Book Jacket

 

rank 746
word count 31020
date submitted 06.12.2009
date updated 23.06.2012
genres: Fiction, Comedy
classification: universal
incomplete

Marking Time

Crispy

Dave tries frantically and hilariously to make sense, of his increasingly bizarre life as a teacher, "helped" by some very eccentric friends.

 

Marking Time follows a fortnight in the lives of: two young teachers; two Taoist monks, who also fit bathrooms (prices available on request); an otter addicted to Chinese food; an educational advisor with a penchant for really very sharp pencils; two arch manipulators, thoroughly enjoying their chaotic ride towards retirement, and Elvis.
Elvis is a dog.
In their search for peace and tranquillity, they encounter: an educationally subnormal dolphin; the increasingly bizarre behaviour of several school Heads (including interior gardening, sock puppetry and kangaroo chic, in no particular order); a self-help bazaar with a strict resuscitation policy (it’s frowned upon), and rabbits falling (possibly) from the sky.
The majority of this occurs around the preparation for, and implementation of a school inspection. During this, a man, known only as Staggering Bob, observes, assists (in a manner of speaking) then obliterates the main culprits of a fifteen year scam.
The resulting freedom this brings to the characters involved leads to: two resignations; the successful farewell to a blissfully challenged dolphin; the equally successful installation of a stolen bidet (using the ‘persuading hammer’), and the creation of a revolutionary lemon jam chicken burger.
And Elvis makes friends with the otter.

 
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tags

comedy, education, otters, teachers

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238 comments

 

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Crispy wrote 365 days ago


Hi Alastair

Wow! Thanks so much for such a detailed review of Marking Time; it is very much appreciated!

In answer to some of your comments:-

Elvis is a pivotal character, working with Bernice, so I think you will see why I started with Elvis, though I very much appreciate that the "car scene" may be a greater hook in the first instance.

Whilst the plot may seem to be loosely held together, the threads do pull together and the school inspection and the scam surrounding this, comes to the fore; a time of foreboding and not a little fiddling and subterfuge.

Thanks for the comments on the pitch, this may need further work to pull in more readers and reviewers, like yourself. Similarly the cover which is a holding piece, needs to reflect the content. Work to do.

Thanks for pointing out the typos, I will get onto these.

Finally, delighted that you enjoyed reading Marking Time, it certainly was great fun to write it.

Best of luck
Crispy




CLOG Review
Who are the CLOGers? http://authonomy.com/forums/threads/110633/comedy-literature-only-group-clog-/

This book really made me laugh and is a pleasure to read. The dialogue in it is superbly creative and the jokes just keep coming, and coming, and coming, and coming (did I mention coming?). I can't praise the interactions between the characters highly enough and I haven't even come across half of the weird and wonderful creations listed on the back cover/synopsis yet.

Comedy is certainly a subjective thing but, for me, this is exactly the sort of crazy humour I love. I've read five chapters so far, haven't seen the quality dropping yet and I'm commenting now because I want to enjoy the rest in peace without thinking about how I'm going to review it.

In short, unreserved praise. No, I don't owe the author money. No, he doesn't know of a terrible family secret. This book clicked with me pure and simple.

That said, it wouldn't be my style of review if I didn't suggest some ways it could be even better. Despite being submitted some time back it's not top of the charts so clearly it's missing 'something'. I'm not completely clear on what 'it' is but here are my thoughts for what their worth.

I don't always trust myself to climb inside people's heads but I'm guessing this clearly was a lot of fun to write and the author was enjoying seeing where it took him with just a rough outline/idea of where the plot is heading. While I'm personally happy to be caught up in the flow I'm guessing that for a broader appeal it would be worth a bit more direction/impending doom. Can you throw in references/scenes regarding the upcoming school inspection sooner so we know roughly what's driving the story?

Strangely enough, the only section that didn't work for me was the first one involving Elvis (the dog). I'd rather you opened with the excellent dialogue.

Also, and I know this is a writing site, but I think you'd benefit from a more striking book cover. Unfair as it maybe it's the bookcover that compels us to pick up a book when browsing. You need that initial hook to get people to read. Once people get to the Taoist monks then anyone who likes this sort of thing will be hooked.

Perhaps take another look at your pitch. Telling someone your book is 'hilarious' can be a bad idea, the more perverse amongst us will then become determined not to laugh. I wish I could write you a better one, but it's hard enough with your own book, it'd be great if you could work in some of your characters into those 25 words.

Finally, the minor niggles. With the laws changing on smoking in the work place you're going to have to address this (the rapid development of smart phones caught me out with my story, I had to rethink some things). There's a few typo's, most noticeably look at the section that should be entitled 'Waiting The Room Protocol'.

These are only suggestions, take or leave them, but I'd like to see your book get more backers.

So, to summarise, want a laugh? Meet Taoist monks who fit bathrooms? See a loose penguin on a school bus? Get drunk by 4 in the afternoon? Go read Marking Time. You won't regret it.

Andrew W. wrote 1598 days ago

Marking Time

Hi Crispy,

I am a young man, with a love of science, cooking, music and the Lake Districi. I play guitar. My greatest love is writing comedy. – you wrote, but you are also a flipping genius. This is probably one of the most publishable pieces of writing I have had the pleasure to read on this site. Incisive, witty, engaging and very clever. Backed, backed, backed and I will set up a thread on the forum to advertise it mercilessly, you have been warned.

No idea what's going on yet...it's fantastic...

Welcome to this site by the way.

Best wishes – Andrew W
(Sanctuary’s Loss)

Etienne Hanratty wrote 136 days ago

CLOG review

I liked this a lot and it's certainly something I'd like to have been able to look at in more detail had I had the time. As a comic novel, it succeeds in the key goal of actually being funny. None of the jokes or situations set up in the first three chapters fell flat or felt misjudged. The pace and cadences of the prose are also well judged and the dialogue is convincing. Something else which intrigues is the 1990s setting. Usually, when an author tries their hand at a period piece, I feel almost as though they're slapping me about the face with contemporaneous references. You've done it much more subtly than that, though this had the effect that the references to year 10 threw me until I realised it wasn't set in the present day. I really like the way you've subdivided into vignettes.

I don't think this book has an unambiguous weaknesses. There are aspects which disn't work as well for me as others but these are just my personal opinion. I suppose one thing that struck me was the absence of a clear lead character from the start. Opening from the POV of a dog is very original though when you then move to a dialogue scene divides fairly evenly between two different characters, it results in an arguable weakness in narrative shape in the early stages of the book. This is obviously my view, and I may be alone in holding it, but a casual reader might glance through these early sections, find themselves unsure what the book's going to be about, and give up on it. Obviously, they might not and even if they did, it'd be a shame because what follows is so good.

In terms of specific issues, in the opening section, The Sunshine etc is a sentence fragment. I'm also not quite sure I understood the reference to birds 'being paid by the hours' and I don't think many people would see basking as the exclusive preserve of sharks which undermines the subsequent joke a little bit (though I'd argue it might be a bit elliptical anyway). The opening sentence of the George and Dragon ideally needs to be in the pluperfect as otherwise the shift from lunchtime to 3:15 is quite confusing. The only other issue I noticed was the word order in the title of the section in chapter 3 about waiting room etiquette seemed to have become jumbled.

All in all, a very strong read which ought to do very well here and, hopefully, in the real world.

sensual elle wrote 209 days ago

I see the Pratchet and Adams influence. Poor lad, I feel sorry for you. Having left teaching twice on two continents, no less, I sympathize because you're in til the bitter end. They say teaching's a noble profession, and it probably is for nobles, but not us plebs. I decided to leave teaching when they banned capital punishment. Or was it corporal punishment? Approximately the same as I practiced it. There was that little fuss about those bodies in the bushes. Anyway, I back the bleeding' book and well deserved, too.

Crispy wrote 272 days ago

Hi Donna

Thanks so much for the review of MT. I'm glad that you enjoyed the humour. The characters as I am sure you realise, are close to life; even peguins stolen by school children!

Best of luck with Jessup.

Crispy


Crispy, your humor is smart and right on. you know how to write humor and that is a quality hard to find. Even us seasoned writers have a hard time making humor, but you did it easily. The only thing I would consider, is fill the reader in on what is going on. Why don't they want to go into the school? Insert some thoughts, some drama, so the reader knows the WHY of it. Once the character begins to feel for the main character, the humor will really mean something. Great job!

Sincerely,
Donna
Jessup and the Teleporter

D. S. Hale wrote 274 days ago

Crispy, your humor is smart and right on. you know how to write humor and that is a quality hard to find. Even us seasoned writers have a hard time making humor, but you did it easily. The only thing I would consider, is fill the reader in on what is going on. Why don't they want to go into the school? Insert some thoughts, some drama, so the reader knows the WHY of it. Once the character begins to feel for the main character, the humor will really mean something. Great job!

Sincerely,
Donna
Jessup and the Teleporter

Crispy wrote 275 days ago

Hi Sheena

Thanks so much for the review, it is much appreciated.

The waiting room protocol seems to be a favourite with a number of readers. I am delighted that you have found MT so funny and also that you recognise that life experience and embalming pizza has shaped the characters and my perspective. I hope that you continue to enjoy Marking Time.

Best of luck
Crispy

Crispy, I have now read three chapters of Marking Time. This had me laughing, and then some.
You really do make some astute observations of people. I particularly liked the doubling back of characters to George in the doctors surgery.
I get the feeling, that you tell stories like this on a daily basis. The jokes were dreadful- so dreadful they made me laugh.
This is a very clever and thoughtful look at life.
The thoughts from the characters were imaginative- I don't know how you came up with all that- the taxi, the pub, the pissa after a chaotic day teaching. The kids sound wild- with, unfortunately, a spark of truth .

I did notice some minor edit points.

Sheena
the Popish Plot

Sheena Macleod wrote 278 days ago

Crispy, I have now read three chapters of Marking Time. This had me laughing, and then some.
You really do make some astute observations of people. I particularly liked the doubling back of characters to George in the doctors surgery.
I get the feeling, that you tell stories like this on a daily basis. The jokes were dreadful- so dreadful they made me laugh.
This is a very clever and thoughtful look at life.
The thoughts from the characters were imaginative- I don't know how you came up with all that- the taxi, the pub, the pissa after a chaotic day teaching. The kids sound wild- with, unfortunately, a spark of truth .

I did notice some minor edit points.

Sheena
the Popish Plot

Crispy wrote 290 days ago

Hi William

Thanks so much for your review. A lot of reviewers have suggested that MT should be a sitcom and I would love to see that happen, one day. I liked the comparrison with Shaun of the Dead. I had not really considered the characters as sleepwalking, though that makes a lot of sense; a mechanism to try and retain some sanity in the face of adversity, they face at Deadwood. Otters build holts, but the dam line worked.

Best of luck with your's. I'm really starting to like Hugh, though that is probably not the reaction you expected to engender.

Best of luck and thanks
Crispy


I finished the first four chapters. A lot of this is really cute and your book has a very unique and surreal sense of humor. This book often reminds me of that scene in Shawn Of The Dead. You know the one, right? It is the scene where Shawn is walking to work and everybody is walking through life like they are already dead despite the fact that the zombies haven't surfaced yet. This isn't an insult by the way, this is a compliment.
The sleepwalker sense of humor you have here is probably the funniest part about the book. Everyone is just mindlessly moving through their schedules murmuring absurdities in a desperate attempt to amuse themselves. My favorite line is the one about the otter, "I'm aware of their work." I thought that was hilarious.
That being said, I would like to point out that otters don't build dams however the incorrect nature of your character's statement may have been intentional.

To sum things up: This is pretty damn good so far however I have a feeling that this book might be a little eccentric for most readers. I also think your book would work much better in movie form however this is just my opinion. There are some great lines and the sleepy delivery of your humor makes them all the more hysterical. This is impressive work, Mr. Crispy. Keep it up.

W.D. Frank wrote 292 days ago

I finished the first four chapters. A lot of this is really cute and your book has a very unique and surreal sense of humor. This book often reminds me of that scene in Shawn Of The Dead. You know the one, right? It is the scene where Shawn is walking to work and everybody is walking through life like they are already dead despite the fact that the zombies haven't surfaced yet. This isn't an insult by the way, this is a compliment.
The sleepwalker sense of humor you have here is probably the funniest part about the book. Everyone is just mindlessly moving through their schedules murmuring absurdities in a desperate attempt to amuse themselves. My favorite line is the one about the otter, "I'm aware of their work." I thought that was hilarious.
That being said, I would like to point out that otters don't build dams however the incorrect nature of your character's statement may have been intentional.

To sum things up: This is pretty damn good so far however I have a feeling that this book might be a little eccentric for most readers. I also think your book would work much better in movie form however this is just my opinion. There are some great lines and the sleepy delivery of your humor makes them all the more hysterical. This is impressive work, Mr. Crispy. Keep it up.

Crispy wrote 302 days ago

Hi Edward

Thanks so much for your comments. My style is a little different, I will admit. I suppose you could liken it to a screen play/script. The plot is woven through the dialogue. The most descriptive passages relate to the animals, integral to the plot.

I do hope that you are no longer feeling quite so sea sick and feel more in flow with the (mis)fortunes of Dave and Tony now. I would thoroughly recommend the Embalmer with the extra portion of onion rings, though suspicious olives, I have to remain skeptical about.

All the best of luck and thanks again for the stars and the comments; much appreciated.

Crispy




Crispy,
I've read your first three chapters, and my brain is still a bit dizzy (maybe because it's before eight in the morning). First of all, I found Chapter 1 a minor hurdle to get into primarily because it took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting so much banter along with such sparse atmospheric details. However, once I got the feeling of what the story actually is, I saw why you've written it as you have, introducing the characters through their banter about their wretched jobs, though not before opening the story with the reveries of an elated dog named Elvis, which gives us a kind of purity to contrast the following passages with. Then, once I started in on Chapter 2, I found the book quite smooth sailing (though still on a drunken sea), with dialogue and descriptions flowing very well indeed. You've definitely got a way with intoxicated dialogue, which for me is one of the chief delights to be rendered in literature, as well as realistic and believable dialogue.

For now I'm giving you 5 stars and keeping you on my WL to shelf when I clear some space. I'm also interested in reading more, so I'm keeping your book on my reading list.
Edward

Edward Gardner wrote 305 days ago

Crispy,
I've read your first three chapters, and my brain is still a bit dizzy (maybe because it's before eight in the morning). First of all, I found Chapter 1 a minor hurdle to get into primarily because it took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting so much banter along with such sparse atmospheric details. However, once I got the feeling of what the story actually is, I saw why you've written it as you have, introducing the characters through their banter about their wretched jobs, though not before opening the story with the reveries of an elated dog named Elvis, which gives us a kind of purity to contrast the following passages with. Then, once I started in on Chapter 2, I found the book quite smooth sailing (though still on a drunken sea), with dialogue and descriptions flowing very well indeed. You've definitely got a way with intoxicated dialogue, which for me is one of the chief delights to be rendered in literature, as well as realistic and believable dialogue.

For now I'm giving you 5 stars and keeping you on my WL to shelf when I clear some space. I'm also interested in reading more, so I'm keeping your book on my reading list.
Edward

Crispy wrote 322 days ago

Hi Otter

I see you have an affinity with Bernice; any relation? Thanks so much for your comments and backing. I am glad you enjoyed it...you will meet many other unusual animals as you progress, all of which are intrinsic to the English education system(?).

All the best of luck
Crispy

It was a little confusing for about twenty lines then I got to grips with the writing style. Wonderfully crafted and witty almost too witty. Who would want to be a schoolteacher. I suspect this book will stay on my shelf for quite a while.

At this juncture I am not qualified to make any critical comments. Typing a few words is difficult, meaningful words, they belong to seasoned libereated wordsmiths, that could drink twenty pints in The George and Dragon and still walk home and write a novel.


Well done and good luck with it.


Norman

(The Con)

Norman

Crispy wrote 322 days ago

Hi Charles

Thanks so much for your backing! As for what children can get away with, have you got to the chair throwing being put towards the expressive drama grade?

Good luck.

All the best

Crispy


Marking Time
Crispy

I found your book funny and entertaining. Although at one point I did start worrying what school kids can get away with! I liked how you described a weekend - having passed at its usual blink-and-you’ve-missed-it rate!

The title of the book is perfect.

An enjoyable read which I've highly starred and will place on my book shelf at some point!

The grammar was very good as was the editing although, probably a fault of Authonomy, there is the occasional blank line splitting a sentence in several places.

Charles Knightley
The Secret of Netley Abbey

Charles Knightley wrote 323 days ago

Marking Time
Crispy

I found your book funny and entertaining. Although at one point I did start worrying what school kids can get away with! I liked how you described a weekend - having passed at its usual blink-and-you’ve-missed-it rate!

The title of the book is perfect.

An enjoyable read which I've highly starred and will place on my book shelf at some point!

The grammar was very good as was the editing although, probably a fault of Authonomy, there is the occasional blank line splitting a sentence in several places.

Charles Knightley
The Secret of Netley Abbey

Otter wrote 324 days ago

It was a little confusing for about twenty lines then I got to grips with the writing style. Wonderfully crafted and witty almost too witty. Who would want to be a schoolteacher. I suspect this book will stay on my shelf for quite a while.

At this juncture I am not qualified to make any critical comments. Typing a few words is difficult, meaningful words, they belong to seasoned libereated wordsmiths, that could drink twenty pints in The George and Dragon and still walk home and write a novel.


Well done and good luck with it.


Norman

(The Con)

Norman

Salley wrote 342 days ago

Crispy,
I read the first three chapters of Marking Time, and I'm hooked. Your writing is hilarious, and it made me laugh out loud. Comedy is hard to do, but you seem to have a natural gift for it. I love Dave and his interactions with Tony and everyone else around him. The waiting room scene with George Smithson was really funny. I could picture this scene in my head while I was reading. From what I can tell so far, your book would be a great movie. Loved the opening with Elvis. I look forward to reading more. Full stars from me.

Best of luck with this,
Sara Alley
Ghost Town

Crispy wrote 344 days ago

Hi Brian

Thanks so much for your comments. I am glad you enjoyed MT.

"Here and here" was deliberate. Conjuring up (gestures) "here" and "here".

I will have a read of Mary's Magic Muffins and comment shortly.

All the best
Crispy


Hi Crispy
A hilarious read right from the off. You had me laughing all the way. The only thing I spotted, which I'm not sure if it is deliberate or not, but you wrote here and here. Not sure if you meant here and there or if it just you being funny again. High stars.
Brian.

Brian G Chambers wrote 346 days ago

Hi Crispy
A hilarious read right from the off. You had me laughing all the way. The only thing I spotted, which I'm not sure if it is deliberate or not, but you wrote here and here. Not sure if you meant here and there or if it just you being funny again. High stars.
Brian.

Crispy wrote 346 days ago

Maretha

Thanks so much for your comments; very much appreciated!!

Selective deafness comes in very handy, as does " a bag to put the wet bits in"!

All the best, Crispy



Marking Time by Crispy
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first five chapters of this very hilarious, tongue-in-cheek book of a teacher's life and how he manages despite all the curve balls chucked at him at different times. When I read your pitch, I was already convinced that I would enjoy your story. I love Chinese food, dogs - haven't met one called "Elvis" before, but I loved your opening chapters with Elvis doing the stretch... and the reader being challenged to do the same... I also have a thing for rabbits, not the falling from the sky types - nevertheless there is Dave and "Selective deafness" to imitate. I used to imitate my father in this respect - a very good quality to have, especially when it comes to Dave having to give up going to the pub, stop smoking etc to give his liver a sporting chance of survival. I love your descriptive scenes and smooth, hilarious dialogue. I'm recommending "Marking Time: to my husband. I know he will love it! Please accept high stars from me and I intend to get back to reading the rest very soon. :-)
Maretha
African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends

maretha wrote 349 days ago

Marking Time by Crispy
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first five chapters of this very hilarious, tongue-in-cheek book of a teacher's life and how he manages despite all the curve balls chucked at him at different times. When I read your pitch, I was already convinced that I would enjoy your story. I love Chinese food, dogs - haven't met one called "Elvis" before, but I loved your opening chapters with Elvis doing the stretch... and the reader being challenged to do the same... I also have a thing for rabbits, not the falling from the sky types - nevertheless there is Dave and "Selective deafness" to imitate. I used to imitate my father in this respect - a very good quality to have, especially when it comes to Dave having to give up going to the pub, stop smoking etc to give his liver a sporting chance of survival. I love your descriptive scenes and smooth, hilarious dialogue. I'm recommending "Marking Time: to my husband. I know he will love it! Please accept high stars from me and I intend to get back to reading the rest very soon. :-)
Maretha
African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends

carol jefferies wrote 356 days ago

Hi Crispy,

I enjoyed reading the first three chapters of your light-hearted and witty banter in 'Marking time.'

Elvis set the mood at the opening, basking carefree in the sun, a bit of a contrast to what follows.

I laughed at the changing of the lettering in the school sign.

The dialogue between Dave and anyone else is highly entertaining, as well as your eye for detail like the pattern the drip tray made in Dave's forehead.

I can only guess some of this book is based on actual fact and feel sorry for you.

I look forward to reading more.

High stars.

Carol Jefferies
(The Witch of Fleet Street)

Crispy wrote 363 days ago

Hi Rusty

Delighted that you enjoyed the book so much! Thanks for your comments.

All the best
Crispy


I've often wondered what it would be like to spend the night on a park bench so I read this and found out it would be no fun at all but would be very funny to write about. Got to chapter nine and then had to move on to something else but at least I found what I was looking for.

Mx

Crispy wrote 363 days ago

Hi SC (may I call you SC?),

Thanks so much for the backing! I hope that you continue to enjoy Marking time.

All the best

Crispy

What a great book! The dialogue is priceless. The characters in this book are fantastic and done very well. Definitely a must read on this site. I like how you started the book with the dog and then switched to Dave and Paul. The two of them seem like a real handful.

Wonderful job!
S.C.

S.C. McGillicuddy wrote 365 days ago

What a great book! The dialogue is priceless. The characters in this book are fantastic and done very well. Definitely a must read on this site. I like how you started the book with the dog and then switched to Dave and Paul. The two of them seem like a real handful.

Wonderful job!
S.C.

Crispy wrote 365 days ago


Hi Alastair

Wow! Thanks so much for such a detailed review of Marking Time; it is very much appreciated!

In answer to some of your comments:-

Elvis is a pivotal character, working with Bernice, so I think you will see why I started with Elvis, though I very much appreciate that the "car scene" may be a greater hook in the first instance.

Whilst the plot may seem to be loosely held together, the threads do pull together and the school inspection and the scam surrounding this, comes to the fore; a time of foreboding and not a little fiddling and subterfuge.

Thanks for the comments on the pitch, this may need further work to pull in more readers and reviewers, like yourself. Similarly the cover which is a holding piece, needs to reflect the content. Work to do.

Thanks for pointing out the typos, I will get onto these.

Finally, delighted that you enjoyed reading Marking Time, it certainly was great fun to write it.

Best of luck
Crispy




CLOG Review
Who are the CLOGers? http://authonomy.com/forums/threads/110633/comedy-literature-only-group-clog-/

This book really made me laugh and is a pleasure to read. The dialogue in it is superbly creative and the jokes just keep coming, and coming, and coming, and coming (did I mention coming?). I can't praise the interactions between the characters highly enough and I haven't even come across half of the weird and wonderful creations listed on the back cover/synopsis yet.

Comedy is certainly a subjective thing but, for me, this is exactly the sort of crazy humour I love. I've read five chapters so far, haven't seen the quality dropping yet and I'm commenting now because I want to enjoy the rest in peace without thinking about how I'm going to review it.

In short, unreserved praise. No, I don't owe the author money. No, he doesn't know of a terrible family secret. This book clicked with me pure and simple.

That said, it wouldn't be my style of review if I didn't suggest some ways it could be even better. Despite being submitted some time back it's not top of the charts so clearly it's missing 'something'. I'm not completely clear on what 'it' is but here are my thoughts for what their worth.

I don't always trust myself to climb inside people's heads but I'm guessing this clearly was a lot of fun to write and the author was enjoying seeing where it took him with just a rough outline/idea of where the plot is heading. While I'm personally happy to be caught up in the flow I'm guessing that for a broader appeal it would be worth a bit more direction/impending doom. Can you throw in references/scenes regarding the upcoming school inspection sooner so we know roughly what's driving the story?

Strangely enough, the only section that didn't work for me was the first one involving Elvis (the dog). I'd rather you opened with the excellent dialogue.

Also, and I know this is a writing site, but I think you'd benefit from a more striking book cover. Unfair as it maybe it's the bookcover that compels us to pick up a book when browsing. You need that initial hook to get people to read. Once people get to the Taoist monks then anyone who likes this sort of thing will be hooked.

Perhaps take another look at your pitch. Telling someone your book is 'hilarious' can be a bad idea, the more perverse amongst us will then become determined not to laugh. I wish I could write you a better one, but it's hard enough with your own book, it'd be great if you could work in some of your characters into those 25 words.

Finally, the minor niggles. With the laws changing on smoking in the work place you're going to have to address this (the rapid development of smart phones caught me out with my story, I had to rethink some things). There's a few typo's, most noticeably look at the section that should be entitled 'Waiting The Room Protocol'.

These are only suggestions, take or leave them, but I'd like to see your book get more backers.

So, to summarise, want a laugh? Meet Taoist monks who fit bathrooms? See a loose penguin on a school bus? Get drunk by 4 in the afternoon? Go read Marking Time. You won't regret it.

Rusty Bernard wrote 366 days ago

I've often wondered what it would be like to spend the night on a park bench so I read this and found out it would be no fun at all but would be very funny to write about. Got to chapter nine and then had to move on to something else but at least I found what I was looking for.

Mx

Alastair Miles wrote 370 days ago

CLOG Review
Who are the CLOGers? http://authonomy.com/forums/threads/110633/comedy-literature-only-group-clog-/

This book really made me laugh and is a pleasure to read. The dialogue in it is superbly creative and the jokes just keep coming, and coming, and coming, and coming (did I mention coming?). I can't praise the interactions between the characters highly enough and I haven't even come across half of the weird and wonderful creations listed on the back cover/synopsis yet.

Comedy is certainly a subjective thing but, for me, this is exactly the sort of crazy humour I love. I've read five chapters so far, haven't seen the quality dropping yet and I'm commenting now because I want to enjoy the rest in peace without thinking about how I'm going to review it.

In short, unreserved praise. No, I don't owe the author money. No, he doesn't know of a terrible family secret. This book clicked with me pure and simple.

That said, it wouldn't be my style of review if I didn't suggest some ways it could be even better. Despite being submitted some time back it's not top of the charts so clearly it's missing 'something'. I'm not completely clear on what 'it' is but here are my thoughts for what their worth.

I don't always trust myself to climb inside people's heads but I'm guessing this clearly was a lot of fun to write and the author was enjoying seeing where it took him with just a rough outline/idea of where the plot is heading. While I'm personally happy to be caught up in the flow I'm guessing that for a broader appeal it would be worth a bit more direction/impending doom. Can you throw in references/scenes regarding the upcoming school inspection sooner so we know roughly what's driving the story?

Strangely enough, the only section that didn't work for me was the first one involving Elvis (the dog). I'd rather you opened with the excellent dialogue.

Also, and I know this is a writing site, but I think you'd benefit from a more striking book cover. Unfair as it maybe it's the bookcover that compels us to pick up a book when browsing. You need that initial hook to get people to read. Once people get to the Taoist monks then anyone who likes this sort of thing will be hooked.

Perhaps take another look at your pitch. Telling someone your book is 'hilarious' can be a bad idea, the more perverse amongst us will then become determined not to laugh. I wish I could write you a better one, but it's hard enough with your own book, it'd be great if you could work in some of your characters into those 25 words.

Finally, the minor niggles. With the laws changing on smoking in the work place you're going to have to address this (the rapid development of smart phones caught me out with my story, I had to rethink some things). There's a few typo's, most noticeably look at the section that should be entitled 'Waiting The Room Protocol'.

These are only suggestions, take or leave them, but I'd like to see your book get more backers.

So, to summarise, want a laugh? Meet Taoist monks who fit bathrooms? See a loose penguin on a school bus? Get drunk by 4 in the afternoon? Go read Marking Time. You won't regret it.

Sally M wrote 390 days ago

Hi Crispy,

High stars and WL'd for starters! Highly original. Love the dialogue and witty descriptions.

My only crit would be that certain details get overlooked. I don't know what anyone looks like and occasionally, a tiny piece of the action is missed giving rise to teensy moments of 'huh?' - eg. When Dave misses catching the toast in his mouth and it lands on the floor. We only realise it's been on the floor because it ends up dusty. With your skills, you would need only to add a couple of well-placed words to remove any doubt for the reader, thus propelling the story from funny to bloody hilarious.

But any weaknesses are far outshone by the strengths in your work. Will be back for more and a place awaits you on my shelf when it comes free.

Sally

Sophekles wrote 391 days ago

Dear Crispy,

This is the best comedy fiction I have read since The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy and definitely deserves to be published or turned into a television series. You have a wonderful way of seeing the funny side of everyday situations, and the changing locations with headings give the story an exciting, fast pace.

The characters are great, and I love the way you personify the animals, especially Elvis and the educationally subnormal dolphin.

The writing is excellent and the dialogues perfectly crafted with excellent timing, especially the banter between David and Paul.

High stars and watchlisted for the moment, will back later.

Best wishes and good luck getting published or televised,

Sophekles
The Serotonin Transfer

ShirleyGrace wrote 430 days ago

Crispy:
This was recommended to me by Janet/Helen. I was not disappointed. She and I both have an unusual sense of humor (humour) and enjoy a good laugh. There are plenty of them here. Very clever idea to bring the animals into it and original. They all take on their own personalities and they are lovable characters. This will be on my W/L and high stars from me. Maybe I can back soon. I wish you all the best of luck with this.
ShirleyGrace
The Devil's Stepchild

Janet/Helen wrote 431 days ago

Marking Time. Chapters 1 to 6 inc.

By the time I was halfway through chapter 1 I had abandoned any idea of looking for points to comment on and continued to read 6 chapters purely to enjoy and to laugh. Enough said. Very funny book. 6 stars, onto watchlist and will back in the future. Janet

Janet/Helen
The Stranger In My Life

Cherry G. wrote 432 days ago

Chapters 1 to 5

This is very, very funny and yet also horribly familiar. Well done for giving us such amusingly observed stories based on everyday life: day at work, relaxing with friends, school trip to the zoo, donation to a wildlife charity...what could possibly go wrong?

Love your depiction of animals (Elvis was a great way to start; the penguin was cute and the otter's reaction of curling up under the sofa is something I try frequently when my life starts to feel a little bit like Dave's.) Your dialogue is cleverly done, with perfect comic timing...it could almost be a TV or radio play.

I'm giving you a high star rating and although my bookshelf is full at the moment and I have promises to keep, I'll be able to shelve Marking Time (like the title, BTW) next month. Apologies for the delay.

Thank you for a fun read...a brilliant way to start the weekend.
Cherry
The Girl from Ithaca

Jane Mauret wrote 439 days ago

Hello, Crispy
This book is a refreshing change what much of what I have read before on the site.
Often people who say their books are funny fail to come up with the good.
But not in this case. It is one of the hardest things to write humour so well done you.

I enjoyed the quirky wit and it really added to being able to visualise the characters and settings.
I also liked the dialogue as it was very snappy and moved along; you did not make the mistake others make of having to put in very word as we do in real life – writing cannot be like that and fortunately for us you are aware of this precept.
I also liked the idea of the changing locations which also kept up the dynamism.
I loved the pizza sections (so to speak) and Bernice the otter conversation very much.

Usually I always find something to crit rather than just hand out compliments willy-nilly but I have to admit defeat in this case.
The only thing is that generally you have paid attention to grammar and punctuation issues which adds to the overall quality. However, Nazis plural does not require an apostrophe as it is not genitive = possessive; and stationery when referring to paper is -ery and not –ary (you used –ary earlier in the correct context about the house not spinning).

I read the first 3 chapters as I understand that is what agents/publishers do and if we’re not sold by then, then we can forget it. I really hope you get further with this book as it seems to me as good as a number of published humour works.

I could also see this as a TV sit-com or feature film possibly. Sadly, I am not someone who is able to execute such.
You describe yourself as a young man so you must be very clued-up and/or already had a lot of interesting experiences from which to draw.

I can’t understand why you don’t have more backers, having been here since 2009.
Best wishes.
Jane Mauret
HOW TO BE INAPPROPRIATE

Crispy wrote 454 days ago

This is a very naughty, hilariously funny story and I love Elvis. Great dialogue. I like the headings as well. I can see this serialised into comic book form - it's a lot better than that of course, but I can see all sorts of silly pictures in my mind, so that's why I thought of that:) 6 STARS!!!



Hi Catherine

Thanks so much for your comments. I get what you mean about the comic book style. Other readers have suggested a sit-com; Grange Hill without the drugs and with humour! Thanks so much for the stars too, one can never have enough of those!

Best of luck
Crispy

Cathy Hardy wrote 456 days ago

This is a very naughty, hilariously funny story and I love Elvis. Great dialogue. I like the headings as well. I can see this serialised into comic book form - it's a lot better than that of course, but I can see all sorts of silly pictures in my mind, so that's why I thought of that:) 6 STARS!!!

Crispy wrote 456 days ago

Crispy,
Revisited your superb work to view the alterations and found an even smoother glide. Elvis got me chuckling as usual, and Dave's antics through the hallowed halls of academia never cease to amaze. Your strength is in the dialogue, the perky exchanges and comebacks worth reading allowed onstage for the intended nuances to coime across and be appreciated by a live audience. Thank you so much for troopiung on.

Kenneth Edward Lim

Hi Kenneth

Glad that you are continuing to enjoy Dave, Elvis and Bernice's antics. Most gratifying to know that you have returned to continue reading.

Best of luck
Crispy


Crispy wrote 456 days ago

Lol! Its like a St. Trinians for boys, if you get my drift. I really felt for Dave having to to work there, but then I hated school!!
This is deliciously amusing, easy on the eye and well written.
Stars, WL and book shelf in due course.
Andrea
The de Amerley Affair



Hi Andrea

Thanks for your comments. You are right, I don't read historical literature/novels, however I am willing to indulge. I have put you on my shelf and will comment once I have had a chance to read.

Best of luck
Crispy

Andrea Taylor wrote 458 days ago

Lol! Its like a St. Trinians for boys, if you get my drift. I really felt for Dave having to to work there, but then I hated school!!
This is deliciously amusing, easy on the eye and well written.
Stars, WL and book shelf in due course.
Andrea
The de Amerley Affair

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 462 days ago

Crispy,
Revisited your superb work to view the alterations and found an even smoother glide. Elvis got me chuckling as usual, and Dave's antics through the hallowed halls of academia never cease to amaze. Your strength is in the dialogue, the perky exchanges and comebacks worth reading allowed onstage for the intended nuances to coime across and be appreciated by a live audience. Thank you so much for troopiung on.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The North Korean

Crispy wrote 470 days ago

Hi R

Delighted that you are enjoying Marking Time. Education is probably less eventful than Peace Keeping in the Congo, but there are hair raising times.

I hope that you enjoy the rest of the book. You have yet to meet Kevin and Fluffy, let alone the epitomy of kangeroo chic!

Thanks so much for the comments.

Best of luck
Crispy




This is super funny! I've read six chapters, and laughed out loud several times. I wish I had more time now to read all what you've posted.
An otter and a penguin, high blood pressure and a flying chair. I had no idea that teaching was such a stressful, (and eventful) occupation!

Personally, I particularly liked Chapter 4 with the reference to the nose and the doctor's question on Dave's occupation. You'd know why since you've read my book.

In fact I found that take on A Bag to Put the Wet Bits In so brilliant, I'd like to see it as a stand alone chapter.

I am certainly coming back to read till the end because it's just so funny.

Oh, and, I found the opening scene of Elvis the doggy shaping the story a quirky ordinary mad life air. Hyper cool book!

R

R. Dango wrote 470 days ago

This is super funny! I've read six chapters, and laughed out loud several times. I wish I had more time now to read all what you've posted.
An otter and a penguin, high blood pressure and a flying chair. I had no idea that teaching was such a stressful, (and eventful) occupation!

Personally, I particularly liked Chapter 4 with the reference to the nose and the doctor's question on Dave's occupation. You'd know why since you've read my book.

In fact I found that take on A Bag to Put the Wet Bits In so brilliant, I'd like to see it as a stand alone chapter.

I am certainly coming back to read till the end because it's just so funny.

Oh, and, I found the opening scene of Elvis the doggy shaping the story a quirky ordinary mad life air. Hyper cool book!

R

Crispy wrote 472 days ago

Hi Sean

Thanks so much for your comments; I am glad that you found it amusing.

I have popped you onto the Watchlist and will promote to my shelf shortly.

Good luck with the book.

All the best
Crispy

This is easy for me. Very funny. As simple as that. The reason I say that is because even if there are other issues in this book then I will never see them as I am so engrossed in the humour. I loved the story, the way you tell it and the way you sell it to the reader. I dont think you will have any problems looking fr supporters of this book. So well done and high score.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or Watch List wont you? Happy New year. Sean

Seringapatam wrote 473 days ago

This is easy for me. Very funny. As simple as that. The reason I say that is because even if there are other issues in this book then I will never see them as I am so engrossed in the humour. I loved the story, the way you tell it and the way you sell it to the reader. I dont think you will have any problems looking fr supporters of this book. So well done and high score.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or Watch List wont you? Happy New year. Sean

Software wrote 473 days ago

This is a very good comedy fiction and will appeal to anyone with a knowledge of contemporary society and a wicked sense of humour. Excellent main character portrayals accompanied by a fast flowing and fluid narrative make Marking Time a very amusing story. The graphic descriptions applied to both the participants and the challenging circumstances in which they find themselves make this book come alive. Highly starred, on my WL and will end up on my bookshelf when complete.

Clive Radford
Doghouse Blues

LCF Quartet wrote 513 days ago

Hi Crispy,
I read until the end of Chapter 11 and all I can is 'bravo' for creating such a greatly woven story and for your mastery plot development.

I loved the way you directed and conducted so many interesting characters together. Elvis, Dave, Tony, George, Harry, Dr. Morrison, Brother Thomas, Brother Smith, Arthur, Bernice, Jeremy, Edward, Hillary, Susan, and Adrian...WOW. It's like they're already living! What a premise and plot that you tied them all together in such a professional way.

I loved the short, snappy chapters and your writing style certainly delivers.
6/6 stars from me to you!
Best wishes,
Lucette- Ten Deep Footprints

superostah wrote 539 days ago

This is starting out to look like a lot of fun. I checked out the first chapter here and I'm very curious what sorts of hijinks we're going to see Dave get up to. He seems like the kind of guy to be busy with hijinks.
I also loved the opening description of Elvis' activities. Brilliant.
I'm tossing you on my bookshelf, and I'll be back to check out more soon.

jskinner16 wrote 539 days ago

Hi Crispy
Glad you're enjoying The Assistant. I was very happy to take a look at Marking Time. Was planning to have a quick look over a ten minute coffee. An hour later I was still reading... What jumps out to me immediately the first rate dialogue. Sharp, snappy, and very funny. It seems like every third line is a laugh. This combined with the economy of your prose, plus the ingenious and extremely effective device of the sub-titles, makes for a very easy breezy read. No wonder I kept going. The different strands of the story take some weaving together at first, but the speed and flow just keeps you moving forward. I will come back and read more, but for the moment, 5 stars and it's on my shelf.
Terrific original stuff.
Jon

Crispy wrote 540 days ago

So, for what it's worth, I think you're a genius. Utterly delightful read. I see that you've got it published, so I don't know that you really want backing, but let me know if you do and I'll back this for a while.

Also found a couple of typos...you probably don't want those, either...



Hi there

Thanks so much for the great comment! Very much appreciated.

Whilst MT is on Kindle, I would really appreciate a twirl on your shelf!

Cheers
Crispy

Helianthus wrote 560 days ago

So, for what it's worth, I think you're a genius. Utterly delightful read. I see that you've got it published, so I don't know that you really want backing, but let me know if you do and I'll back this for a while.

Also found a couple of typos...you probably don't want those, either...

Mark Cain wrote 562 days ago

I came back to check your book and see that you've published it. Congratulations! I remember how much I liked it. In fact, it's one of the few books on the site that I gave six stars to. If I can find a way to shelve this really great read, I will. In the meantime, I will tell some friends to check out your book

patio wrote 581 days ago

I read chapter one.
I really enjoyed Elvis.
The start of The Sanity of the Prep Room is fabulous
I love the selective deafness line
I behave the same way from time to time
high stars