READERS LOVE Praying for Mrs. Mombasa!

(Check out the full Reader Views Five Star Review here)

  • “A cast of characters and a plotline that’s funny, action-packed, and written so well that you will not be able to read a couple chapters and then ‘come back later.’” —Reader Views Five Star Review
  • “What a ride! It made me chuckle out loud and renewed my faith in hope and prayer” —Nikki M., MA
  • “Funny and philosophical … Praying for Mrs. Mombasa is clever, witty, and surprisingly thought-provoking. Doug has created a winner of a book! Or should that be a winner of a play? Truth be told, it’s a delightful mix of both, but it’s definitely not a poem!” —Trina S., MA
  • “It’s a zany, titillating, thought-provoking romp!”Suze S., AZ
  • “I love a book that takes me someplace I’ve never been, and Praying for Mrs. Mombasa certainly does that. The slight plot carries along characters that don’t do as expected, and inflates stereotypes only to burst them into absurdity. It is an utterly novel novel, stage-directed to vivid effect. Doug Brendel drew me in, made me imagine, and giggle, and squirm. Good show!” —Sharon J., MA
  • “This novel, like Brendel himself, is a tapestry of multiple, even conflicting, topics. It is seriously funny, intentionally sappy, self-deprecating, and one of the most thought-provoking novels I’ve ever read. I didn’t really want to think about some of those topics — but Brendel drew me in. It’s a page-turner with short bursts of fun and surprises, all the while Brendel is opening the mind, making one question what they thought they knew. Ironically, it was the perfect read for a week in Vegas!” —David B., VA
  • “Hilariously funny with interesting and sometimes quirky characters and their true-to-life difficulties and challenges. A must read” Barbara B., MA
  • “Wonderfully original, inventive, funny, poignant. You care about the characters…. A really great book” —Phil T., MA
  • “The profound and the profane. Doug Brendel joyfully eradicates the arbitrary boundary between these categories of experience. As he tells the tale of the relationships between two seemingly mismatched couples combined with an exploration of a down-to-earth and deeply human spirituality, he takes his readers on a bawdy, tender, philosophical romp. At the same time, he holds up a mirror to many of the stereotypes members of modern society can be prone to, and gives us all a hilarious poke. Few novels move their readers between outrageous laughter and pensive questions quite as rapidly as this one. Praying For Mrs. Mombasa is also unique stylistically. It has elements of both a novel and a play… or more specifically a director’s notes on the emerging story, as if it were a play, thereby making the narrator a character within the tale — a bit like the stage manager in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, but with both a more satiric and sympathetic take on his characters’ foibles. From a less gifted writer, this breaking of the forth wall in a novel/script would seem artificial; in this piece it works. For those in search of a funny and thoughtful roller coaster of a read, this one’s for you. In Doug Brendel’s novel, enter a world sprinkled with magical realism, bawdy humour and a metaphorical raised eyebrow, inhabited by technology wielding angels, a precocious child, sexually struggling couples, and a practical street minister. Go for it; you’ll have a really good time”Vicki H., MA
  • “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., OH
  • “Look, there in the hands of author Doug Brendel! It’s a screenplay! No, it is a novel! No, it’s a comedy! No, it’s a clever critique of our hyper-sensitivity to race, religion, and gender that leaves us self-conscious, off balance, and yearning to move more freely, with less fear of judgment. Written and launched during a pandemic, the author has mastered the pivot and requires the same of his reader: be ready to shift your viewpoint, to loosen your grip, and see from a new and different perspective. Praying for Mrs. Mombasa dares to speak of things of which we do not speak, and so we read on with interest! Doug Brendel has a fascinating way of seeing the world. Fasten your seatbelt. It’s a fun ride and leaves you a better pivoter” —Brad C., MA
  • “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., MA
  • “Doug Brendel lays out what at first seems like a predictable scenario, and what you expect will happen almost happens, but then it doesn’t, but then you think maybe it will happen when you get to the end, but don’t count on it because this book disassembles predictability. That’s the kind of story it is, and after a while, you find yourself thinking like that too. The book is a clever story inside of a play that’s not actually happening, unpredictably interspersed with the author’s mental processes as he writes for an audience that’s not really there, and characters who challenge your comfort zone and stereotypes. My favorite is the angel with an iPad” —Gordon H., MA
  • “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., MA
  • “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” —Ann W., MA
  • A provocative study of foibles and contradictions in American culture as seen through the eyes of a small-time minister in urban Chicago… Stereotypes ? Oh, there are many. And Doug leaps into them with relish, then turns them on their heads, before flipping them back again” —Frank T., MA

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