Two Shane's has been sitting in my bookshelf and travelling with me on my many moves, gathering dust for nearly four years now. I decided, after spending the majority of my reading time devouring fantasy novels that it would be a nice time to take a break and enter the world of contemporary romance fiction with a twist.
While Two Shane's is not a Mills & Bloom Romance, the book centres around many romances, but most importantly, the bizarre and brilliant mix up of two Australians in New York shaking up the lives of so many and in the process causing a shit load of confusion and heartbreak in the process.
Both men play excellent characters in the story and I found that I really felt for Cheyne [ An actor working in New York] and how he suffers when the two Shanes get confused for each other. Although I must admit I rarely felt for Shane [The surfer] and found it a tad difficult to get in touch with his way of life.
I can't speak for all Australians, but any who have read the book know that there is a lot if misinterpretation in the novel which at times can be both offensive and hilarious. In the end it comes down to cultural education and the truth that Australians aren't all bush scrubbers and outback wrestlers, but Lee Tulloch took on a satirical nature and did a marvellous job at sharing a side of Australians that seems to be quiet attractive in America.
The characters in Two Shanes are fascinating and I loved how Tulloch created a mixed collection of personalities and identities. It gave the novel quality, as we got an insight into two cultures of diverse people coming together to create an intense, yet humorously arousing cast.
The only character that made reading the novel difficult was Cheyne's Australian stunt-girl girlfriend, Avalon. Her demanding, frustrating and at times headache producing character reminded me to much of many of the girls and women I've come into contract with in my teen an adult years, not to mention my cat and at times she made me want to shoot Cheyne and save him the pain of her existence.
The one part about this novel that almost hit it to a five star rating was the interconnectivity of the characters and the rich sub-plots that tie each character to one another in a similar manner as to how Sarah Addison Allen managed her characters in The sugar Queen. The only difference was that I could see pointers coming in advance and it was sometimes a let down that small parts of the novel were predictable.
Overall Two Shanes was a witty, entertaining read and a great book to break between more intense novels.