Friday, August 31, 2012

The Baggage Handler by Colin Browne

Paperback: 249 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher:  West St. Floyd Books 2011
Source: The author in exchange for an unbiased review.
First Sentences: Martin White looked at his watch. All around the floor of the open-plan office, people gathered in groups, then split into others, mingling through the murmur of after-work plans that had thankfully long since stopped involving him.

Favourite Quote:  'Literature will teach you that dancing around the issue of love until you've worn each other out before you declare it is a modern concept. 
My Opinion
: Romance and Humour, I liked this because it was written from a male viewpoint.
My last read was a serious and somewhat sad one so I felt I needed a complete contrast. In choosing The Baggage Handler I certainly found something that made me smile, romance and relationships from a male point of view. Not yet to the standard of Nick Hornby or Tony Parsons but he could be one day as this is after all a début novel.

pleasant enough easy read but it is not going to be a memorable one as I felt the storyline was all very superficial, never allowing the reader to really get to know the characters in depth. Although all of them were well depicted, there was so much more I would have liked to have known. I almost felt that I read the book too quickly because it was character rather than plot based and therefore a little shorter than it might have been.

I did not really like the protagonist Martin to start with but that may have been something to do with his work and the fact that he came over as such a pathetically weak man. A real loner he keeps everyone including his Mother at a distance whilst on the other hand he is the person that everyone seems to seek out for emotional advice. It is rather amusing though to think that his Shallow Book Reviews based on what books celebrities are reading rather than if a book is worthwhile or not, brings a certain media led trilogies popularity to mind!

The reader soon realises that despite Martin's isolated and simple uncomplicated life style when it comes to relationships he is happy in his own way. At least until he meets Kasia, a young pretty Polish work colleague, that he finds himself attracted to.  He discovers that his social ineptitude makes it almost impossible for him to strike up a friendship with her, let alone a romantic connection. This is where the humour comes in as Martin's attempts at romance will have you laughing, yet also feeling sorry and angry for him all at the same time. 

Martin discovers that falling in love is far from easy but as to if he is eventually successful or not, read the book to find out.

I am grateful to Colin Browne for the opportunity to read and review 'The Baggage Handler' and I am already looking forward to reading his next novel 'The Ninth' due out later this year.     

    Author Profile

Colin Browne was born in Northampton, England on February 1st 1970 rather than précis his biography I am publishing his Goodreads Author Profile below as he says it all perfectly.

'I don't know where I'm from, but my best guess is that I'm South African though that's really a twist-of-fate rather than a birthright. Born in England, I moved to Belgium when I was two, South Africa when I was 12, Dubai when I was 25 and back to South Africa when I was 31. Nowadays, I call London home.
I've done some fun stuff. I helped start a successful business in South Africa which I still part-own and I spent a lot of years before that writing articles for magazines around the world.
My first attempt at a novel happened in 1995. It was laughable. My second happened once I'd got over myself, in 1999. Not a lot better. But since then I've made writing a big part of my life and The Baggage Handler is the first one I've had the guts to put out into the world as grown up enough to take its own reviews. I really like it. I hope you will too.
I'm still writing so there are more books on the way.
Other authors talk about their awards and their accolades, so I suppose I ought to do that too. I won two white mice at a school tombola once. That's kind of it. My mum made me donate them to the school which is just as well because the cat would probably have eaten them anyway. He was a monster, that cat ...
Other than that, I'm just a guy who loves telling stories, loves language and respects both enough to know that if I'm going to ask readers to trust me with their time, I ought to do my best to make it worth their while.'

Photo and Biographical Information is with thanks to the following sites where you can also find out more about the author and his writing.

Goodreads Author Profile   Colin Browne - Official Website
 Colin Browne - Facebook

Linking to Literary Friday


  1. :D Thanks os much for linking-up to Literary Friday. I appreciate your reviews because they are always so thought-provoking and well-written.


    PS I am reading a retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream over the weekend...should be good!

  2. Ricki Jill@ Kind words like yours make my day, thanks. I will look forward to hearing what you think of the MND retelling.

  3. Such a wonderful book to read! :)

  4. Thanks for this Linda, I am really flattered at the level of thought you put into this and the time you took both to read the book and blog about it! You're one awesome lady :) xx

  5. Divenita@ Have you read it, I have not noticed a review?

    Colin Browne@ I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my review in such a positive way, thanks.

  6. Hi Linda,

    I read and reviewed this book some time ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, as a competent debut novel.

    It is always great when authors don't feel that their job is done as soon as they email you and request a review. Colin is so 'hands on' and enthusiastic and it is especially good to see male authors making a breakthrough in the genre.

    I am glad that you also enjoyed this one and an excellent review, as always.


  7. Love it Lindy - you always paint such vivid pictures of the story without giving out any spoilers but paint enough of a picture to get a proper feel for the book. Thanks for reviewing, sounds like a great holiday read.


  8. Fictionbooks@ I agree that this was a competent début novel and I was so pleased that CB actually did not seem to mind my negative comment. I am certainly looking forward to reading more from him.
    So Many Books@ Thanks so much for your lovely appreciative comment, you understand exactly what I am trying to achieve with my reviews. :)

  9. Sounds like an interesting read - I like the title! Thanks, LindyLou.

  10. Susan@ it was and well worth picking up if you like the sound of it.

    Talli@ Yes I liked the title and the cover, but then red is my favourite colour.


I indulge my love of books with this blog and it makes it all worthwhile when you leave comments. I really am interested in what you think so do let me know. I have decided as the nature of this review blog makes for conversation in the comments, just to reply here and not individually, so please subscribe to comments or call back again to stay in the conversation. Thankyou for your continued support.