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In 2010 when Bob was getting his first draft of the book together, he put many of the chapters (or weddings) up on Authonomy, for other authors in the community to take a look at and comment on. From several dozen posts up on that website by those on the same creative crusade across multiple genres and styles, here's a fractional selection of opinions and thoughts culled from over a two year period.


"This is so damn funny it's untrue, I had tears streaming down my face, bloody good job I chose to go without mascara today!! If anyone doesn't think this is a good read, send them to me and I'll sort them out for you! "   (Jun. '10)
- Mel A. Comley, Impeding Justice  [NY Times and USA Today Best Selling Author]
 
***
"An excellent, funny and engaging piece of work, perfectly described. You really bring a clear picture of your setting to the reader's mind, but it's more than that. You furnish these setting with fabulous characters and stunning humour."     (Jun. '10)
- Abi B. Knight (aka Grace Bertram), Relic
 
***
"You have an original voice, hard to turn away because it rolls along like a freight train. Great imagery, wonderful word usage and punchy dialogue. I love the outline of this, Bobby Bo's adventures and impressions as he hops from wedding to wedding.

One of the fresher voices I've read in a long time. I was at the end of the third chapter before I knew what happened. I found this engaging and interesting. Your prose is excellent ... moves right along with punchy word choice and it's never, never boring. Little bits of wisdom interspersed. Interesting characters. I'm intrigued with the use of music. 

In short ... loved this. It's very engaging, very well-written."     (Jul. '10 / Jan. '11 combined)

***
"Brilliant!!! Brilliant story, brilliant humour, brilliant structure and absolutely fantastic characterisation. Very, very good read!"     (Jul. '10)
- Ian Peter Lavan, Blood and Smierlight

***
"This is hilarious! There is no choice but to back it!"     (Jul. '10)
- Amy J. Bates, Love Match

***
"Like a sophisticated rap poem, the words come in a rhythm from some steady source of humorous observations. A celebration of endearing characters, I think even nasty ones would come over as endearing. Loved Baba and wanted to know more of her."     (Jul. '10)
- Pia (aka Ashen Venema), Course of Mirrors

***
"Original and very funny. This crosses many genres and should appeal to many as it has huge potential. Well done."     (Aug. '10)

***
"It's a cracker! Excellent premise - wish I'd thought of it - and sophisticated writing throughout."     (Sep. '10)
- Lara (aka Rosalind Minett)

***
"Hysterical humor. Worldly wisdom. Fresh. Bold. Original. Endearing characters. Crisp dialogue. Lyrical narrative. Thought-provoking theme. Top notch writing. A captivating read."     (Oct. '10)
- Carolina Al (aka Alan Chaput), Savannah Series (Southern suspense)

***
"You've got an easy, almost conversational style, talking to the reader as if we're there with you at one of the weddings. Your Prologue set the scene. We learnt about you, touched upon the subject of marriage (via Lulu's wisdom!) and travel (via sorting boxes for delivery around Canada.) Written down like that, it doesn't sound much, but in your hands it was full of fun and good humour. I can see that you could make anything interesting because you notice small things about people and situations that others usually miss.

Then we begin travelling to the weddings. The characters feel real and the combination of music (revealing a lot about the place, date and the personalities of the couples) the range of countries and the conversations of guests made each wedding very different and memorable. Along the way the narrator's own situation changes. You start as an electrical engineering student but by the end, you're planning a book on weddings.

From the first wedding and the horror of Tanya's sudden interest in marriage, there's important lessons to be learnt. Things like: don't take a girl friend to a wedding and it's best for the nerves if you prepares a speech a little earlier than a few minutes before speech is due. Then of course there's the deeper advice about marriage itself, from the likes of Lulu, Pops, Vijay and Kenneth. Very funny, very engaging and it makes good sense.

Bobby Bo is a great friend and a good listener to a whole range of conversations. There's talk about the economic state of Montreal after the 1976 Olympics, the Iraq war, Turkey's place in the E.U, agriculture, Britain's part in the Middle East situation, the benefit of tattoos, the win-win benefits of hedge fund banking, the global economy and the uncontrollable spending habits of materialistic wives! Plus a good many more diverse subjects, all dealt with in an amusing and entertaining tone that helps us learn more about the characters and also the narrator.

Humorous but wise and ultimately optimistic, this is a lovely book."     (Jul. '10)

***
"Excellent and what a romp! Like the male version of Eat, Pray, Love only better."     (Jul. '10)
- lizjmm (aka Liz Hoban)The Cheech Room / The Secrets That Save Us

***
"This is my kind of book. Books don't get any better than this. How did I miss it? The title, the pitch and the beginning "This is a work of f(r)iction..." Gave this book six stars ... I wanna buy it."     (Jan. '11)
- A. Zoomer (aka Patricia L. Morris), Going Out In Style

***
"Great concept, and wonderfully executed. You're a terrific narrator, and you draw the reader in instantly. I want to go to every single wedding. They're such a novel and quirky way to get to know a culture - or in some cases, how cultures might clash.  I loved some of your images - pressed-panini dead animal comes to mind."     (Jul. '11)

***
"Oh good, I do love it when a book is so tightly put together and so well written that I don't have anything to offer in the way of constructive criticism.

For me, the best travel writing gives us a sense of place but doesn't get too distracted by that. A country is after all only as interesting as the people you encounter there so the best in travel writing has always been that which produces great character sketches for me. And this certainly has that in abundance. I knew I was in good hands from the very off as I got these great pieces of characterisation of Lulu and the narrator in the first chapter and Baba at the start of the second. Throughout, we meet different characters at the various weddings and they are sketched with equal skill and humour.

Humour is another fantastic aspect here. There are laugh out loud moments throughout. I loved the intros to each chapter, giving us a sense of each wedding before we even got there. It also gives a great sense of continuity throughout. The writing itself is tight and humour packed with great turns of phrase and observations throughout. Excellent, excellent."     (Aug. '11)
- RossClark1981, We Are Alive

***
"Wonderfully written and the dialogue is perfect, how clever!! Young, dumb and full of cum! LOL. Brilliant read. Beautifully written and so funny."     (Jan. '12)
- Cathy Hardy

***
"The multiple themes which drive this novel make for a very worthwhile read for anyone keen on humour mixed in with poignant biography, and a travelogue that would challenge Alan Whicker for miles traveled supremacy. Most people can point to low points or disasters in their life, but all pales before the trials and tribulations of poor Booby Bo, who seems to attract life's downsides in spite of all the efforts he puts into making his relationships a success. Well crafted and delivered with verve. High stars."     (Feb. '12)
- Software (aka Clive Radford), Doghouse Blues

***
"What an interesting book! The pitch doesn't do it justice -- most especially in that it fails to relate what I think is your greatest strength, which is your artistry with description and dialog. Highly imaginative use of language, articulate and drily humorous."     (Sep. '12)


Alas, it looks like the Authonomy website will be going dark for good come September 30, 2015 as detailed in this piece from The Guardian. That community and forum for authors will soon be no more, but Wedding Chronicles is certainly going to remain available.
 

Bob certainly valued the platform as a testing ground for what became the completed first novel in this eventual trilogy about some single guy traveling the world for fun and adventure at exotic weddings.