An innovative concept that I feel has been well executed and makes for an interesting read.
‘The Friends of Allan Renner’ by Dave J Andrae is an intriguing concept. We follow the story of Allan Renner, not directly, but through his connection with a circle of his friends. I liked this as it brings the secondary characters into the foreground, while also revealing more and more about Allan in each chapter. Looking at the chapter headings, named after Allan’s friends, one name in particular does stand out, and without including any spoilers the progression of the philosophical conversations about the past and what technological advances and societal changes could mean for our future in each chapter seems to lead us gradually and naturally to the final chapter. With references throughout the story to a ‘fateful day in 2017’ the plot strolls on, creating intrigue as you try to work out what’s going to happen to Alan. There are elements of science function but I think that this book demonstrates most strongly the bonds made by and between people. We read about the human condition when we read about Alan Renner’s connections and interactions with his friends and family. An innovative concept that I feel has been well executed and makes for an interesting read.
Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
Often laid back but sometimes excitable, Allan Renner is approaching forty and currently living in Florida in the guest quarters above his parents' garage. When he's not working as an online copy editor or as a production assistant on independent films, he often follows world cinema, fills his head with strange accounts of the paranormal, bonds with his dog, or shoots the breeze with his small cadre of friends around the country. It's through his dealings with these friends that we get to know Renner and how he truly comes into his own. There's Akhil, an alcoholic guidance counselor from India who studies cosmology and astrophysics in his spare time, when he's not busy boozing and reliving his failed courtship. There's Sadie, an adventurous blond rock singer who relocates to Minneapolis from L.A. after her band breaks up, and who men fight over. There's Fred, a half-black, half-Jewish filmmaker based in Brooklyn who gets in over his head when he invites the wrong person to an acting audition. There's Renner's father, Philip, a poker-playing couch potato, and his mother, Alice, an even-keeled bookworm, both of whom might be in for a rude awakening. There's Ruby, a mischievous, lovable Havapoo and Renner's closest companion, who gets Renner and herself into a jam. There's Carmen, an ex-clubber turned single mother from Lisbon who enters Renner's life not long before Hurricane Irma makes its way to Florida. And there's Xynnulu, an alien-human hybrid and soldier of fortune who Renner and Ruby must rely on in order to meet their destiny and discover certain secrets of the universe. Poignant, funny, and perceptive, Dave J. Andrae's debut novel, The Friends of Allan Renner, is an entertaining read. It combines adult literary fiction with sci-fi elements, romance, and no shortage of wry cultural commentary intermingled with skilled storytelling.
|Publication date:||11th November 2020|
|Author:||Dave J. Andrae|
|Primary Genre||Literary Fiction|
Closing date: 11/11/2021