In a Nut's Hell

Literary Doodles

Fiction - Humor/Comedy
164 Pages
Reviewed on 11/20/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jim Wood arrived in America in 1376, and was told to come back after the country had been “discovered,” wrested from its native inhabitants, colonized, and rendered independent. Wood followed that advice and was born to a middle class couple in 1963 in central New Jersey. He led a happy and relatively uneventful childhood, which led to a more turbulent, angst-filled adolescence, which finally blossomed into an angry, confused, and bewildered adulthood masked by unending mirth. He currently lives with his wife and daughter in a house built in 1850 (474 years after his initial arrival in what would become America). He owns approximately 5000 78 and 45 rpm rhythm and blues records from the golden era of roots rock (1946-1954), and likes beer a whole lot, maybe too much.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sheena Monnin for Readers' Favorite

In a Nut’s Hell: Literary Doodles by Jim Wood is a zany, quirky, and utterly unexpected series of humorous stories that will make the reader laugh, roll their eyes in glee at the intentional absurdity of each story, and eagerly turn the pages for more. The author tackles complex topics involving religion, following the rules, writing, success, and many more with ease. He is skilled at taking a mundane scenario and flipping it upside down with the objective of surprising, shocking, and generating laughter in the reader. His perspective and writing style are both unique, and he is a champion of the unpredictable. The names he chooses for his characters, the dialogue, and the lack of context for the stories work beautifully together to meet the author’s end goal: shockingly funny stories for the discerning adult.

In a Nut’s Hell by Jim Wood had me laughing at every page, every scenario, and every character. The author did a fantastic job of diving right into the middle of the action with each short story. He is a master of flash fiction and creates intrigue within the first few sentences. I appreciated the vastness of variety in the topics he explores and brings to light in this book. This is comedy at its best. He skillfully combines dark humor with quirky perspectives and lighthearted banter. I love the combination of subtle messages mixed with in-your-face assertions and comic relief. This book is a fun read and will appeal to adults who appreciate skillful writing, great pacing, and somewhat shocking and utterly hilarious scenarios.

Pikasho Deka

With the ever-growing chaos that seems to surround us nowadays, everyone craves a laugh or two. Prepare yourselves for a belly full of laughter plus some uncomfortable truths with Jim Wood's In A Nut's Hell: Literary Doodles, a collection of the shortest stories you will ever read and specifically written for the times we live in. Two friends find an innovative way to keep partying together when one of them moves to California. A woman receives an unexpected birthday surprise while filing an assault report at the police station. Tired of being rejected over and over again by publishers, an author spends lifetimes coming up with ingenious plans to get his novel published. A couple of idea-men discuss the next potential million-dollar show, only to be set back by procrastination.

Jim Wood tells some hilarious tongue-in-cheek tales with a healthy dose of truth sprinkled here and there that will both shock and entertain, quite often simultaneously. This is an absolute riot of a book. If you're someone who doesn't take themself seriously, or perhaps too seriously, In A Nut's Hell is just the book for you. With colorful characters concocting the most trivial of plans or discussing the most outrageous of topics, there isn't a single moment in the book when readers won't feel entertained. More importantly, the stories are short and suitable for reading in bed, the bathroom, the subway, and anywhere you can read. A hysterically funny collection you don't want to miss.

Vincent Dublado

In a Nut's Hell: Literary Doodles by Jim Wood is a collection of very short stories that are profound and outright silly at the same time. It gives a fair warning at the start, with the caveat that you should never read it if you are one of those snowflake types or if you cannot read, or if you’re supposed to be doing something else, and a few other reasons why you really shouldn’t. But it’s a warning you won’t take seriously because you immediately get hooked with the first story about a priest who leads a holy scientific expedition to explore the possibility that Christ’s body actually was made of communion wafers, and it cost him his congregation. And then there’s this story about two friends who party by mail, taking turns to roll a big joint and take a massive hit, put it out, then send it to the other. It’s fun, but they regret that they cannot get high at the same time. I can tell you more about the existential absurdities in this book, but you get the drift.

It’s painstaking to write humor and satire, but Jim Wood makes it look so easy. He is compulsive in his social commentaries, but they hit the right spot and make you grin or laugh. In his world, everyone is fair game because it makes for a fun examination of society’s foibles and shortcomings. Most of all, it allows us to laugh at ourselves, which can prove to be therapeutic—unless you are anal-retentive to the core. There is a non sequitur element in his tales and it opens up a new avenue in the way how short humorous fiction is perceived. There is so much focus on the characters and the situation they face, and you become a witness to these flash moments like an audience in a live sitcom. For those who enjoy the humor of James Thurber, Ambrose Bierce, and Woody Allen, you’ll be missing a lot of you miss In a Nut’s Hell.

Maria Victoria Beltran

In a Nut's Hell: Literary Doodles by Jim Wood is a collection of seriously silly and offbeat satirical short stories. Some stories are shorter than short and are designed for readers with fleeting attention spans. The book contains around thirty stories with absurd titles like The Dung Beetle Realizes its Potential, Me and Bill are still Partyin’, His Work was Rejected Again and Again, Why, Oh, Why, God Damn It?, Larry, God, and Edison in the Same Room, and Once Upon a Time There Was a God. There’s a list of sensible warnings at the beginning of the book that readers should find quite helpful. Black and white illustrations are also provided for those who are partial to visual entertainment. Topics include religion, science, politics, the creative process, and just about everything under the sun.

Jim Wood’s In a Nut's Hell is written not only to make readers laugh at the characters but also to laugh with them. Wood’s brand of political satire is delivered with great results. They’re witty, farcical, frightening, and perhaps a timely reflection of the current state of things. From irony and sarcasm to ridicule, he effectively denounces human vice and folly. The author finds humor not only in obviously amusing circumstances but also in dire, awkward, and uncomfortable situations. Readers may find some of the stories uncomfortable but they will all make us laugh. Ultimately, the book is successful in providing social commentary and drawing attention to particular and wider issues facing our society today.

Jennie More

In a Nut's Hell by Jim Wood is a collection of short, simple, yet weirdly meaningful stories that leave you laughing at life's sometimes sad and mundane realities. Some favorites include Worser, a short story about three drunk friends on the hunt for a person whose life is so horrible it could not be any worse. Despite the story's horrific and strangely comical depictions, the friends always found someone who considered that their situation could be worse. Other favorites include Father Of The No-Metaphor Literary Genre, Tiny Parts, Who Says Religion and Science Can’t Co-exist, Routine and Infection. Each short story will give you one of three experiences; laughing loudly, reflecting on life and the purpose of it all, or wondering how these gruesome and bizarre stories have kept you glued from start to finish.

In a Nut's Hell by Jim Wood is imaginative, funny, original, and deeply thoughtful. I am impressed by how inventive Woods is in creating each short story and how he maintains a perfect balance with each plot, as it is simultaneously lighthearted and profound. The short stories cover some heavy life tragedies like disease, suicide, and violence, yet Woods manages to make them palatable to the reader. The book is well-written and easy to read, which made it more enjoyable because I could ponder on the meaning rather than spend my time deciphering the text. I loved reading In A Nut's Hell; it made me smile as I particularly enjoyed the bold and candid statements by the characters. Wood is an excellent writer.