Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Review of Pretty Enough For You

Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours

by Cliff Hudder

This book is nothing, absolutely nothing like I expected. At first, I thought the cover was a bad choice, but after finishing Pretty Enough For You, I know it was the perfect quirky design.

If you can forge through the first few chapters as I did with plenty of skimming, the book grabs you. As a woman, I learned too much about the male mind, which was hilarious and captivating. Do guys seriously think like this? I found myself rolling my eyes, laughing at Bent’s stupidity, and thinking what an idiot. Loved it! Let’s be honest, what female doesn’t think these things of men?

Hudder did an excellent job portraying the stereotypical male protagonist who created his own problems in his perfect life because of his addiction to alcohol and sex. I wanted to shake Bent and tell him to grow up. Then, when I least expected some literary accomplishment after all of this male regurgitation, Hudder created twists and pulled elements together in a beautiful display of writing that actually has a moral applicable to real life. Bent kind of grows up. He learns real life lessons and even feels pain and maybe true love. You have to read this. Promise you will not put it down if you get bored in the first half. The climax and resolution are worth trudging through the muck.

My only draw back is the use of too many words to express what Bent is feeling, thinking, or seeing. Cutting out some of the literary clutter would have made this my favorite book all year. I tend to skim when unnecessary information is put into the paragraph. Just tell me what I need to know and give a few descriptions with the narrator’s feelings and I am good. That would’ve kept the pace going instead of boring me a little. Very little. I highly encourage you to read this book if you don’t mind cursing and entering into the mind of a dirty old man. He constantly thinks of alcohol and sex while trying to maneuver through his self inflicted problems.

Only because of the initial skimming due to the inclusion of too many descriptive elements, I have to give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. Hudder has talent. His writing is smooth and easy to follow. I loved the twists and the way he pulled elements from the beginning and tied them together at the end. It's not often that a novel surprises me in the plot building or resolution, but Hudder did! TWICE! I can’t tell you how. You will just have to read Pretty Enough For You all by yourself.

Happy Reading!


Ne’er-do-well immigration attorney Harrison Bent can’t imagine why the wealthy and mysterious Maggie Leudecke wants him to solve her eminent domain problem.  If he didn’t have an angry wife to placate, an inscrutable stalker to identify, an obsessed girlfriend to escape, and a murder to solve, a successful outcome to the Leudecke case might revive his career, pay for his autistic son’s special school, and—most important of all—help convince his young paralegal, Chloe, that the afternoon she spent with him in a cheap motel wasn’t an error in judgment, but the beginning of something profound.

If only he had some clue as to what he was doing ...  


"I can think of no one writing today who has so beautifully put into vital relationship officious history and literary fiction with such provocative and thoroughly entertaining results. This is a stunning debut by a master storyteller."  — Wendell Mayo, author of Centaur of the North, In Lithuanian Wood, and B Horror and Other Stories

"I don't recall many historical novellas or novels abounding in comedy. Another distinctive technique is the pseudo-footnotes. They remind me of Nabokov's footnotes in Pale Fire." — Robert Phillips, author of Spinach Days, News About People You Know.

From the book: I know myself. That’s the good news. That’s also the bad news. For example, I knew I was not equipped to deal with the Leudecke case. I also knew I wouldn’t turn it down or hand it off to somebody better suited. But, seriously, what background did I have in eminent domain?  Or with Mexican drug dealers?  Or dead Mexican drug dealers?  None. And I knew it.

CLIFF HUDDER earned an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Houston. His work has received the Barthelme and Michener Awards, the Peden Prize, and the Short Story Award from the Texas Institute of Letters.  His novella, Splinterville, won the 2007 Texas Review Fiction Award.  He teaches English at Lone Star College-Montgomery and lives in Conroe, Texas.

Buy Links: 
Texas A&M Press
Texas Review Press Catalog

Author Website: www.cliffhudder.com

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