I love Bob Mortimer. That love is weighed entirely upon his appearances on Would I Lie To You. I have seen nothing else he has ever done. No, my love is all based on those crazy stories he tells in his own inimitable way. His innocent laugh in stories that show the worldly wisdom of an adventurous childhood and youth.
I felt bad at my limited exposure to Bob’s work until I read in his brilliant autobiography And Away... that he felt that he only learned to act during Would I Love To You. Now he is saying that it was in the story telling part of Would I Lie To You that he learned to spin a yarn… hence The Satsuma Complex.
Now I’ll be honest, I was still a little suspicious. Richard Osman is one thing. Rev Richard Coles another… but Bob Mortimer? Writing thrillers?
Well, it appears that Bob Mortimer can write thrillers. Having read Bob’s autobiography it didn’t take me long to recognise the main character in the Satsuma Complex is the dull 20 something Bob Mortimer, that gap between the adventurous youth and meeting Vic Reeves who brought comedic colour to his greyness!
The ordinariness of Gary is very ordinary. Then out having a drink with Brendan Jones, an acquaintance more than a friend, he becomes the last person to see Brendan alive and becomes infatuated by a woman. Suddenly ordinary Gary is thrown into crime, murder and intrigue… and, as a crucial side story, romance.
The Satsuma Complex is laugh out loud funny as Mortimer weaves that tall tales style he uses in Would I Lie To You, dropping names and descriptive words only Bob can conjure. We even have a squirrel who appears regularly to chat Gary through some of the things he needs to think around.
Mortimer doing the tall tale well and making it very funny is no surprise. What is more impressive is how he weaves the plot, mysteriously building, ever intriguing and, by the end, page turning gripping.
Bob Mortimer. What a guy. The older he gets the more genius he discovers within himself. Excellent debut novel just at the age everyone else is thinking of retiring!