Wilt Fusarium, a clueless American ad executive, unwittingly finds himself in the middle of political intrigue and revolution on the tiny island of Costa San Rica, while trying to save the ad agency's Choad Banana account. Complications and misunderstandings abound, as the island's despot leader thinks Wilt is a revolutionary, the revolutionaries think he's a government agent, the banana company thinks he's CIA, and the CIA, well, they don't know what to think. As the dead bodies begin to pile up around him, and with his ad agency breathing down his neck, Wilt is forced to take extreme action to save his life, his job, and the Choad Banana account.
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I've had Jim Yoakum's collaborations with the late great Graham Chapman (of Dangerous Sports Club fame) in my collection for years, so I decided to see what he's been up to lately (Jim, not Graham). So I read his audiobook, Joe Perk, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked it so much, in fact, that I loaded up the ol' iPod with another of Jim's books just prior to a much needed do-nothing vacation. The Banana Massacre. I liked the title. Knew nothing about it, but liked the title. So it was somewhat of a happy coincidence as I found myself, a graduate in advertising, in the Caribbean, listening to the story of ad man Wilt Fusarium sent on assignment to the Caribbean. I could almost "see" the island of Costa San Rica from the beach where I was listening!
Based on a true massacre (Google it!) that occurred in the 1920's, Jim's version of The Banana Massacre includes a bit more humor than the original -- along with intrigue, suspense and a lot of mistaken identity. This is the story of ad man Wilt Fusarium (Google him!), a man who doesn't like bananas, sent to save the Choad Banana account. This is not the story of Carter, Inman and Adams, the "agency" bosses who sent him there against his wishes, nor is this the story of Jose Martinez, manager at the Choad Banana plantation. This is not the story of Jacobo Gomez, el Presidente de Costa San Rica, nor is this the story of his half brother, the revolutionary Alejandro "Chi-Chi" Lopez, former pitcher for the Yankees with a chip on his shoulder who now plays the game by a slightly different set of rules. This is not the story of Satine Santa Rosa, once engaged to "Chi-Chi", nor is it the story of her father Miguel, or of Chet, even, the spy, keeping a close eye on the clueless Wilt. No, this is the story of Wilt Fusarium and his cab driver, Emilio Chavez. Wait, hang on, scratch that. This is not the story of the cab driver. Nor is this the story of the hotel desk clerk. One thing for certain, this is definitely not the story of famous author, Rita Fulstrom. But hey, they're all in it. And it wouldn't be much of a story without any of them now, would it? And what a story it is!
I loved it! They say the book is always better than the movie. So read it now, before it's a movie! Or if you don't want to read it, listen to it!
Highly recommended reading by Jim Yoakum, and well read by Pavi Proczko (Google him!).