So this is a story about a statue. Not any old statue, but a plastic statuette "depicting a fat, semi-naked, bald man rear-ending an oversized, pink, glittery otter" that Felix finds in a discount shop he refers to as The House of Ming. Obsessed with the figurine and on a mad quest to meet its maker, Felix finds himself on a two-week trip to Hong Kong, via Tokyo, and finally in San Francisco. Felix has all the trappings of a dope-smoking eighteen year-old and an annoying habit of persistently saying 'Whatever!' a la Little Britain. John Bennett has certainly dreamt up an original storyline (I had never conceived of otter-buggering until now) with brief glimpses of real humour here and there, but most of the time the book is a slightly contrived representation of a teenage boy's mind as he goes on an unbelievable rampage. And parts of the story really are quite far-fetched, such as when Felix discovers that the statue is worth millions of pounds. But I won't ruin the ending for you, because the book is readable and impressive for a first novel - if you like a book that makes you laugh, rather than think.
Published by Vintage. Out Now. (Cover Price Ã‚Â£6.99)