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My Inflatable Friend: The Confessions of Rollo Hemphill    by Gerald Everett Jones order for
My Inflatable Friend
by Gerald Everett Jones
Order:  USA  Can
LaPuerta, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

After being bagged for Internet hacking, and doing a brief stint in a minimum security prison, Rollo Hemphill finds himself working as a car jockey at a Beverly Hills resort hotel. Secretly staying at the hotel in Bungalow B is movie star Monica LaMonica. Although Rollo admires Monica from afar, his more immediate love is Felicia Ferrulo, who works at the resort's beauty shop. Spurned by Felicia, and on the advice of his buddy, Rollo sets out to make Felicia jealous by pretending he's dating Monica. Things go way too far, even for Rollo, who has a knack for getting himself into tight spots.

Rollo chronicles his predicaments in My Inflatable Friend: The Confessions of Rollo Hemphill, supposedly a journal to his parole officer. Author Gerald Everett Jones paints an uproarious picture of Rollo, who is his own worst problem. As the book unwinds, Rollo's struggles to make Felicia notice him evolve from using a blow-up doll resembling LaMonica to becoming her lover in public. LaMonica admits to their relationship - much to Rollo's surprise - in order to cover up her secret involvement with a married politician. When he signs her contract, he gets more than he bargained for.

Billed as chick lit for guys, My Inflatable Friend parodies the popular female genre. Jones offers up zany situations, crazy hormonal desires, and misunderstandings galore. In the end, Rollo recognizes his own foibles. He also realizes that other people, including those who seem as tough as nails, also have their own vulnerabilities.

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