

This is story based on real events, about a teenage boy, Hank, that was sexually abused by his godfather as a child. It’s a coming of age story that highlights how a person coming from a so called “normal, respected family” moves on / grows out of / copes with / is shaped by such experiences. Initially Hank copes / compensates by partaking in lots of boozing, sex, music, partying and occasional trouble.

The story starts with a conversation. Hank’s parent have decided to have a vasectomy reversed, presumably so they can have more children...of course Hank doesn't think this good idea. The issue is further complicated when he discovers that one of his girlfriends (Lauren) has not only fallen pregnant but has also had an abortion. 

Subsequently, Hank has a lot on his mind... and then his parents have another son, Jack. This is followed by more boozing, girlfriends and parties until both of Hank’s grandfathers die and then Hanks father is also killed. What was already perilously close to shattering, becomes even more strained and stretched... With in six months his Mum picks up with an old school boy friend; Hank naturally finds this challenging. But then his Mum also ends up in hospital after taking too many pills with alcohol in what may have been a cry for help...

When Hank visit’s his mum in hospital, his old girlfriend (then one who previously had the abortion) also shows up. What occurs there is a serious of confessions that will blow your mind!

It’s a very good story with an underlying theme of anti-judgment. Don’t judge this book by it’s cover, and don’t judge it’s characters until the story unfolds... and even then, maybe reserve a little judgement for book 2.

Making Out with Blowfish...

Another lovely story that is not all alluded to by the title and cover, though
the reasoning behind the title is a little clearer in this story. I continue to believe that everyone should read these books, even if only to show us how judgmental we all can be. 

Hanks life was very topsy-turvy, as was the lives of his whole family starting with his grandparents; even the lives of his friends and their parents was topsy-turvy. It goes to show that none of us are perfect. 

A lot is revealed in this book. It helps the reader to understand the flow on effect of bad decisions, and how some childhood experiences can instill in us a response that impacts decisions we make for our children. Have you ever remembered something your parents used to do, and swore you’d never do that to your kids? Have you ever learnt something about your parents that made you understand why they acted a certain way? This book has a lot of those moments. 

I loved Hanks battles, his ups and downs the way he deals with everything, the way he copes (or doesn’t cope) with life changes. He seems to be quite insightful of people and their needs. The fact that this is based on a true story only makes Hank’s journey even more profound. It made me cry several times.

It’s a book that needs to be read....


This is the part in our hero’s story where he looks back and reflects upon the man he is today, but the truth is I’m still searching for him. I am still lost. Not the guy who thought I had found my way out of the wilderness . . . not the guy I wanted to become.

When we last saw Hank Fitzpatrick in Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer, he seemed to be finally figuring things out. He had a girlfriend. He had a life. But his secrets were yet to be discovered, his demons yet to be exorcised, and soon he would have no choice but to face them both. Gone is the boy we came to love, replaced by a man we struggle to like. Welcome back to Empire Ridge. Making Out with Blowfish is fear and loathing in the suburbs as told in Brian Sweany’s uniquely uninhibited voice.

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Author Bio:
Since 2000, Brian Sweany has been the Director of Acquisitions for Recorded Books, one of the world’s largest audiobook publishers. Prior to that he edited cookbooks and computer manuals and claims to have saved a major pharmaceutical company from being crippled by the Y2K bug. Brian has a BS in English from Eastern Michigan University, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1995. He's a retired semiprofessional student, with stopovers at: Wabash College, the all-male school that reputedly fired Ezra Pound from its faculty for having sex with a prostitute; Marian University, the former all-female school founded by Franciscan nuns that, if you don't count Brian's expulsion, has fired no one of consequence and is relatively prostitute-free; and Indiana University via a high school honors course he has no recollection of ever attending.
Brian has penned several articles for about his real-life struggles to overcome sexual abuse as a young boy. Making Out with Blowfish is the sequel to his debut novel, Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer, and both books draw inspiration from this experience.
Brian has spent most of his life in the Midwest and now lives near Indianapolis with his wife, three kids, and two rescue dogs. For more details, check out the author’s website at:  

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Other novels by Brian Sweany:

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