It's summer in Arnold Falls, where's the more than enough hot air to go around and. Will order be restored in this most disorderly town? Probably, but, as always in Arnold Falls, they'll take the long way home and they will definitely stop for doughnuts.
Plot/Idea: In a sequel to Arnold Falls, Suisman returns to the distinctive upstate New York town to reengage with its charming small-town inhabitants, including queer couples, older folks, stoners, and numerous other bubbly characters. The plot is goofy, layered, and fun, and effectively integrates the many characters in meaningful ways.
Prose: As gratifying as Hot Air is, the conversational prose can result in a degree of confusion. Additional exposition may benefit the work and allow the interactions between characters to resonate even more strongly.
Originality: The book has a lot of quirky bits to it, including movie stars, mayoral races, town-specific baseball alternatives, and the like. Suisman brilliantly captures the essence of small-town America.
Character Development/Execution: The characters are all highly personable, alluring, and unique. However, it can be difficult to tell individual characters apart when complex conversations are unfolding.
Date Submitted: April 15, 2022
Suisman’s feel for small-town daftness of the Red Sox Nation variety (“Oh, they’re playing the Astros. Skip it. Astros cheat.”) impresses and pleases as the residents of Arnold Falls, from the Elks lodge to the weed emporium, deal with pushy actors, a rash of odd thefts, the possible extinction of the northern cricket frog, an FBI investigation, and a scheme to sell a corporation naming rights to the town. Suisman again weaves the comedy through extended dialogue scenes alive with quips, wit, misunderstandings, amusing local-isms, and an overall sense of irresistible momentum. Once his people get going, readers on Suisman’s wavelength will be loathe to shut them up.
For all the laughs, and its occasional reliance on stock types, Hot Air also has pain and truth as its characters reveal their resilience in the face of harsh reality: the opioid epidemic looms in one backstory, and a pediatric oncology ward figures into the plot. Meanwhile, the theft of a stature of the town’s “foundering” father presages a reckoning with its past. Readers might want to reckon with it, too, by starting with the first book in this laugh-out-loud series before catching Hot Air.
Takeaway: This comic sequel finds ample hilarity in the Hudson Valley’s oddest small town.
Great for fans of: Cathie Pelletier, Donald Harrington.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
A witty and engaging read for those who savor quirky mysteries and likable characters...It is a safe bet that readers will be returning soon to the colorful town.