After a great guest post from Steven on Sarah’s blog yesterday, I’m honoured to being a part of the Lad Lit blog tour today with a review of The Flood and a Character Q&A with the boys of Sex, Love and Dating Disasters. I reviewed the first book, The Drought, in this series last week, so I was thrilled (and nervous) to ask these lads a few questions! But let’s start with the review:
One bet, four girls, eight weeks, multiple dates. What could possibly go wrong? Following his traumatic eight month dry spell, Dan Hilles is back in the driving seat and ready to put his dating disasters behind him. But if only it were that simple.
Fuck it, look at this YouTube video instead:
The story picks up about 6 months after The Drought took place. I can’t tell you all too much about Dan’s life here because it would spoil the heck out of the first book. So you just watch that video up here and it pretty much sums up all the things you need to know *nods*.
This would be a rather short review if I’d start handing out my brownies right now and move on to the Q&A part.
I’m giving it four brownies with a generous amount of ice- and whipped cream on top!
A big thank you to Steven Scaffardi for providing me with a copy of his book in exchange for an honest opinion!
Ha! I had ya there for a second didn’t I?!
As you have seen in the video (which I’m just going to assume you did) Dan is foolish enough to make a bet with his three friends: Rob, Jack, and Ollie. I’m saying foolish because these are the exact rules for it:
1) Within six weeks, you must be dating four girls simultaneously. No online dating or apps allowed.
2) One of those girls must be [insert female character from the first book]
3) The moment you start dating the fourth girl, you have two weeks to juggle all four girls to prove you are a true player.
4) You must arrange to meet all four girls at least once during the same week.
5) Complete this challenge and you complete The Flood and win the bet.
Of course, this can only become a great disaster! Unlike in the previous book, though, the situations are somewhat less predictable. Heck, there were a few that kept my eyes glued to my Kindle screen because I wanted to find out what was behind door #3!
We meet some lovely socially awkward and/or disturbing characters. Ieuan (apparently pronounced as YIGH-un, who knew?) is a rather geeky Welsh guy who’s new at Dan’s office. There’s some great chemistry between him and Jack, who insistently keeps calling him ‘Iron’.
However, my favourite new character must be Dan’s autistic new roommate…
I found this book to be written slightly better than the first one. I also had to laugh out loud quite a few times. Some of my favourite quotes:
“Probably not the best time for a wank, but it could have been my last!“
“I once kissed a girl that looked like Ruud van Nistelrooy. Does that count?“
Then there was a Carlton Banks dance reference and a Craig David reference, which makes me get to the following: amongst Dan and his friends, everything can be turned into a popular (preferably ’80’s or ’90’s) song, albeit with slightly different lyrics. It’s pretty embarrassing to tell you guys about this, but that’s what’s going on in this house quite a few hours of the day. Every day….
So “Blue Moob, I saw you wearing a bra” could’ve been sung in my house easily and will probably be added to the repertoire from now on. Popular ones are also “It’s the final cuntdown“, “You’re my heart, you’re my boob“, and “I wanna know what boobs are (I want you to show me)“. Reading about other people doing this as well, made me feel a lot more normal. *twitches eye*
The Flood has awkwardness, a little bit of suspense, romance and comedy packed up neatly together. If you want to read something fun, I can highly recommend picking up this series. And yes, I’m calling it a series because the ending is hinting very unsubtly at a third book. I was hoping to read more about Dan and his friends, so I’m really looking forward to part 3, whenever it may be published. If you don’t feel like reading several books for whatever reason, you can just jump into this one without having to read The Drought first. The characters are properly re-introduced in the beginning with a little recap here and there of the previous story, so you can just pretend this is a standalone novel. However, why would you want to do that??
Now on to the Q&A!
~Character Q&A with Ollie, Dan, Rob, and Jack~
We meet up in a virtual smelly pub somewhere in England. I soon realise I probably shouldn’t have gone for a low cut V-neck shirt.
Hi guys! First of all, a question for all of you: bro’s before ho’s?
Dan: Always bro’s.
Jack: I love you boys, but it’s ho’s all the way!
Ollie: You’d pick your mates over a garden hose?
Jack: You’re an idiot.
Dan, with your vast experience on dry spells, have you ever tried Tinder? (Ashley Madison seems like something that could’ve only gone wrong with your erm, luck…)
Dan: When I went through my drought, Tinder wasn’t around. It would have made such a difference had it been around then.
Jack: I agree. You would have had even more girls reject you then.
Dan: Shut up Jack! Anyway, when it came to the bet about dating four girls at the same time in The Flood, the rule was in place that I wasn’t allowed to use Tinder.
Rob: That’s right, we made him go old school. Besides, apps like Tinder have taken the fun out of dating. As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing quite like the challenge of approaching a girl in a bar and getting her number.
Dan: Speak for yourself! It’s okay for pretty boys like you, but guys like me…
Jack: Who are facially challenged?
Dan: (ignores Jack) …need a little bit of help every now and then, and next time this happens, I’ll be using Tinder.
Ollie: I’ve always liked Tinder, ever since I was a kid.
Rob: What are you talking about? Tinder wasn’t around when we were kids.
Ollie: Yes it was. I used to love getting some chocolate and a toy to play with. Still do.
Jack: That’s a Kinder Egg you moron!
Rob, as Dan’s longest friend, what is your best advice for him when it comes to upgrading his dating skills?
Rob: In The Drought, I gave Dan some solid advice. I told him that first impressions are hugely important when it comes to the dating game. Girls are very detail-orientated. Before deciding whether they want to be with you, one of the things they will evaluate is your clothes, so the first thing I’d advise him is to stop buying his clothes from the Car Boot Sales.
Rob: (chuckles) When you’re on a first date, the most important thing is how to deal with the end of the date as that could make or break whether you get a second date or not. Some girls don’t kiss on the first date; some will be disappointed if you don’t at least try to kiss her goodnight. There is no easy answer for this one. You’ll have to try and gauge the situation from her body language and go on your gut instinct. Not once have I ever failed to get a goodnight kiss, but this is Dan we’re talking about.
Ollie, we’ve learned you’re not too picky when it comes to bagging the ladies. If the girl involved was really hot, would you consider a Devil’s Threeway?
Ollie: (Looks at Jack for help)
Jack: She’s talking about a threesome. Two dudes, one girl.
Ollie: Oh right, I thought she needed directions.
Jack: How many times were you dropped on your head as a child?
Ollie: Hmmm, well let me think about this then. A Devils Threeway? I suppose as long as the other guy didn’t look at me, I’d be up for it. I don’t like it when other dude’s watch me.
Rob: How many times has that happened?
Ollie: Just a couple. I once dated a woman who had a husband who liked to watch, but I said he could only watch if he watched her and not me.
Jack: You big sick freak… I’ll high five you on that one!
Jack, how many points can you score on this test?*
Jack: First off, any quiz about rap where one of the possible answers could be Jaden Smith is not a rap quiz. Secondly, I scored 10 out of 10.
Dan: No you didn’t.
Jack: Yes I did Dan.
Rob: No you didn’t Jack.
Jack: Yes I did Rob! Hey, why are you two getting involved? This is my question.
Dan: You scored four and even then two of the answers were flukes.
Jack: Oh please, that’s just simply not true. I’m down with hip hop. I’m all about the Westlife.
Rob: It’s West Side you fool! You know as much about hip hop as Dan knows about pulling girls. For years you used to sing: “I’ve got 99 Problems, but a ditch ain’t one.”
Ollie: Haha! You thought it was about a gardener digging a hole.
Jack: Screw you lot.
Dan, what are the key songs to the perfect mixtape when it comes to impressing a girl?
Dan: Well Anne, you can’t go wrong with a bit of Marvin Gaye.
Rob: That’s not true.
Dan: What’s wrong with Marvin Gaye?
Rob: There is nothing wrong with Marvin Gaye, but that’s not who you would choose. I’ve seen your playlist before – you even called it La Chambre. You had Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis on there.
Dan: (nervously laughs) No I didn’t…
Jack: Oh my God, does your penis ever get used?
Rob, fanny packs for men. In or out?
Rob: It all depends, Anne…
Jack: (interrupts) On what? Whether you need to grow a pair or not?
Rob: Shut up Jack. There is nothing wrong with a man dressing slightly feminine.
Jack: Yes there is!
Rob: Anyway, what I was going to say is that it all depends on the style of the fanny pack, and how it hangs.
Dan: Hey, I’m with Jack on this one. Anything that has the word Fanny on it should not be worn by men.
Ollie: Unless it’s on your face.
Rob: Ollie! That’s disgusting. Anne and her readers don’t want to hear that. Sorry about that Anne. Perhaps we should move on.
Ollie, what does the word ‘cunctator’ mean?
Rob: Oh God Anne, do you really want to do this.
Jack: I can’t wait to hear this answer.
Ollie: Hmmm, let me think. Is it like a calculator?
Dan: Well that went a lot better than I thought.
Ollie: A calculator for fannies?
Dan: Or maybe not.
Ollie: You know, because the start of the word sounds like cun…
Dan: Okay that’s enough! Next question please Anne!
Jack, without the sport of trying to shag as many girls as one can, do you think that men would willingly have sex for the sole purpose of producing smelly screaming babies?
Jack: That’s a great question Anne, and I’m delighted we’re only talking hypothetically here. I would say yes, but only because we would hope that one day one of those babies would grow up and create a new amazing sport called the Kama Sutra!
Ollie: Why would you name a sport after that foreign exchange student we went to school with?
Ollie: Y’know, Kama Sutra was that Turkish girl who spent a year at our school.
Rob: That wasn’t her name.
Ollie: But Jack said that was her name. I called her that for the whole year.
Dan: The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian Hindu text widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behaviour.
Ollie: Oh bloody hell, Jack. No wonder she always looked at me funny.
Jack: She looked at you funny because you are a gormless jolly green giant.
Ollie, Rob, and Jack: Stacey…what the hell guys? Where’s the intervention Dan obviously needs when it comes to this woman?! Especially when he’s prone to the Backslide Window principle**…
Rob: I know what you mean Anne, but sometimes you have to let your friends make these mistakes. It’s the only way they’ll learn.
Dan: She wasn’t that bad at the beginning.
Jack: Yes she was. I don’t know about anyone else, but I didn’t say anything because it was bloody hilarious watching Dan go through such a nightmare relationship. It gave me such great amusement!
Ollie: And when her best mate chased you with that baseball bat…
Dan: Okay, that’s enough about that!
To finish this Q&A, again a question for the four of you: describe the perfect woman.
Rob: The perfect woman is someone who is as beautiful on the inside, as she is on the outside. To be honest, that inner beauty is much more important.
Jack: Okay Romeo, pack it in. Anne is married, so all that charm you’re trying isn’t going to work here.
Rob: So what’s your answer then?
Jack: Probably a triple breasted woman who could pee Jack Daniels.
Ollie: Mine would be a fat bird. They tend to be more grateful.
Dan: I think I have found my perfect woman already, but I’ll let people read the books to find out who she is.
Thank you so much for answering my questions, guys! Good luck with sorting out your The Empire Strikes Back-ending***!
* Once you’ve read The Flood, you will understand how important these skills are to Jack.
** A treacherous window of time following a breakup in which both parties are prone to bone.
*** Again, just read the book to find out what this means!
~About the Author~
“But a man wouldn’t do or say that!”
This was a common rant that could often be heard coming from the lips of Steven Scaffardi over the last couple of years after he was forced to endure yet another rom-com movie at the hands of his girlfriend.
“And he definitely wouldn’t turn into a vampire or a werewolf! That is just plain ridiculous!”
So after suffering yet another Matthew McConaughey chick-flick, Steven decided enough was enough and it was time to stand up for men the world over and write a book that spoke about the male perspective on relationships, and The Drought was born…
Published in September 2011, Steven’s debut novel The Drought received fantastic praise for its hilarious take on how the male mind works when it comes to the opposite sex, being labelled chick lit for men.
To help promote the book, Steven took to the open mic stand-up comedy scene in and around London in 2011, sharing his funny observations and self-deprecating humour about life as a 30-something man.
Steven is now busy working on his second novel, a follow-up to The Drought called The Flood. He is hoping to emulate the success of fellow lad-lit writers such as Mike Gayle, Danny Wallace, Nick Spalding, and the undisputed king of lad-lit, Nick Hornby.
Don’t forget to check out the next post on the Lad Lit blog tour tomorrow on Saoirse’s blog!
Links to The Flood: