Don Ake
Wojelay Publishing (2018)
ISBN 9780998001838
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (10/18)

“Will There Be Free Appetizers?” by Don Ake is an entertaining collection of short essays about a number of everyday subjects.  Ake’s unique perspective and sense of humor puts a hearty, original spin on seemingly ordinary and commonplace events, circumstances and current issues. Everything from food to high tech to marital bliss and blunders, no topic is safe from the wit and folly of a man who sees the world through zany, wild lenses.

Don Ake states in his introduction that he writes for one reason: to make people laugh – and that, he does, through a compilation of stories from his Ake’s Pains blog. Throughout the book, I not only found myself laughing but enthusiastically nodding my head in agreement.  The writing is genuine, straightforward, and at times, crass. Ake says what is on his mind, often saying things aloud that one might only dare to think in private.

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I found all of the stories all the stories amusing, but of course have a few personal favorites, the first one being the chapter on food - I mean, who doesn’t love to eat? Stories of overeating and the consequences of an insatiable appetite are hilarious, for instance from page 3, “I look longingly at my skinny jeans hanging in the closet.  They see me staring and mock me: ‘Someone had too much pie at Christmas, didn’t he?’”

Another story that had me crying was “I Wear My Speedos To The Beach.”  No spoilers so you’ll just have to read the book. And the section on spam mail – oh my! From booty calls to male enhancement pills to the long-lost relative that wants to leave you a million dollars, this section is priceless. I was relieved to find that I’m not the only one that spends time perusing spam mail…

You can learn a lot from a person’s writing style and my takeaway about Don Ake is that he is the kind of guy that is always fun and always meets a friend – never a stranger.  His personality gels perfectly with his ability to write humor.  I understand that he is an economist, which somewhat surprises me.  Must be his alter-ego.  My husband is an economist and he is the most unfunny person I’ve ever met!

I recommend “Will There Be Free Appetizers?” By Don Ake to comedy enthusiasts, short-story fans and anyone that needs a reprieve from the daily grind.  It’s a pick-me-up, feel-good read that will lift your spirits and have you laughing out loud!