A Comedy Classic

“All women are bastards.” Jimmy Collins—competent middle manager by day, suburban rockstar by night—has just been dumped. And he’s not taking it very well. Even a visit to his stylist can’t cheer him up. He decides to take control of the situation, convincing his friends to help him find the perfect girl—beautiful (but loyal), smart (but not too smart), confident (without being feminist), an expert bunmaker, who’s indifferent about shopping, enthusiastic about Star Trek and scornful of self-help books: the mythical babe who’s got it all—Superchick.

Happy New Year to all. In this month’s blog, I’m taking a look back at a classic book that began life as a self-published work—Superchick by Irish author Stephen J. Martin.

I first heard about Superchick while attending a self-publishing workshop in Dublin in early 2006. Given the subject matter of Lord of the Rams, the workshop host felt I would be interested in reading Stephen J. Martin’s debut novel. She wasn’t wrong.

As per the above product blurb, Superchick tells the story of Jimmy Collins and his search for the perfect woman. Originally self-published by Martin in 2002 while he was living in Australia, Superchick went on to sell thousands of copies via word-of-mouth reviews and recommendations. Martin draws on his experiences working in IT and singing in a Tokyo-based band to deliver a book that is packed with memorable characters, witty dialogue and laughs aplenty.

Those of you familiar with Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown Trilogy will likely draw favourable comparisons with Martin’s work (coincidentally, Doyle originally self-published The Committments). In fact the Superchick book eventually found its way to a mainstream publisher (Mercier Press) and developed into a trilogy, with Rock and a Hard Place (2006) and Ride On (2007) bringing the saga to an end.

Although the follow-ups don’t match the magic of the original (but they certainly have their moments), here’s hoping Martin is working on something new within the humorous fiction genre. I’ve read a lot of so-called funny books over the years, and Superchick was perhaps the only one that lived up to—and exceeded—the publicity hype.

You can now purchase the first two books in the trilogy from http://www.mercierpress.ie for the ridiculously cheap price of just €3. So you know what you need to do!

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