Score: 91/100 (9.1 out of 10)
Teeth and Crumpets is another hilarious, high-spirited book by author/magician/comedian, Joel Shoemaker! Shoemaker might be the funniest author we've ever read. His previous novel, Bacon Grief, might be the funniest book we've ever read.
Similar to Bacon Grief, this book is a pseudo-biographical/pseudo-autobiographical novel that more than likely borrows from quite a few real-life experiences. Ok, these events pretty much happened, didn't they? If they didn't, then this author sure is a convincing writer!
The thing about Joel Shoemaker is that he is clearly a very thoughtful person (on top of being a very funny person). Heck, Joel is a sweetheart. His beautiful heart and spiritual energy emanate from the pages. Ok, maybe not when he talks about a group of friends accidentally getting another friend killed with laxatives, but most of the time.
This book beams with charm. It is full of rich, lighthearted humor.
The secret to comedy is to expose uncomfortable or unspoken “truths.” In other words, what lands a joke is the fact that there's some truth in it, no matter how absurd it might seem.
When talking about the actual statistics on how many people have been killed by bears, the author says, “...they've only eaten eight people. Maybe nine.”
When talking about Guinness World Records, the narrator points out how many of the records and record holders are ridiculous and have too much time on their hands. This is extra humorous for us because we just read and reviewed a book by a Guinness record holder (irony)!
When talking about the hierarchical structure in a business scenario, there's a reference to a “supervisor's supervisor's supervisor. “ Now, we know what the author means (referring to someone's big boss or general manager), but it's so funny to see it worded that way!
At one point, the author pokes fun at dentists talking to their patients when they clearly can't talk back.
There are also some sick burns, such as when the author says, “...perhaps they did in 1947 or whenever she was born, but not today.”
There's a parody in here of the Statue of Liberty's famous verse, turning it into:
“Bring me your canines, your molars, your bicuspids”
Speaking of which, this book has such an interesting chapter-naming convention/gimmick using different kinds of teeth. The stories actually try to match qualities/shapes of those teeth.
Another of our favorite lines was “...they'd made it to the third grade. They were survivors.”
Lastly, there's an awkward line used during a date in which one person tries to compliment that “your ass is significant” leading to thesaurus hijinx.
Despite this book being so fun and humorous, it is notably darker than Bacon Grief was. As mentioned before, there's a story in here about some friends causing the accidental death of another friend when they give her laxatives not knowing that her health is sensitive. The fictitious narrator's mother and her tragic death are also major topics, especially near the end of the book. Their mother apparently has a tumor the size of a clementine on her neck. Furthermore, we learn how she reacted to the fictitious narrator admitting they were gay, practically ignoring him for the rest of his life. It's actually very sad and tragic.
Thankfully, those moments are far and in between. Even they're treated with a bit of sarcasm and humor.
Really, the only thing the author needs to work on is getting help with editing and formatting. Seriously, if this book were properly formatted and more refined, it would be a 9.3 or higher. The stories in here are that dang good and that dang compelling/funny. The problem is, as in Bacon Grief, there are times when this book—as formatted—is an eyesore. That pains us to say because we love this author and their books, it's just something we noticed. It just doesn't look professionally written, edited, and formatted. There are no indentations in this book. Also, there are times when the spacing is inconsistent.
That aside, we really enjoyed this book. It's an incredibly fun and humorous read!
Check it out on Amazon!