Sunday, 15 January 2012

Review - A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis by Irene Woodbury

WOW!  I’ve never physically been to Las Vegas, always been on my “Places To Go” List, but I really do feel like I’ve lived the high life there, after reading this great fun book by Irene Woodbury.

Newly wed Wendy, was already feeling a little stale in her relationship after moving from her home town to Houston to where husband Roger had a thriving career and worked all hours to build a name for himself.  She had recently been made redundant and after trying to work her way through that bombshell, the fact that she hardly saw her husband, and the fact that they slept in separate bedrooms due to a “pest” problem in the house, when man mad friend Paula invited her to a girls long weekend in Vegas, Paula thought “hell – why not!”
Much to Roger’s disgust, after what was an interesting weekend, in a five star hotel in Vegas, when Wendy rediscovered the fact that Paula had no rules and no morals, she realised that she hadn’t really got anything to go back for, so at the last minute, before boarding the plane, she turned right round and decided to stay for a little longer.  She had no idea how long for, but took a temporary let on a downtown apartment in a complex full of colourful characters to say the least.  She had a number of “phone fights” with Roger, which was understandable as she couldn’t’ tell him just how long she was planning to remain.  Should she stay, at this place where she found  fun and friendship? Or should she return to her boring life back in Houston?  What does she do? Come on – you know I’m not going to tell you!
This novel was fun filled, action packed and funny from start to finish.  You find yourself relating to the characters easily and Irene wrote about Vegas in a way that painted it so colourfully and it certainly came to life for me.  I found myself understanding Wendy’s point of view and Roger’s too, and actually thought she was torn between two completely different lives.
Just after I finished reading this book, I watched the hilarious movie The Hangover which was also filmed in Vegas and I felt like I’d already been there!  
Irene writes in a way that flows really well and keeps your interest at all times.  I did wonder if she was working for the Last Vegas Tourist Board at one stage, the way she describes Vegas certainly made me want to hop on a plane immediately and go there!
A highly enjoyable, entertaining read, which made me forget about everything but the book. 
Irene Woodbury lives in Denver with her husband Richard.  This book was inspired by Irene’s love of travel writing.  Between 2000 and 2006, she had many stories published in many newspapers, including the Washington Post, London Daily Telegraph, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Toronto Star, and Nevada and The Affluent Traveler magazines. 
As one of her favorite destinations was Las Vegas; she always believed Sin City would be the perfect setting for a novel.  In 2006, she came up with the idea for Slot, and, four-and-a-half years, and many visits later, it was finished.  

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