Is history always doomed to repeat itself?
Between inheriting his father’s business and looking after his widowed mother, Jack has always been Mr. Dependability. It isn’t always the most exciting life, but Jack finds meaning in the iron-clad routine that his community has come to expect of him. Jack is effortlessly in tune with the pulse of small town life, and Mr. Maus’ attention to even the smallest details of what it feels like to live in that kind of environment instantly drew me into the plot. No sooner did I think I had everything figured out, though, than another plot twist would appear. It was as much fun to anticipate where the author was going with his story as it was to see how someone as traditional and shy as Jack reacts to all of the unexpected things that happen to him.
It would have been helpful to have the paranormal elements of this tale explained in greater detail, especially when it comes to exactly how they influence Jack’s friends and family members. There were a few occasions when certain characters rapidly change their minds about topics they previously held strong opinions about. Had their thought processes been explained more thoroughly this book would have easily earned a much higher rating as this is my only criticism of an otherwise fantastic novel.
I was definitely not expecting to laugh as often as I did while reading My Grandfather’s Pants. Mr. Maus has a fantastic sense of humour that translates extremely well to the written word. He is adept at teasing out the funny side of even the most serious or mundane parts of daily life. It was especially entertaining to see how he plays around with a wide range of assumptions most of us make about certain groups of people in order to keep his readers on their toes.
My Grandfather’s Pants is a great choice for anyone in the mood for something quirky and original. This is the kind of book that begs to be read more than once. I, for one, will be revisiting it quite soon!
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.