Pizza with JIMBOB & TWOFORKS is the debut novel by Derby based writer Ashley Lloyd Smith, and it arrives with a punch strong enough to warrant further attention.
ALS, as we shall call the author in respect of his own deceit of calling his central character, “Central Character” or just “CC”, has produced a work that deserves a level of interest to levitate it above the wash of other debuts by modern British writers. This one is different, very different. A linear structure may take the reader through the events of the story but if you are expecting straightforward sense you have come to the wrong place. Misled from the off, from thinking perhaps this story is a somewhat racy affair, the tease is suddenly broken at the end of the first chapter and you hold onto your seat from there on.
Along the journey through a heart of darkness, it is refreshingly and judgement free, enabling a wider perspective upon events as they happen and leaves the reader not quite knowing what is to come next. Occasionally a gift of a character is a little bit thrown aside too soon, enter stage left only to quickly leave stage right an Irish Republican cross-dressing comedian, but the hold of the story always returns itself to the bridge upon which all events seem to start and end. Every bridge scene absolutely captivates, ALS uses the bridge to, well, bridge things. it is a device that grounds effectively an otherwise loose narrative.
Ashley Lloyd Smith is a drama graduate of Aberystwyth University and a current MA student in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester. He has written plays, micro fiction and three children’s novels.
About the reviewer
Michael Murray stories have appeared in The Honest Ulsterman, Nottingham @ 40 and Here Comes Everyone.