If you ve seen the movie A Star is Born with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, there is one particularly cringe inducing thing that Bradley s character does while intoxicated that, even though you re watching what you know to be fiction, causes you physical pain That s what reading about the characters in this novel do while under the influence that is not funny, it makes you wince Most often, if a loved one doesn t realize on her own that she might have a problem with alcohol, a person will stage an intervention In this case, Kate and Scott s daughter uses her phone to record their wild antics on Christmas Day She shows the video to them, and though they are mortified, they protest that they just like to let off a little steam every now and again Then Holly posts it online, it goes viral, and her parents admit maybe they do have a problem and should stop drinking This is when the books stops being painful and starts being enjoyable There is some humor with the use of language, but it s rarely laugh out loud funny They try to stay sober through willpower, but I don t know any people who identify as alcoholic who would say that willpower will sober them up In this book, that word is rarely used, but Scott or Kate might acknowledge they have an addiction to alcohol After all, if a person could will herself sober, she could also just will herself to stop at a drink or two Sobering up puts other challenges in Kate and Scott s path like what do they talk about without liquid lubrication I do love stories where characters have a challenge and do their best to overcome it and grow as human beings, and in that way, this delivers For reviews, please visit nothing seems entirely impossible when you re three sheets to the wind, does it After Kate Temple gets bombed at a client s wedding, and has a disastrous encounter with a tractor, she s forced to admit that maybe, just maybe, her drinking has gotten a little out of hand I should probably quit drinking At least for a while Prove I don t need it Prove I can quite easily get through life without a glass of something fun in my hand Easy peasy.And, funny her husband Scott has been thinking the same thing about himself It s a horrible thing to admit, but when life gets difficult or trying for me, I tend to jump into a bottle of something nice to make it all better.But, it takes an embarrassing viral video, uploaded to YouTube by their teenage daughter, to really set this pair on the road to total temperance Soon Scott and Kate are living an alcohol free life, and finding out that staying sober can be a little sobering It s just SO MUCH HARDER to cope with every day annoyances without that pleasant buzz in the background And, what on earth should they talk about when they re alone together Why, they re almost like strangers Could it be that their marriage is not as strong as they thought it was Now, though, I m deathly afraid that the foundations of our marriage are actually pretty damn weak and made out of empty gin and wine bottles.Never fear Turns out nothing unites a pair of married strangers like having a common enemy And, sweet, sweet revenge tastes better than even the sweetest wine.Spalding takes a serious topic, and gives it a humorous spin You really care about his likable characters wincing when they screw up, and cheering for their triumphs Recommended to anyone looking for a light, comic novel. Find all of my reviews at Hard left me in a bit of a conundrum I knew going in this was a book that wouldn t be for everyone since it was about a married couple who were functioning alcoholics so I was really expecting some dark humor What I wasn t expecting was the first 25% to be full of over the top slapstick comedy such as Deciding it would be a good idea to DRIVE A TRACTOR while having zero experience as a farmer through a wedding reception Deciding it would be a good idea to OPERATE A PROFESSIONAL FIREWORKS DISPLAY while not even being a closet pyromaniac let alone a licensed professional Pretending to boff the Christmas tree and then adorning the lingerie purchased for the Mrs in an attempt to prove it wouldn t make her look like a prostitute as she suggested The last one served as the catalyst via a viral video that made the duo decide to try and give up drinking for a year.It s also where the book took a strange turn and went from this To this Didn t see that one coming Yes, the underlying tone of this book most certainly is one that attempts to inform the masses that social media You Tube and its vloggers in particular may be what eventually leads us to There s a very good chance readers will need to see Shelby in order to pick up Don t forget to fill them out in triplicate I think I need to give this author s other book a shot to see what I really think about his stuff because this one was a mixed bag for me Good news is it costs zero dollars on Kindle Unlimited so if you have that you won t be out anything by picking it up ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Thank you, NetGalley Dry Hard is a hysterically funny novel that chronicles one couple as they move through the stages of addiction recovery From their manic highs in the throes of drunken oblivion to their lows of hitting rock bottom, author Nick Spalding infuses enough humor to make the journey one in which the reader fully engages, cheering for the characters to make it to full sobriety.Spalding s genius here is in his ability to make us laugh, even whilst we simultaneously wince Kate and Scott Temple, both in their forties, are given voice in alternating chapters, the first several of which detail their drunken behaviors in separate high profile, awkward situations The farcical nature of their retelling of events will cause even the most cynical of readers to truly laugh out loud, but not without an underlying feeling of unease and perhaps even a bit of guilt over finding the couple s alcohol induced actions amusing This tightrope is walked throughout we snort at their slapstick antics then silently follow Kate and Scott as they explore the depth of their self deception and fight to recover The other character here that plays heavily into the plot is the couple s sixteen year old daughter Holly While her parents chapters are told as if Kate and Scott are speaking directly to the reader, Holly s actions are retold through a narrator who addresses us as if we are sitting next to him This was an interesting choice on the part of the author, and one that results in seeing Kate and Scott as unreliable storytellers, often drowned in their own indulgences The recounting of events through an omniscient narration, however, is felt to paint a authoritative picture, as we find ourselves audience to Holly s internal teenage angst, revealed without a filter Dry Hard also takes a comical swipe at the iconography of British contemporary culture YouTube is featured as both a vehicle of destruction and of redemption, and Spalding takes shark jaw sized bites out of Krav Maga, Piers Morgan and even Boris Johnson Jools Holland s Annual Hootenanny is also skewered in one of the funniest paragraphs in the book The Temples are watching Jools Holland s Hootenanny Nobody in their right mind watches Jools Holland s Hootenanny It s one of the rules of New Year The BBC broadcast it as is their right and the entire population of Great Britain completely ignores it, as is theirs.Only those suffering severe infirmity, or suicidal loneliness, have ever sat through Jools Holland s Hootenanny To do so under any other circumstances would just be plain wrong.In the end, Dry Hard does devolve into a bit of banality, but the trip there makes this novel deserving of a read and worthy of high praise Well written, with a focused plot, no extraneous filler and loads of laughs, Dry Hard may be destined to take its place among the funniest books written this year Spalding will most certainly widen his fan base with this release and rightfully so The book definitely made a fan of this reviewer.Thanks to NetGalley and Publishing UK for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Well this was a shocker, I didn t like this one Usually Nick Spalding can make me laugh until I hurt myself Dry Hard really didn t work for me though because I think that Spalding left out some things that could have rounded out the book We hear about how badly Kate and Scott behave when they drink And there s even references to their families realizing it and avoiding them I think it would have been realistic to have the parents and siblings back up Holly their daughter about how they behave when drinking Instead Spalding seems focused on showing why YouTube stars are a problem, unless it s his characters reaping the benefit Dry Hard follows Kate and Scott who though are happily married, wish that they had time together When both get stressed they like to drink Unfortunately when they drink they don t have a stop button and it causes both of them trouble at work When they finally turn into boozy messes on Christmas their daughter Holly films them and then posts it on her YouTube channel in order to get her parents to realize they need to stop drinking So that s what Kate and Scott pledge to do For a whole year, no drinking.Of course we are supposed to laugh about them getting into scrapes and both wishing for a drink, but I didn t find it very funny Both characters are alcoholics full stop Every description of them thinking about drinking, drinking til they black out, and the remarks made by friends and family shows that they are not seen as sober competent Unlike with the other couples Spalding has introduced us to over the years, I couldn t warm up to Kate or Scott Them deciding to chronicle their non drinking on YouTube seemed out of character and also stupid Spalding does this to tie together the whole YouTube culture thing and it doesn t work at all I get we are supposed to be rooting against someone, but the Kate and Scott were hot messes The other characters get very little development Even though we switch to Holly at times, I think Spalding could have included of her issues with her parents drinking We get mentions of why she never invites friends to stay over You think her parents would realize that and also really really apologize for it The therapy session scene we get once again sucks The book wasn t that funny to me I mean at first I was smiling, and then cringing the whole way through Probably because I have a brother who used to drink to the point he would black out and wake up and accuse everyone around him of all sorts of things I also had an ex who was a functioning alcoholic I just couldn t find the book very funny I think I would skipped over this if the synopsis hadn t made it seem as if Kate and Scott don t really have an issue with drinking, they just over drink a bit and get caught in a viral moment The ending was so unrealistic I think we re supposed to cheer on how things end up But I already have issues with so called YouTube stars using their platforms and how it can leave bad impressions on teens and adults I am not going to lie, I will watch a video on how to snake a toilet or fix a sink However, based on all the articles about BS influencers and how some people selling products are pretty much blackmailed into giving these stars money or get bad reviews I just have a bad taste in my mouth about the whole platform. This was a light read about a serious problem alcoholism Kate and Scott Temple are an English middle class couple in their forties They have a teenage daughter and both are working long hours in their respective jobs Drinking has become a crutch for when bored, upset, stressed etc Denial is their middle name until their daughter posts online a video of her parents drunk and acting stupid Sobering Dry Hardwas a very quick read I don t know if it s because I don t find drunks funny, but truth be told, I got irritated with our protagonists and their first world problems At times, I found them whinny and irritating, even when some of their struggles, issues rang true I also thought that the author was trying too hard to put a funny spin on things It didn t quite work for me 3 stars I ve received this novel via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review This book has a strong beginning if you like cringing moments with your humour and a strong ending.It sagged for me a bit in the middle but works as a social commentary and a quick funny read. From The Bestselling Author Of Fat Chance And Checking Out Comes A Hilarious Story About Giving Up But Definitely Not Giving InKate And Scott S Marriage Has Always Been A Lot Of Fun, With Alcohol At The Heart Of It After All, What S Entertaining Than A Good Laugh And A Large Drink Or Six But Recently, Those Relaxing Drinks Have Become Crutch Than Comfort And The Couple Have Almost Forgotten How To Talk To Each Other SoberThen Their Teenage Daughter Holly Uploads A Video Of Their Humiliating Drunken Escapades, Which Gets Picked Up By YouTube Superstar PinkyPud And Goes Horrifyingly ViralIn A Last Ditch Attempt To Prove To The World They Re Than Just Boozy Idiots, Kate And Scott Quit Alcohol Completely But With Holly S Er Help , What Begins As A Family Promise Soon Escalates Into A Social Media Phenomenon DryHard With The Eyes Of The Internet Upon Them, Can Kate And Scott Stay Teetotal And Save Their Marriage In The Process As you would expect with a Nick Spalding book this is really funny In fact I don t think there is a chapter that doesn t involve an embarrassing incident, drunken shenanigans, the sublime or ridiculous, leading to everything from giggles to full on belly laughs I mean you wouldn t think one couples attempt to give up alcohol for a year would be so funny but it is Yet within the humour there are clearly important modern social issues touched up There is a lot about the whole YouTube fame culture, and features assorted YouTuber, there is a young adult who just wants her parents to drink less and as a result videos them over Christmas and ends up with a viral video from which everything spirals Yet even before Christmas, we meet both Kate and Scott in individual chapters, where they both have a rather ridiculous drunken mishap One involving a tractor and a wedding and the other involving fireworks and a gin distillery Then Holly s chapters felt like they were written from an omniscient point of view, but also fly on the wall documentary tone It felt like the voice was all knowing but at the same time, it really was highlighting very key issues that could resonate with readers This is actually a very clever novel, I thoroughly enjoyed whizzing through the pages and really didn t want it to end Dry Hard had quite a different feel to it than other books I ve read, and I think it would translate perfectly into a sitcom, with each chapter being a different episode Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars A lighthearted fun read that was a good change up genre for me Kate and husband Scott are drinkers..BIG drinkers functioning alcoholics to say the least They can be outlandish when they drink and therefore some parts of this book were showing a serious issue in a downplayed manner When their daughter, Holly uploads an embarrassing drunken video of them on social media, it goes viral and they are forced to address their issues I really enjoyed how modern day social media involvement was brought into this story The alternating point of views from both Kate and Scott helped show the struggle both individuals went through which made you understand each character better I was cheering for Kate and Scott s sobriety, had some laughs, and really enjoyed this read Special Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for allowing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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- 20 February 2019 Nick Spalding