"What a ride! It made me chuckle out loud and renewed my faith in hope and prayer." —Nikki M., Massachusetts
"Very witty. The story moves right along. The chapters are so short, I often breezed through one or two during a commercial break in a movie. The element of surprise never disappoints." —Roy N., Ohio
"Praying for Mrs. Mombasa is consistently entertaining and surprising. Doug Brendel juggles a cast of eccentric characters to explore a number of interesting themes in his very unique, eccentric and humorous style. It is a book where you are never sure what will happen next but it is fun and satisfying to see the path these characters travel." —Chris F., Massachusetts
"This is a fun read with memorable characters and snappy dialog. The author, an experienced playwright, knows how to keep dialogue and action in balance. You’ll want to keep turning the page!" —Karl K., Massachusetts
"Did the author write a novel or a stage play? Is it possible to present both to the reader? Doug Brendel accomplishes this in his funny, creatively written second novel, Praying for Mrs. Mombasa. Brendel takes his reader on a journey of self evaluation through the humanness of his characters/actors — their foibles as well as their probity. His book is amusing but he uses this humor to point out the subliminal prejudices all humans harbor. Brendel's characters are diverse and familiar and the mental images that the author paints are easily visualized. Brendel is an entertaining writer as he proves in his newest novel. It is a great summer read." —Ann Z., Massachusetts
"Doug Brendel’s novel new work (is that redundant?) is a provocative study of foibles and contradictions in American culture as seen through the eyes of a small-time minister in ‘urban’ Chicago …..
But it’s no novel….
Can we call it a ‘plavel’ (part play part novel) ? Or how about a ‘plavelcal’ (cue the chorus!) ?
Because, you see, at heart Doug is a playwright, and an actor/artist (with soulmate Kristina, art runs deep in their family) with musical inclinations (daughter Lydia is a talented singer/actor with Broadway, perhaps, on her horizon).
He’s also a comic who can’t shy from the occasional naughty yuk…. raising an eyebrow or ten in the process.
Stereotypes ? Oh, there are many. And Doug leaps into them with relish, then turns them on their heads, before flipping them back again.
Theater audiences just love those kinds of riveting shenanigans.
And for some readers they’re page-turners, pushing you from grimace, to grin, then back again…. Not sure what to expect next because…. well, it’s really a plavelcal…. a novel kind of a novel…. a genre that Brendel exploits with a wink and a sneer, while denying it’s anything other than a traditional novel. Oy!
And what do we learn ? That everyone has their story, from the ‘gifted’, charming black athlete to the sidewalk beggar, to the beautiful, rebellious bride who actually CAN get enough (and more).
And every story can be a song…. sometimes bumpy ditties that make for entertaining and insightful rides through the hearts, souls and genitals of men, women, and a few others in between. An ideal ‘summer/fall’ read, be ready to hum along…..
And when you put it aside, some of those ditties will still be ponging around, pushing against your boundaries.... Let us pray." —Frank T., Massachusetts
A Monty Python-worthy assault on racism, sexism, prejudice of all kinds, and pigs
A strange and wonderful new look at the power of hope, emphasis on strange
Deliciously iconoclastic, laugh-out-loud funny, and largely inscrutable
Hilarious, irreverent, and fortunately not too long
Shocking, thought-provoking, and fortunately not too long
Something between sacrilege and slapstick, obnoxious yet appealing
Probing, provocative, innovative. Also occasionally inappropriate. Well, more than occasionally