An interesting read. Whacker McCracker is a man who has anything but a normal life. 5 ex-wives who all keep themselves involved in his life, a reputation for oddities and strangeness, as well as a knowledge of shady deal. Still, he's maganed to get a cafe running on Waiheke Island where the pace of life is much slower and things seem to be settling down somewhat. Until his Aunt Dot - a Harley Davidson riding, pig loving, tetoller in her mid seventies buys a vineyard and declares she's going to make it a piggery.
His name already dubious, Whacker can see only disaster until he manages to convince his Aunt to make it a winery, catering to both the Christian church and to the non-elitist masses. Whacker thinks that things are indeed going his way - then his ex-wives open a shop that mocks him, his aunt wants a chapel put as the main distribution point and worse - a 20 foot high statue. Surely things can't get worse?
Whacker McCracker's Vineyard is an enjoyable read, unpretentious and crass, yet somehow keeping some taste and class. It's humour is distinctly a New Zealand blend that non-kiwi's reading it might not get. It moves at a good pace and the chapters themselves are fairly short. It has an organic feel about it that keeps the characters alive and active as well as keeping a check on the book going too far from reality when it starts getting fantastical. Even the major arm of the law - a man who is disliked by the main character - is developed and fleshed out, and not above delivering a few small surprises of his own.
There was little that I did not like about the book - the story keeps going and summarizes the developments as they go on, as such keeping the flow of the book smooth. The language might well be found crude by some, yet it is very much a part of the lifestyle in some areas in New Zealand, especially in more rural areas - blighted though it may be in the eyes of other residents.
Overall, the book was an enjoyable read and had me laughing hard at parts. With a quick pace and natural rhythm, it was easy to forget that over two years passed in the span of just under 240 pages. Light reading, excellent for holiday vacations or the long drive but not suitable for small kids. Nothing is taboo here, even the gay and lesbian community has it's own laughs, both at themselves and at others. In a community where it's personality that really matters, Whacker McCracker finds that even when you know someone really well, you still don't know them at all.
2 / 26 books. 8% done!