Stuff by Josephine Myles ~ Review and Rant by Beverley

StuffI read ‘Junk’ and really enjoyed it so I was quite keen to read the second in this series but wasn’t sure if I really wanted another ‘hoarder’s story. As it turned out my worries were unfounded as ‘Stuff’, although includes the characters from ‘Junk’, is a very different story.

Title: Stuff
Author: Josephine Myles
Publisher: Samhain
My Rating 4.25 stars out of 5

Blurb

When Mr. Glad Rags meets Mr. Riches, the result is flaming fun.

The Bristol Collection, Book 2

Tobias “Mas” Maslin doesn’t need much. A place of his own, weekends of clubbing, a rich boyfriend for love and support. Too bad his latest sugar daddy candidate turns out to be married with kids. Mas wants to be special, not someone’s dirty little secret.

When he loses his job and his flat on the same day, his world starts unraveling…until he stumbles across a vintage clothing shop. Now to convince the reclusive, eccentric owner he’s in dire need of a salesman.

Perry Cavendish-Fiennes set up Cabbages and Kinks solely to annoy his controlling father. Truth be told, he’d rather spend every spare moment on his true passion, art. When Mas comes flaming into his life talking nineteen to the dozen, he finds himself offering him a job and a place to live.

He should have listened to his instincts. The shop is already financially on the brink, and Mas’s flirting makes him feel things he’s never felt for a man. Yet Mas seems convinced they can make a go of it—in the shop, and together.

Warning: Contains an eccentric, bumbling Englishman, a gobby drama queen, fantastic retro clothing, scary fairies, exes springing out of the woodwork, and a well-aimed glass of bubbly. Written in brilliantly British English.

My Rant

Firstly, before my review, I take issue with the publisher’s ‘Blurb’, this is not written in ‘BritishEnglish, it’s English or ‘English‘ English if you wish to differentiate from ‘American‘ English. Great Britain includes Scotland and Wales, refer to the country as the UK and you mean The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

However, none of the inhabitants of those other countries speak the way the characters in Jo Myles’ novel do. Their speech is particular to England and in certain characters, Bristol. As in ‘gert’ for great and ‘my lover’, which can be used as an informal greeting to anyone not necessarily a lover 🙂

One of my fellow reviewers, who is American, wanted to add something, which I felt was relevant here as we are talking about language differences and unfortunately, highlights what I’m saying,

While I don’t think I’m a stereotypical ethnocentric American (I don’t eat apple pie or own a gun!), nor do I feel that all books should be written solely for the American audience, I do think that ‘Stuff’ is pretty heavily laced with “British English” terminology, slang and dialog. At least for me, the use of the slang and unfamiliar terminology became overly distracting to the story as a whole. On the otherhand, a younger American audience (I am 48 years old) who regularly watches Dr. Who and has British friends on social media may likely not be bothered at all by the heavy use of “British English”.

I do not complain when I see American spellings or slang in books, I accept that an American or Texan or Californian would speak this way. However, I would not expect the blurb to say ‘written in Brilliant Texan or American.’

I will leave the last words on this to ‘Oscar Wilde‘ who wrote, ‘We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.’ from The Canterville Ghost (1887) and ‘Dylan Thomas‘ who said in (1954), ‘European writers and scholars in America were, ‘up against the barrier of a common language’.’ reported in The Listener, April 1954.

My Review
Josephine Myles writes hysterically funny characters who are identifiably English. I love the way she plays with idioms and phrases to create that humour,

Perry looked like his crest couldn’t have fallen any lower.

Perry is the adorable ‘second son’ of a Baronet and has a very sheltered upbringing, which would have been loveless but for the eccentric sounding Aunt Betty. Mas is an earthy, flighty, twink in desperate need of employment and some stability in his life.

The Twink with the heart of gold is a rather overworked trope in m/m novels, but it worked here. Perry‘s idiosyncrasies and Mas’s bubbly, optimistic personality make this a very character driven story. In Stuff we also see how Jasper and Lewis from ‘Junk’ are getting on and meet the ‘tart with a heart’ Cherise. There were times when I thought, ‘Oh no, is she going to use that old plot device?’ However, Ms Myles avoided them each time and I enjoyed being fooled.

The descriptions of Perry‘s shop and his ‘art’ are wonderful and very visual. It is one of those stories that you read easily and think, ‘it’s ok’, then when you finish, you realise how invested you were in the story and the situations. That is how it was with ‘Stuff‘ for me. This was a very sweet story, the sex scenes were hot but also tender and a completely, overwhelming learning curve for inexperienced Perry. I found the fact that his sex life is simply monthly visits to a female prostitute, believable in Perry‘s circumstances and with his personality.

This is a quirky, sweet, romantic read and one which I really enjoyed. It would be a shame if the Bristolian accent and English slang causes people to worry, across the Pond. I’ve read heavier accented work that has had great success. I know there is a large market for ‘English prose’ in America, a good read is a good read.

Buy Links

Samhain Publishing
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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9 thoughts on “Stuff by Josephine Myles ~ Review and Rant by Beverley

  1. I have a serious pet peeve when it comes to the different dialects of English, too. For me though, I hate when an author has a book with characters that use the incorrect dialect. If your character is American, they will never say they are going to the loo or make dinner on a cooker.Someone from the U.K> does not eat cookies or put gas in their car. I understand some of these things may slip through editing, but if you get an editor from the country you character is from, it should eliminate most of them.

    • Phew, Jennifer, I thought I was just going to get seriously cross remarks for my rant, but I heartily agree with your comment. Thank you 🙂

  2. As a Brit, I love finding books not afraid to use UK colloquialisms so Stuff suits me just fine.

    In answer to your reviewer I would say that I doubt many (if any) American authors have been told to tame down their writing for an international audience. In the past I have, and it drives me insane.

    Britain is full of beautiful dialects and if some slip into our work it should be celebrated, not suppressed.

    • Thank you Sue. I totally agree and I think we have to support the UK authors to increase their share of a quite American lead market, and then maybe the language within will not matter except in relation to its quality

  3. I’m 64 and even if I was 6, I’d still want the language to match the setting. I read as a wonderful method of escape and when I want to escape to England, I don’t want to feel as if I’m sitting in my own back yard listening to the neighbors!

  4. Love Josephine Myles works and her use of language. I don’t think she ever overdoes it and accept that there are times I need google or Urban Dictionary!

  5. Crap. NOT the book, the backlog on my damn Kindle…bigger and bigger every day. Another one I want to read. I love UK English, and the more quirky local jargon, the better. Some of the best M/M authors today are British (women) and their language takes me away from the US and puts me on site in their books–as did Dickens, Austen, Trollope and all my other Brit author favorites.

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