Randolph’s One Bedroom by Andrew Oberg

Author’s Description of the book:

“Randolph’s One Bedroom” is a bit like watching TV, I suppose; all the stories revolve around one central character and setting, but are not necessarily related to each other. The book has been described to me as, “Coffee shop stories short enough for one latte” and “Kind of a cross between ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Twin Peaks’”. I think both of those descriptions are great and wish I had come up with at least one of them.

This is a book that consists of 20 short stories, all of which revolve around Randolph. They are random and quirky, but funny! The stories are not all linked in one linear story line, they are just glimpses or episodes in Randolph’s life. He works in a coffee shop, so a lot of what occurs take place in that setting, although some of the stories are set in his home. Randolph lives in a place where it is winter for the majority of the year. This means people are trapped indoors and weird things happen as people suffer from cabin fever.

I liked Randolph. He seemed like an ordinary bloke that just comes across strange things – such as the Neanderthal man buried by the rubbish bins outside work. He smokes, swears, drinks and dabbles in drugs – but these aren’t the main things about him. He is a funny guy – he has wit and he isn’t afraid to say what he thinks, even if it is inappropriate.

My favourite character wasn’t Randolph however. As the majority of the book is set in the coffee shop there are other regular characters. My favourite was Dave – the new assistant manager who got his position by sleeping with his superior. He is not all there, a bit odd, struggles under pressure and is nosey. He was so funny to read. His actions and words just made me laugh, and I can see why Oberg enjoyed writing him the most. The other character I loved was the Pastor. If he didn’t get his way or didn’t like something he damned everyone to hell. He just made me laugh!

I don’t think I have a favourite story, I liked them all. The crazy lady who lived upstairs was funny, as were most of the scenes in the coffee shop. Anything that involved Dave was great – especially when the shop was being robbed and even then he couldn’t do what was being asked of him!

This book is not long, and neither are the stories. They are funny and enjoyable. I didn’t like the swearing or the pot smoking but other than that this is a great book. I read it in one day – I just couldn’t put it down. This comedy fiction at its best and I recommend it to everyone.

4/5

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