Mine All Mine (Review)

Adam Davies (Riverhead Trade)

Aug 20, 2008 at 2:06 pm

True to style, Adam Davies (author of The Frog Prince and Goodbye Lemon) has penned another masterfully precise depiction of the guy who can't win for losing. This time it's poor Otto Starks, whose life these days sadly resembles a Choose Your Own Adventure book gone dreadfully wrong. His career as a "pulse" — security guard to the world's most valuable artwork — is in serious jeopardy if he can't outclass the Rat Burglar, a sensational thief whose most notable heists thus far are precisely the commodities that Otto is charged with protecting.

To make matters worse, Otto can't seem to muster the courage to propose to the love of his life, Charlie. He's kept his profession a secret while he scrambles to pay off the Clean Getaway, a boat on which he intends to sail them both into the proverbial sunset. The third literary effort for Davies, Mine All Mine employs all of the stylish turns of phrase, pop culture references and everyman dramatics that made his first two books so enjoyable. Also present is Davies' unyielding adoration of the female sex, personified this time in Charlie, to whom Davies assigns so much kittenish verve that at points it's easy to understand why our hero is perpetually moments away from losing her forever.

Utilizing a compelling though somewhat distracting technique that serves to inform and endear the audience to Otto's oddly clinical nature, Davies footnotes his character's wry, minute observations throughout the book. It's a clever addition — at first. Davies also loses a few points for intermittently (and unnecessarily) blinding his readers with an almost freakishly flashy vocabulary. While the right amount of polysyllabic meanderings and painstaking citation lends credence to Otto's character, Davies overdoes it, begging effort in an otherwise effortless read. Grade: B