by John Morris
published by Two Harbors
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: 100 Books in a Year
If you are looking for an oddly compelling, twisting and turning, hilarious read, I highly suggest you check out The Aspen 2-Million Winner-Take-All by John Morris. This is a story unlike anything I have ever read.
Morgan Somerville is living the good life in Aspen. Earning his living as a golf-themed self-help guru leaves him plenty of time for his overgrown fratboy ways of skiing, throwing parties, and playing with his garage band whenever he likes. Things change quickly, though, when his old duplex-mate moves out and his new neighbor, the incredibly hot Risa, moves in. Try as he might, Morgan cannot get Risa to give him the time of day - that is, until his pot plant pot falls off his balcony and kills her beloved dog Tyson. Before Morgan can even comprehend what happened, Risa is throwing stuff at him and threatening to sue him. As far as Morgan can figure out, this leaves him with three option - make Risa fall in love with him, find out her dark secrets and blackmail her, or come up with a million to pay her off. With her constantly throwing objects at him, the first does not seem like an option, and makes the second rather difficult, too, so when the chance to win two million in a secret golf tournament comes up, Morgan jumps at the chance. However, even though his business is golf-related, his game is not up to par with the rest of the tournament's players...but could Risa be melting a little to his irresistible charm?
The Aspen 2-Million Winner-Take-All is one crazy story. It is a longer read, and there are some spots where you wonder where Morris is taking you, but then something new happens and it all makes sense. It really makes for one roller-coaster of a read. Of course, there are times when you just want to yell at Morgan to tell Risa what really happened to Tyson, but then you realize that there wouldn't be this hilarious series of mishaps and the book would only be a few rather uneventful chapters.
The only problem I had was Morris's reliance on using celebrities to instantly describe the characters rather the using his own descriptions. Luke the handyman being likened to Jesus was humorous, but with the rest, it felt more like Morris was casting a movie than populating a novel.
All in all, The Aspen 2-Million Winner-Take-All is one highly engaging, zany read. John Morris shows great potential in the humorous genres.