“Be careful what you wish for because sometimes your wish can be your worst nightmare…” — Origin Unknown
This was the first book I’ve read by Michael P. Thomas. In fact, I hadn’t heard of him before I saw this book on the JMS Books submissions list. Then I went to his website and saw a photo of a shirt that said, “The only Coke I do is Diet” and I loved him immediately. So, I had to read and review this book. While it is clear that Crazy Like Fox is written by an author early in his writing career, I believe there is great promise for Mr. Thomas. He got a four star rating from me based on his sense of humor, mostly.
Fox McHardy is from McHardy, Iowa. Or as he liked to call it, Nowheresburg, USA. Fox knew he was gay at an early age and planned to leave McHardy as soon as he graduated from high school. So that is exactly what he did. Twenty years ago, without even waiting for his parents to take pictures of him and his twin brother in their caps and gowns, Fox left on the first bus out of town. He has never looked back and considers himself to be without family.
Fox has a wonderful life, with a penthouse condo on Puget Sound and Jeremy, his boyfriend of seventeen years. A fantasy job as a flight attendant on a luxury airline working with his boyfriend. Great looks that still get cruised at 38 years old. He and Jeremy have it all. Until they don’t. There are rumors that the airline is going bankrupt, and soon. Fox and Jeremy have decided that they will keep going to work until someone tells them not to. They have money in savings to live for a few months and decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives.
Most of the airline’s flights wind up in Miami at some point. Fox decides to take a last minute job that will put him in Miami when Jeremy is there on a layover. He wants to surprise him. They were both in for some major surprises.
Fox finds himself alone, penniless and stuck in Miami without a way home. He is forced to put his luck in the hands of a young new hire named Thumper. Fox has a deeply held dislike for Thumper, for very good reasons. Mayhem ensues. They two men have to drive from Miami back to Seattle in a rental that wasn’t exactly legally obtained. The things they have to do to get there vary from using “mother nature’s credit card” to dancing on a bar shirtless to relying on the kindness of strangers.
Fox hasn’t been back in his homophobic hometown since he left. He hasn’t had contact with his parents, brother or the one sexual partner he had while in high school. Only in fiction could the rental car break down right in front of the repair shop that his brother owns in that home town. He receives a less than warm welcome from his brother. Fox and Thumper do get a warm welcome from Fox’s old friend Bitsy and from Fox’s one time secret boyfriend/tormentor Bob-Gunnar “call me Berger” Meyerberger.
The time Fox and Thumper spent in McHardy waiting for parts led to the formation of deep friendships and true love and ended with a wedding. I can’t tell you who was in what combination, but it was fun getting there. I really didn’t know until close to the end how it would end up.
Crazy Like Fox was a good read. Not a serious read, but Mr. Thomas doesn’t take himself or his characters too seriously, and that’s why the book works. If it had had just a bit more gravitas, it would have felt forced. It was just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek to make it great. I will look forward to more by this promising author.
Reviewed by: Tina