23 Sept 2021


 One of several bloggers who over seven days will be participating in this Blog Tour (the full list of which can be found in the Schedule at the bottom of the post). Today {the 6th day of the Tour) its my pleasure to be sharing my thoughts on ...


Genre: Humour / Fantasy

Publication Date: 10th July 2021

Standalone First Book in a Series

Estimated Page Count: 240

Potential Trigger Warnings: Drugs, alcohol, supernatural horror, war, violence

Purchase Link: http://getbook.at/MeandTheMonkey

Well there’s this talking monkey who won me in a game of Othello in a coffee shop in Amsterdam. He came back to Cornwall with me and has become a prolific reader and dabbler in magic. He also has past life flash backs – the most prominent of which are the Nam special forces ones. We have partially deceased girlfriends who apparently eat dead bodies. The Monkey created a sort of black hole in the spare bedroom and now we have a team of nerds investigating it and trying to stop ‘things’ coming out of it. A bunch of Oriental hit men who appear to believe he is a god attempted to steal The Monkey’s magic lolly pop sticks, but he managed to blow them up in their caravan. We are off to Cambodia in search of a temple from which came a monkey faced pendant with glowing eyes and we seem to have upset an international cabal who are out to get us. Oh, and did I mention that The Monkey likes a cigar and we regularly get very drunk on Jack Daniels…  ... Synopsis

Okay, I'm writing this blog in an attempt to keep track of what is happening with my friend/companion, The Monkey. ... First Sentence, So It Begins: 19 November

The Monkey thought it would be funny to give my family a surprise for Xmas dinner. I bought a very large turkey, so I cooked it yesterday and let it cool overnight. The Monkey must have climbed inside it - I did wonder where he had gone. I placed it in the centre of the dinner table and just as I was about to carve The Monkey came bursting out through its chest like Alien. We are now spending the rest of Xmas day alone as terror induced by the spectacle caused all present to flee in panic, and Aunty Grace to lose control of her bowels ... The Monkey doesn't see to mind. He is drinking advocaat and eating handfuls of cranberry sauce off the walls. ... Memorable Moment, 25 December

MY THOUGHTS ... Not at all my usual genre; I'm not a huge fan of books written in the format of diary/blog entries and that I was advised by the Tour Organiser that this came with a potential trigger warning for 'drugs, alcohol, supernatural horror, war, violence' ... well, lets just say that anyone who knows me well will be wondering just what I was thinking when I agreed to a review copy of Me And The Monkey.

Huh, who'd have though it! As it turns out just what the doctor ordered {as the saying goes}, it isn't often that I find myself actually laughing out loud whilst reading a book but given The Monkey and the hilarious situations he finds himself in creates how could I do anything but?

Quite unlike anything I've read before {but then what did I expect from a former frontman of several metal bands, would-be Viking author?} Cleverly written, each 'chapter' a blog post entry no more than a page long and often less, whilst not a picture book per se, supported by some wonderful header illustrations and the occasional half page of vibrant illustration, there is some impressive artwork ... and, then of course, oh my goodness, there's The Monkey.

A cigar smoking, Jack Daniels drinking, crude, destructive, hell bent on causing chaos, pooh flinging, out of control character. Rather surprisingly {yes, even to me, heck, especially to me} I couldn't get enough of The Monkey and his hilarious antics; that I actually at times found myself just that teeny weeny bit envious of his lack of societal niceties {let alone norms} an even bigger surprise.

Add in pop culture and film references, conspiracy theories galore, partly deceased Goth chicks, a nerdish ghost hunting team investigating a black hole in the carpet {created by, but of course, The Monkey} through which some kind of lifeform is trying to make its way, the resurfacing of previous life experiences, action that would put India Jones to shame, warrior monks, the Illuminati and what do you have?

I'll tell you what you have, you have an absurd, surreal, bizarre, hilarious {there's that word again} read that despite its dark, often crude humour, way up there as one of my favourite reads so far this year, kept me entertained in a way that I simply hadn't anticipated. Who knows it may well do the same for you.

The author's first novel, I'm already looking forward to the continuing adventures of The Monkey and the hapless human who won him in a game of Othello in a coffee shop in Amsterdam {or was it the other way around, was it The Monkey who won him?} in part two of what I'm pretty certain will be an equally great read.


Andy Darby, would-be Viking, and lover of the bizarre. Mission – infest the world with his strange creations. He is the author of Me and The Monkey.

Son of a WW2 Commando, growing up in 1970s Birmingham, as a teenager Andy became a fan of heavy metal, fronting several metal bands over the years. His passion for martial arts also began in the 70s and has continued to the present. Competing as a bodybuilder and playing American Football for the Birmingham Bulls took up much of his 20s.

Following a mixed career involving working in a jewellery factory, spraying cars, and office work, he finally managed to follow his other passion, art, and began a career as a designer. A marketing department honed his skills, and he became aware of the world of designing for live events, joining a small production company, and eventually becoming creative director of their larger parent company. Moving to Cornwall he decided it was time to go freelance setting up his own business focusing on motion graphic design.

In the late 1990s he began to get the urge to write and his laptop drive is littered with the unformed creations that have popped into his head. Me and The Monkey is his first novel, coming to life as an experiment in having the discipline to write something every day during a period when he was travelling extensively for work. The story was written during train journeys, flights, backstage at events, 2am in hotel rooms, even during stops at motorway service stations, and was often written on his phone or iPad.

Andy lives on the north coast of Cornwall with his artist wife, teenage daughter, cat, two ponies, and constantly growing library. He still secretly thinks he could be a big wave surfer regardless of what reality tells him.

FOLLOW ANDY DARBY ... ~ Website ~ FaceBook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE ... ~ 18th September: Snowphiethebookworm ~ Curled Up With A Good Book ~ 19th September: Jessica Belmont ~ Cheryl M-M's Book Blog ~ The Pufflekitteh Reads ~ 20th September:  wee_glasgow_bookworm ~ 33 South Textworks ~ Westveil Publishing ~ 21st September: @Curlygrannylovestoread ~ Splashes Into Books ~ 22nd September: B for bookreview ~ sharon beyond the books ~ 23rd September: Felicity Grace Terry ~ Nicki`sLifeOfCrime ~ 24th September: Jazzy Book Reviews ~ Suze Reviews...


Mary (Bookfan) said...

Wonderful review. Totally not a book I'd read but then I read your take. Never say never, right? Thanks for sharing.

Kelly said...

Seeing the word "monkey" in your blog title, I came into this post expecting a children's story. Well it's certainly not that! Everything tells me that this wouldn't really be a book for me... yet your review states otherwise. I've taken the first step of placing it on my wishlist. Time will tell if it ever progresses from there.

nightwingsraven said...

Although The Monkey sounds
like a truly memorable
character. I am not certain
if I would appreciate this.
book. But I will keep it in
mind. And thank you for your
excellent review.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

I'm not certain this would be one for me either, although I'm a bit ashamed to admit that a bit of crude humour never hurt anyone and I quite enjoy it in small doses.

I can definitely see why you might also reference that drugs are a particular trigger, the author really needed to have been on something to write this book in the first place, don't you think? I wish my imagination was that vivid!

I have to say that I have been commissioned to read so many books outside what I thought was my usual comfort zone just lately, that I am left with science fiction as just about the only genre that I am definitely NOT interested in reading and I can't see that ever changing!

A brilliant review, you really did complete justice to the book and I'm pleased you enjoyed it! :)

Suko said...

Fabulous review, Felicity! I'm glad that you enjoyed reading this book and that it made you laugh out loud.