Sorry, Wrong Country review by: Mandy Tyra

THIS WAS GREAT!! So raw, so raucous, so damn witty.
Hilarious and thought-provoking. Over 200 pages, almost 40 piercing little look-see tales from the strange and somber side of Greece.
The wayward, the nutters, the naysayers, the downtrodden, the optimists, the pessimists, the lost and never founds…

Complied over a period of 8 years, Konstantine observed and documented the strange all around him. Then hand-picked a few dozen blossoms, assorted a colorful arrangement, and delivered this most bountiful bouquet of oddities. So fragrant, and flagrant.

It is quite simply, a series of completely unrelated micro stories and all they have in common is Konstantine as the often speechless and stunned observer, and his homeland of Greece.
Just delightfully insightful, all these side-splitting tidbits, amusing musings, and off-the-wall taxi-cab type confessions.
For instance:
~ The not so fair meth housing act-up
~ The art of blackmailing God into being your bitch
~ A pack-rat aficionado so devoted to his craft even the cockroaches croak
~ The student on a spirit animal dream quest
~ Satan takes a sweetheart
~ A roving gemstone infused ejaculate box for beating the meat outta cancer (talk about a DIY proper!!)

Such a nice change of pace from my usual slice and dice horror books.
I can’t even remember the last time I read a non fiction book, maybe…ummm does my 60 pg ‘Health Care Plan: Exclusions’, count???
I pictured this as more of a coffee table book, IF I had a coffee table, I would display it there and if I entertained guests, I would amuse them with a rousing vignette here and there.

You will crack up laughing at some of these….revelations, scratch your head at others, and kind of wish you were there (but just out of sight) at most.
YES, laugh out loud humor, dry humor, head scratching humor, with pangs of sentimentality, and at times bitterly, bitingly candid…. this writer has quite an impressive way with words and easily lures you into his mad, mad world.
You almost feel like a voyeur.

Yea….people are weird. Anecdotally worthy in all their weirdness.
They always say ‘write what you know’, even if you don’t understand it ~ just write it!

“And the crazies….the crazies pretty much own the street.”

But hold on, first I have to interrupt myself right quick.
Because I just LOVE LOVE LOVE Greece, I lived there for a few years in my teens, on the island of Crete and I ferried to Athens a few times. Simply gorgeous in all it’s preserved culture, iconic beauty, and easy-going street style. I remember all those street vendors, just parked and packed all up and down them streets! So unpretentious and laid back.
Back in the early 90’s, that was my Greece anyway, I hope it still is and they didn’t go all ‘Americanized’.
Oh and the poster perfect beaches!! Just WOW…
Quite a few topless too, I barely had boobies back then though, so… :/
One day I’ll go back, I try to convince myself of that.
I think I might miss gyros the most, he talks about gyros quite a bit in this and my mouth always watered. Mmmm souvlaki gyros, extra tzatziki. Oh and Greek salads, extra feta. YUM!!
Reading this sent me on a full-stop nostalgia trip, that’s for sure.

Most of these quirky little quips are customer related, our writer has run-ins (hide from and near misses) with all sorts of crazed and unfazed people from his many places of employment, for instance:
jewelry and watch repair shop/including wind-up house calls, a mobile sandwich shop (we called them Roach Coaches!! no idea why…), hubby and wife tag-team realtor biz, airport booze and sugar peddler, paperwork hell in the Army bureau, a tutor for ‘Damian’….

And often all he did was ask a simple ‘How are you today?’
The TMI flows rapidly, rampantly.
Some of them acquaintances, some actual friends, some complete strangers, and a fair few are of a familial relation.

He nicknames his bit players with catchy and telling little monikers, for instance:
The Hoarder, Cutie Wreck, Mrs. Quirky, Flyguy, Mrs Sneer, Little-Don’t-Know-Better, Grave Digger Junior… ~ for ease of reference and entertainment purposes or….legality reasons.

Also peppered with some morose, personal inner writer reflection type segments as well, like the BIRDS, BEES AND STD’s one, where as a preteen he learned (can’t be unlearned) some precise tricks of the trade tactics from the more audacious men in his family.
And the FUTUREPACT one, where as a 19-year-old aspiring teen writer still living at home he tries to man-up and help out but instead, inadvertently, slips-up.
Learned a tough life lesson there.
And the DIAGNOSING WRITING one, “Whenever someone confides in me that they are ‘writers’, my heart sinks down to my gut. I ask them how long they have known. If they can, perhaps, get a second opinion from a qualified professional. How long has it been, since the symptoms began?”
Awwww the call of the writer really is a tough as nails, iron fisted bitch, huh…
More often than not, a thankless gig, I’ve heard.
WELL, I thank you Mr. Paradias! I thank for an ARC copy of this here fine book. It was a most pleasant international departure for me!
Round trip…but eh, we’ll work on that. 😛

I was unsure at first because I’m such a creature of habit and this is smack-dab in the middle of foreign breed book land for me, but I’m so glad I tried something new and different.

Konstantine has a fantastic writing presence, it leaves a lasting impression. You can tell he put a lot of time and heart into this…as well as all that wit!!
I really admire indie writers for having the confidence to just…put it all out there, even though they often feel half crushed by the weight of crippling uncertainty. It takes guts full of grit!

This is not your average book though, it won’t be everyone’s cup of Ouzo.
But if you like your humor shaken, spiked with candor, 96 proof, topped off with a fruit loop twist and all served up with a gaudy umbrella, then put your dribble bib on and toss back these shooters.
No hangovers, I promise…you’ll only be thirsting for more.
So yea, not so much of a ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul‘ kind of true-tales read, this is more like a…’Hard Knock Spirits for the Psyche‘ good time read ~ and such a smooth burn it is.
Flowers aaaand nightcaps…..can’t wait to see what he brings for our next book-date. 😛

I wonder if he does have another collection of tell-all tidbits of the brutally blunt, non garden variety kind, in the works???
Oh I bet he does, probably notebooks full!
Could call it….’Still Apologetic: Greece Calling, Line 2‘. LOL

For a fun time, and oddly educational read, pick this Greek gem up. OPA!!
Oh and be very leery of them pilfering pamphlet prophet profiteers!!

“But that was the Greece of plenty for you: Never-Ever land, in the flesh.”

 

You can buy the book here:

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