The Trouble with Girls
by Will Jacob, Gerard Jones (Checker, 2006)

What kept me reading was the sound of one hand clapping.

In 2007, I read the first volume of The Trouble with Girls and was prepared to write an enthusiastic review when I realized another writer, Michael Vance, had beaten me to the punch. In volume two, however, the jokes often fell flat or felt overused; I was not enjoying the book nearly so much as I had the first time around with international superspy Lester Girls, who wants nothing more than to give up his life of adventure, fame and wealth so he can settle down with a mousy wife in a small-town bungalow.

But then Girls traveled into the mysterious Orient to try and calm his mind and find Satori, or enlightenment, at the feet of a motorcycle-repairing Buddhist master. Left alone for mere moments -- and with the anticipation that his meditations would take many weeks at the least -- Girls not only attains enlightenment but discovers the sound of one hand clapping.

It goes "smorf smorf," in case you were wondering.

And Girls, who so often looks pensive or downright unhappy with his lot in life, appears to be inhumanly smug about it, too.

The book has its share of laughs, and of course it's overrun with cartoon violence and sex. The plight of poor Lester, who has what every man wants but despises hit, is alone worth a few chuckles. Fans of the series will enjoy learning a little more about his past, the girl he left behind, his mysterious father and the woman who is his most ardent adversary. But the creative team needs to make sure they don't give readers too much of a good thing; the package is only funny for so long before they need to introduce something fresh and new into the formula.

review by
Tom Knapp

13 December 2008

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new