Monday, September 13, 2010

Banana Hammock - A Harry McGlade Mystery


Now available as a low-priced kindle exclusive.

About the Book
Private Detective Harry McGlade is hired by an Amish woman who suspects her husband is cheating on her. Going undercover into their community, Harry must untangle a web of lies and deception to find the truth. This will be his biggest challenge yet. Because Harry McGlade is an idiot.

Lead Harry through a series of comic misadventures and bad puns as he traverses the J.A. Konrath universe, popping into many familiar books and stories. Prepare to be shocked and amazed by scenes that are just plain wrong.

It's over 60,000 words of Harry McGlade, which is probably way too much.

About "Write Your Own Damn Story" Adventures
Banana Hammock is not a single, linear book, and should not be read sequentially, page by page. Instead, it is an interactive text adventure.

This ebook is meant to be read out of order, depending on the path you, the reader, choose.

Harry McGlade is a continuing character in the Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels series. At the end of each section, you decide where Harry goes, and what he does. By following different paths, you can arrive at many different endings. There are literally hundreds of variations.

You control the character. You control the fun.

Join Harry and a cast pulled from JA Konrath and Jack Kilborn stories, and push ebook technology to the boundaries of reading enjoyment, or something like that.

From the Author
This ebook is filled with raunchy humor, and has something to offend everyone. If you believe there are taboo things that shouldn’t be laughed at or made fun of, don't buy it. Instead, pick up one of my other, less-offensive books. But if you like roasting sacred cows, read on. You’ll laugh.

From the Book
“Hell no, I don’t want to get your damn horse,” I said. “I’m an important man, with important stuff to do, probably.”

I turned back to Facebook and continued playing Combville—a game where you used a virtual comb to comb a virtual head of hair, over and over and over again until time and life lost all meaning and you questioned the reason for your birth.

“But Amos will starve! There’s nothing to eat in an auto pound.”

“Your horse is named Amos?”

She nodded.

“Isn’t your husband named Amos as well?”


“You don’t think that’s odd?” I asked.

“Not at all. But my brother Amos finds it strange.”

“I promise we’ll get the horse later,” I lied. “Right now we need to go to the costume shop.”

“For what?” Lulu asked.

“For one of those plain black suits and an Abe Lincoln beard.” I winked. “I’m going undercover as an Amish guy.”

To go to the costume shop, CLICK HERE
To keep playing Combville, CLICK HERE

About the Author
JA Konrath is the author of seven novels in the Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels thriller series. The latest is SHAKEN, published by AmazonEncore. He also wrote the horror novels AFRAID, TRAPPED, and ENDURANCE under the name Jack Kilborn, and the sci-fi novel TIMECASTER under the name Joe Kimball.

Konrath has a lot of names, apparently. His newest is DRACULAS, written with Blake Crouch, F. Paul Wilson, and Jeff Strand.

is his attempt to recapture the fun he had as a child reading those books where you decide what the characters do. But this ebook is definitely NOT for children.

Actually, it's not for anyone who has a shred of decency.


David Ebright said...

"'s not for anyone who has a shred of decency."

The best sales pitch ever?

I laughed at that & now I'm gonna buy it.

wannabuy said...

Link good.


I wasn't kidding, I love chose your own adventure books.


Al Leverone said...

Brilliant; you're a freaking genius...

Chris Rhatigan said...

What a cool idea. And Harry McGlade is one of my favorite characters.

Unknown said...

It's cool to see more people experiment with this form. I have a mere three week head start on you Joe, with "The Adventures of Whatley Tupper," about a Magnum P.I. obsessed janitor.

I think we'll see more and more of these. And I think my head start will prove to be quite meaningless.

HL Arledge said...

I bought. What does that say about me? Honestly, I just wanted to support the new frontier.

Bess Weatherby said...

Sounds interesting! Although I'm a little frightened . . .

Dave said...

Here's a few "typos" that I caught in the sample if you're interested...

"I just want to you follow him..."

"I glanced at her hands, trying to imagining her strong..."

"Seeing all of this peaceful cooperation and brotherly lover was..."

Unknown said...

When is this going to be available in other formats? I can't wait to read it, but I have a Sony.

JA Konrath said...

Here's a few "typos"


JA Konrath said...

Incidentally, I've had eight books traditionally published, and each one of them had mistakes in the final versions. Doesn't matter how many eyes are on it, a few always manage to get through.

Unknown said...

Hmm Joe....sounds like this may be my first Kindle purchase.

Scathach Publishing said...

Joe, is your e-book hyperlinked section to section? I've been doing a similar thing on blogger (google Rookery Werewolf) (it isn't finished) but I hadn't bothered thinking about doing it as an e-book because I figured getting it all hyperlinked would be expensive/difficult.

JA Konrath said...

It's hyperlinked. I paid my buddy Rob Siders to format it. He was fast and did a great job.

Unknown said...

Putting in hyperlinks isn't actually difficult. I learned how to do it in Word for my own similar book ("The Adventures of Whatley Tupper") and made all the changes in a few hours. Then, when the word file is converted, the hyperlinks stay. It was actually a lot easier than I thought. And that was with me having no idea how to do it at first.

Mark Asher said...

I think this kind of book could be lot more interesting if there was a reason for me, the reader, to actually interact with it.

As it stands, the interaction simply seems to be a way of allowing the story to be constructed differently.

It would be a lot more interesting if it allowed me to be the detective and solve a crime, with the chance of going down the wrong path and resulting in failure if I didn't deduce properly.

The appeal of the Choose Your Own Adventure books wasn't that there were multiple ways the story could unfold but that the reader was in the story, trying to beat the bad guys, get the treasure, etc. The reader got to be the hero and solve a mystery, find the treasure and evade the dangers in the ancient ruins, etc. The reader was presented with choices that mattered and could lead to success or failure, not simply just different story paths.

And maybe Banana Hammock ultimately does sprinkle clues and let the reader solve a crime -- not sure, because the sample doesn't let me get too far. I didn't see any evidence of that in the sample or the description, however.

Karen Cantwell said...

I've gotta buy this just to see how it works! Looking forward to it.

JA Konrath said...

Maybe Banana Hammock ultimately does sprinkle clues and let the reader solve a crime

Hell no. The only think Banana Hammock does is throw joke after joke after joke at the reader.

It's metafiction, for fans who like my other work. If you like Harry McGlade, it's funny. If you don't, take a pass.

Mark Asher said...

"The only think Banana Hammock does is throw joke after joke after joke at the reader."

So how is that enhanced by going with a "choose your own adventure" format? You could have done the same with a standard narrative. What is the attraction for me as a reader in having to click around to get different stories? My decisions don't really matter -- it's all just random, sort of.

It would be more interesting to me if I felt my decisions did matter. That's all I'm saying.

JA Konrath said...

So how is that enhanced by going with a "choose your own adventure" format?

If you don't believe having the ability to choose which spoiled food Harry eats is amusing, then you're not going to enjoy it.

If making a character do increasingly stupid things is funny to you, then you understand my intent. The format is part of the fun, and a large portion of these jokes work because both the reader, and Harry, are aware of the process.

It knows it is fiction. That allows for a whole slew of possibilities for humor that would never exist in a standard narrative.

HL Arledge said...

Maybe Banana Hammock ultimately does sprinkle clues and let the reader solve a crime

Hell no.

It would be more interesting to me if I felt my decisions did matter. That's all I'm saying.

Mark is right, Joe. The book IS funny, but it would have been much better if we had that extra layer.

JA Konrath said...

Duck Soup or Night at the Opera?

Duck Soup all the way!

Also gotta go with Sleeper over Hannah and her Sisters, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail over just about anything.

Pure comedy is just that. Crafting several compelling storylines with satisfying endings wasn't my intent (nor did it ever work in real Choose Your Own Adventures, in my opinion.)

If that means it doesn't work for some people, I can accept that. Nor am I in the habit of defending my writing--people either like it, or they don't.

But in this case I did precisely what I set out to do, in the way I wanted to do it. Without getting too technical or preachy, Banana Hammock is metafiction to the point of being antifiction.

Lack of centralized conflict and a linear narrative has a long tradition in film, from the Marx Brothers to Woody Allen and Monty Python, Mel Brooks and the Carl Reiner/Steve Martin films. Minimal plots are just excuses for gag after gag.

Family Guy comes to mind as a current television example. Drawn Together is another one. These exist merely to string jokes together, and the plot is often not even resolved, or resolved in an anarchic, unrealistic way.

One of my favorite examples of this is Duck Amuck with Daffy Duck (which I referenced in Banana Hammock for exactly that reason.)

But in fiction there really aren't many pure comedies. Maybe Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy, which had a very meandering structure and no real linear narrative or central conflict.

Without the ability to self-publish ebooks, Banana Hammock never would have seen the light of day. No print publisher would ever touch it because it doesn't function as a narrative.

I found the lack of structure to be extremely liberating, and fun to do. That makes the book very self-indulgent. But if a percentage of my readers are as amused as I am--and I believe there are a few out there--then I believe the experiment worked.

JA Konrath said...

Not to keep beating this horse, but another example is Airplane! and the sub-genre it spawned, up through the current Scary Movie comedies. Does the story to any episode of Police Squad matter? How important was the ending to The Kentucky Fried Movie?

Again, I concede that some folks won't like it. Duck Soup was a flop when it was released. But 80 years later, very few people look at it and say, "Wow, I wish we could add a romantic sub-plot and clearly define the heroes."

Mark Asher said...

I don't want to be argumentative, but I don't think you are getting my point. It's not a lack of story or structure that bothers me in a story that exists mainly to run a lot of gags by me -- I love Airplane too. If you want to do that in a book and have a minimal plot, I understand.

It's the mechanic of having to choose things and realizing the choices don't matter. As a reader you want me to be involved by choosing a path, but you never give me a reason to be involved because the paths are meaningless.

In a way it's bothersome to a reader. Why are we being asked to evaluate choices and pick one? Why should I spend my time wondering about one choice over another when it doesn't matter which one I choose?

HL Arledge said...

No worries, Buddy.

We like you and your work, and the last thing any of us want to do is offend you. I apologize if you took it some other way.

Today, you have the liberty to publish anything you please. We were just passing along a little constructive criticism, hoping to help you sell more books.

JA Konrath said...

No offense taken. Your opinions and conclusions are 100% valid.

Scathach Publishing said...

Hi, Joe.

I'd love to know more about how you got this to work. Do you use Smashwords, or go straight to Kindle? Do you do the tech side yourself, or does someone else sort that?

I have a chose your own adventure wip that I'm writing on blogger (easiest way to get a hyper-linked document format) that I'd love to get published.


MikeDX said...

I bought this book after laughing quite hard at the whole combville thing and the subsequent "choices" (I deliberately chose badly to see the reactions).

JA Konrath said...

Thanks, Mike. Feel free to post a review. A lot of people don't seem to "get" what I was doing with this ebook.

Tia03 said...

Havent started reading it yet bur loved choose your own adventure books as a kid...Harry kicks ass and cracks me up his wrong on so many levels but has a heart of gold love your work Mr konrath

Tia03 said...

Havent started reading it yet just downloaded but loved choose your own adventure books as a kid...Harry kicks ass and cracks me up his wrong on so many levels but has a heart of gold love your work Mr konrath