Title: Mallory’s Manly Methods
Author: Thomas Keech
Publisher: Real Nice Books
Genre: Satire Fiction, Humour
First Publication: 2022
Book Summary: Mallory’s Manly Methods by Thomas Keech
Kevin Mallory is so good at lying he has convinced himself he has an almost average life. He tries to use his exceptional skill at prevarication to hang onto his job without doing any work, win the love of his co-worker without recognizing who she really is, take advantage of the young Black man who moves in next door, and manipulate the police and the courts into accepting his warped idea of justice
Mallory pursues his co-worker, Nell, even as his supervisor at the UniCast Cable Company attempts to prove he is cutting off customers’ calls. He joins Nell’s dysfunctional Employee Cheer Committee as it tries to avoid disaster at the upcoming holiday party. He agrees to cat sit for Nell while she goes on a series of girls’ nights out. He buys a rifle for protection from imaginary hoodlums but cannot get the box of bullets open.
When Thomas, his neighbor, is assaulted by the police, Mallory impersonates a lawyer and represents him. When he is later criminally charged himself, he summons Nell as a witness, brings his rifle to court, and parks in a handicapped parking spot.
Book Review: Mallory’s Manly Methods by Thomas Keech
Mallory’s Manly Methods by Thomas Keech is a colourful and well-written novel featuring the life and misadventures of Kevin Mallory, whose fragile fame is on the wane. Kevin Mallory is a manipulator, a morally reprehensible person, and a liar; however, he is forced to be all of these things since it is the only way for him to get a break in the world he lives in. When confronted with tricky circumstances, he always thinks he’s wiser and more crafty than his opponents, despite the fact that he often doesn’t even know what he’s up against.
When it comes to work, relationships, and cooking, Kevin is almost unrecognisable as anything other than an unreliable slacker. He is unable to keep a job for an extended period of time, he is inept when it comes to handling a firearm, the chances of him finding a partner are slim.
He is employed by a firm named UniCast Cable and spends most of his day working at the call centre for the company, where he does all in his power to avoid providing assistance to customers. In spite of the fact that his bad performance brings him dangerously close to being dismissed, something causes him to reconsider his plans for the future. After developing feelings for his co-worker Nell, Kevin decides to join her cherished firm, the “Cheer Committee,” but he has a long road ahead before he can win her affections.
In the meantime, he develops a connection with his neighbour, Thomas, who, in contrast to Kevin, comes from a loving and secure family. When Thomas gets himself into a mess, Kevin wants to do anything he can to help him, even if it means making choices that are immoral or even completely absurd. As a consequence of this, Mallory assumes the role of a lawyer in order to defend him.
Mallory’s Manly Methods is hilarious, but wrapped with increasingly more tragic circumstances. Everything about this book is gently handled – the humour, the characters, the foibles and insecurities of Kevin Mallory. Speaking of Kevin, this book is mostly a study of his character. What an absolutely fantastic character Kevin Mallory is, a character that will grow on you the more you read. Despite his often less than moral shenanigans, Kevin acts as the conscience of the story and helps to keep the rampant insanity and chaos in context.
Thomas Keech’s writing is sublime, and the narrator’s tender, humorous, and indulgent tone is what makes this book so charming and poignant. The book held a quiet strength that remained insulated from the attacks of Mallory’s heartaches and failures. His propensity to love remained strangely endearing. His worldview refused to fall on the pessimistic side, no matter the amount of mayhem shoved down his throat.
The writing in this book is so spot-on that I enjoyed lots of the satirical situations and slapstick comedy in the book. What’s more, the prose in this book isn’t dense, but it is filled to the brim with subtle humour. Mallory’s Manly Methods is a wondrously well-written and well weighted tome that shows the depth of loneliness, and the impact of small acts of kindness on isolated individuals, whilst balancing a faintly satirical comedic overlay.