Joe's Odyssey

Fiction - Humor/Comedy
208 Pages
Reviewed on 01/05/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Joe’s Odyssey is a work of fiction set in the comedy genre and was penned by author Nick LaTorre. Written for an adult audience due to the references to profanity, sexual situations, and some non-graphic violence, this amusing parody work takes the idea of the male mid-life crisis to its furthest and most comical extremes. Our central figure is Joe Kerson, who seems to have it all but has grown tired of his life and desperately seeks a change. One day when a promising but dangerous opportunity presents itself, Joe snaps and steals a boat and a load of cash from a mobster, then collects his friends for the journey of a lifetime.

Author Nick LaTorre certainly has a talent for the comedic, and he paints his scenes well so that you can easily imagine the numerous scrapes and situations that Joe and his buddies get into as their indulgent journey of regaining their freedom starts to go awry. The satirical style of the prose makes Joe, who I found to be quite unlikeable most of the way through the plot, into an accessible hero that you can choose to laugh at or with, which really expands the comedic potential and audience range of the work. Ron, Brutte and the ineffable Pirate complete the band of would-be adventurers as the plot expands to unveil some good suspense, action and dramatic moments between the laughs, giving the story a solid foundation underneath the chaos. Overall, Joe’s Odyssey is a fun read for those looking for a non-serious but very well written story.

Rabia Tanveer

Joe's Odyssey by Nick LaTorre is a humorous novel that takes the reader on a hilarious yet exceptionally entertaining journey they will not want to miss. Joe Kerson is just your usual guy whose life isn’t that exciting, but he has to get by somehow. He doesn’t particularly enjoy his job, but a man has to earn a living. So when his boss sends him to the marina to see a new client, he reluctantly agrees. However, their new client is a mobster (a dangerous one) and his boat has bags full of cash. Overcome by impulse, he throws the mobster off the boat and makes off with the cash. Believing that he is rich beyond his imagination, Joe thinks he got away with it and now he can live life to the fullest. He has no idea that the mobster and his people are now after him. They are just a hair’s-breadth from catching Joe and exacting revenge. Can Joe keep the money and survive?

Intense, brilliant, full of action and hilarious, this is one of those rare gems that you want to keep on your bedside table to have it on hand for when you need a good laugh. The story just flows so easily and smoothly, you will enjoy Joe’s reactions and his need to find the easiest way possible. He is not dimwitted, he is actually very smart, yet he only uses his smarts for things that don’t actually lead him in the right direction. His character is flawlessly flawed, which makes him the perfect protagonist for such a novel. The plot is incredibly paced and intricately woven to grab your attention, it just breezes so easily that you cannot help but be immersed in it.

Romuald Dzemo

Joe's Odyssey by Nick LaTorre is a thriller with very interesting characters and an ingeniously written plot. Readers encounter Joe Kerson, a man who is dissatisfied with his life. He hates everything about the company he works for, from the people who run the company to his fellow employees, to the products of the company. He knows that Soren Agency will never give him a promotion. Coupled with his lack of commitment at work, things aren’t going smoothly with his wife. So, when his boss asks him to meet one of their clients in his yacht, he hesitates at first, but he doesn’t know that life is about to take a dramatic turn. It turns out that Luciano Galdonchino is a mob boss and Joe does the craziest thing of his life: he shoves the mobster overboard and steals his yacht, filled with boxes full of money. He sets out to explore the world with a party of college friends, but can he outwit the gangsters coming after them and seeking revenge?

This is a beautifully written, fast-paced thriller that arrests the reader’s attention right from the opening pages as they get acquainted with the protagonist. The author presents the key characters in the story right from the start and there is something peculiar about the bunch that accompanies Joe. The narrator describes them with humor: “The leader of the gang, Ron, had a bit of a belly, had gone prematurely gray, and was generally the brains of the Schmorde’s operations. There was Pirate, a fellow whose hobbies consisted of running around and breaking things (windows, chairs, take your pick). Then there was Brute, a 6’5, 260-pound bull of a man.” The prose is delightful, filled with great dialogues and focused scenes that are captured with vivid descriptions. The author’s gift for character is exceptionally showcased in this novel and readers will enjoy how complex they are. The conflict is strong and the reader wants to discover what ultimately happens. Joe's Odyssey is a rollicking ride, hilarious and downright entertaining.