The Jolly Coroner

Quentin Canterel


Adult Fiction





‘Evil wakes while the people sleep.

Amongst the strip malls, concrete blocks and empty parking lots of the Southern town of Hokum, the American dream lies broken. A helpless immigrant the state has declared dead finds himself unable to prove otherwise. Abused Mexican kids abduct their schoolteacher escaping back across the border. A haunted hillbilly dangles from a flagpole refusing to believe his wife and children aren’t ghosts. The Warden, a camo-wearing military obsessive pedals drugs whilst blaring Stockhausen. A down on her luck junkie fails to drown herself and resurfaces to find love. All these characters have one thing in common: they will all find a way to wind themselves in to the coroner, Billy’s life.

Billy’s love of celebrity and aversion to hard work leaves a growing trail of wronged members of the public – a trail that he just can’t seem to shake. Although he can’t understand why, the townsfolk begin increasingly to mistake him for the devil. Amidst all the fun, THE JOLLY CORONER poses questions about moral decay and proves that a casual string of circumstances, in the right conditions, can lead to the rise of a dangerous man… only it’s so accidental no one seems to notice.’

I really didn’t like this story. It felt a little all over the place and I was left wondering what the point of it all was. Was he the devil? It was such a strange tale. It seemed incredibly sexist, racist and homophobic. The language was bizarre. Now I have a reasonably large vocabulary but I found it was so misplaced in this book. Why would you have such sophisticated words in a story about bogan rednecks? No one in this story was particularly smart, no matter how much they pretended they were.

Sometimes if I leave it a while to write the review, I find I feel different about the book. The only difference I am feeling now is contempt for this book.

The only thing this book had going for it was that it inspired some weird desire for me to ultimately connect the dots between all the characters. However in saying that I felt like there was still a lot unresolved.

My recommendation: Skip it.

Cai xx