In Spin Dry, Rachel volunteers for a dream deprivation study after her husband, Leon, has a series of dreams about another man. She hopes to find out who this guy is and enters into “therapy” with the totally wacky Dr. Alex Silver. From there Rachael takes us on a tour of her suburban neighbourhood that is filled with eccentric characters and ridiculous situations abound.
Hollingshead presents a satirical look at the absurdity of modern suburban life in a new development. He pokes fun at shopping malls, therapy, cookie cutter houses, suburbs, support groups (my favourite: Carrot-top, the red-haired persons’ self-esteem raising group), first-grade Dick and Jane books, relationships and many others. It’s unique, creative and an interesting look at our lives. While I didn’t find it laugh-out-loud funny, it was humorous and pretty entertaining. I did find the story a little hard to follow at times because it jumps back and forth in time but once I caught on to this, it wasn’t too bad.
One of my favourite characters was Cam. He’s has agoraphobia and is afraid to leave his basement, runs PAGO (People Afraid to Go Out), seems to subsist on burgers delivered by Leon, has a dismantled school bus in his living room and is in love with the “girl on the bus”. What’s not to love? That’s him in a nutshell (pardon the pun) until he meets Jane. You’ll just have to read the book to find out where things go from there.
This is the first book I’ve read by Hollingshead. It probably won’t be my last.