Author Michael Carlon took a risk with the title of his book, “ALL THE F*CKS I CANNOT GIVE“. While deciding on a title, he said on his Facebook page that he almost went with “Pink Slip.” In my opinion, that just wouldn’t have had the same effect on readers. It downplays that the book is a massive comedy, with laughs at every turn of the page. The laughs (and often times the truth) begins right on the dedication page, saying “To everyone who has been f*cked by corporate America — you are more than just a lever someone had to pull.”
This book was my first experience with Michael Carlon’s writing, and it will certainly not be the last. I can’t wait to get into some more of his novels to share with you all in the coming weeks!
I love the dynamic that Carlon gives between the main character, Kelly Carson, and his family. Yes, I said “his” family. Kelly being given a “girl’s name” becomes a central theme in the story. He has a twin sister that is a lesbian, who helps to out his wife. His sister Jo saw his wife Laura in a gay bar right after their honeymoon, TEN years ago, which was also the last time Kelly had had sex. He never did anything about it because he hates confrontation, until he found another woman in their bed and realized her drought had not lasted nearly as long as his. All of this happens in the first 4 pages of the book and I was already giggling to myself.
The rest of the novel begins where Kelly’s job ends, just weeks before Christmas. He is fired from his marketing job by a phone call from his idiot boss, who had literally shot himself in the foot while hunting. A proclaimed asshole, his boss fired him because he could hire three new employees for the salary Kelly was receiving for his work. After being hung up on in an airport lounge at LAX, Terri Flynn sees his face and assumes he was fired. Kelly is reluctant to speak to some random ginger, but she doesn’t let him get away. After their flight to New York is canceled, the actress convinces the concierge to change their flights to Maui. With Kelly’s non-confrontational demeanor, he obliges.
This leads to a full life change for Kelly and Terri. While Kelly is out of a job, Terri is on the run from her own career. The ensuing adventures and experiences, including many mishaps, are lessons for Kelly. He learns how to let go of things and be a little bit more free. He finally accepts that his name is meant for a woman and that he can care less about problems in his life, or I should say that he learns not to give a f*ck. It will really make someone envious of being able to say everything they are thinking. Self-confidence and society are against many people in that regard; how would people see you if you said everything that came to mind?
Even though the book will have you laughing constantly, there is also a sense of inspiration involved. Carlon does a great job of infusing the story with a LOT of references to popular culture. The characters are very well developed and I’m hoping that Carlon continues on with these characters in another novel, or maybe an entire series? I think there’s so much that he would be able to do with them with the creativity he showed in this novel. The only people I would NOT suggest this for are children and those made uncomfortable by sexual situations and foul language.
This book can be purchased at Joseph Fox Bookshop, along with all of Michael Carlon’s other novels!
You can also check out Carlon’s podcast and interview series HERE.