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A pilgrimage and road-trip of unusual dimensions. Follow me, Jonny Rowe, on a wild goose-chase from Ireland to the USA with my American grandfather's remains in my red birthday balloon. I use 'remains' in the loosest sense of the word: my grandfather, 45, puffed his last breaths of air into my birthday balloon before suffering a massive heart attack right there at my birthd A pilgrimage and road-trip of unusual dimensions. Follow me, Jonny Rowe, on a wild goose-chase from Ireland to the USA with my American grandfather's remains in my red birthday balloon. I use 'remains' in the loosest sense of the word: my grandfather, 45, puffed his last breaths of air into my birthday balloon before suffering a massive heart attack right there at my birthday party which becomes his deathday party. Feeling responsible for 45's death, and as a thank-you for filling Clinical Dad's void after leaving that questionable suicide note, I make it my quest to return 45 to his birthplace amongst the corn of Iowa, USA, suspended inside his soul-bubble. This journey might also help me with my identity-crisis ... I'm a genealogy student, by the way. And who knows, maybe I'll find love - I tend to find things when I'm not looking for them. Join me on a desperate race against time to unveil the truth as my birthday balloon begins to deflate and loose 45 forever to the wind


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A pilgrimage and road-trip of unusual dimensions. Follow me, Jonny Rowe, on a wild goose-chase from Ireland to the USA with my American grandfather's remains in my red birthday balloon. I use 'remains' in the loosest sense of the word: my grandfather, 45, puffed his last breaths of air into my birthday balloon before suffering a massive heart attack right there at my birthd A pilgrimage and road-trip of unusual dimensions. Follow me, Jonny Rowe, on a wild goose-chase from Ireland to the USA with my American grandfather's remains in my red birthday balloon. I use 'remains' in the loosest sense of the word: my grandfather, 45, puffed his last breaths of air into my birthday balloon before suffering a massive heart attack right there at my birthday party which becomes his deathday party. Feeling responsible for 45's death, and as a thank-you for filling Clinical Dad's void after leaving that questionable suicide note, I make it my quest to return 45 to his birthplace amongst the corn of Iowa, USA, suspended inside his soul-bubble. This journey might also help me with my identity-crisis ... I'm a genealogy student, by the way. And who knows, maybe I'll find love - I tend to find things when I'm not looking for them. Join me on a desperate race against time to unveil the truth as my birthday balloon begins to deflate and loose 45 forever to the wind

12 review for Balloon Animals

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    Thought all my Christmases had come at once when I got this as a free download. It had been on my to-read list for some time, and I wasn't disappointed, on the contrary, it far exceeded expectations.It was like a breath of fresh air with it's unique storyline, and funny? I don't know where to start, it was just hilarious. Move over MRS BROWN- make way for MR DUNNE cos he's here to stay.( for those of you unfamiliar with Mrs Brown, it's a popular sit-com in the UK)Seriously, I can see this on the Thought all my Christmases had come at once when I got this as a free download. It had been on my to-read list for some time, and I wasn't disappointed, on the contrary, it far exceeded expectations.It was like a breath of fresh air with it's unique storyline, and funny? I don't know where to start, it was just hilarious. Move over MRS BROWN- make way for MR DUNNE cos he's here to stay.( for those of you unfamiliar with Mrs Brown, it's a popular sit-com in the UK)Seriously, I can see this on the small screen no problem. This book is what the 5 star rating was created for.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laura Leaney

    Here is something like Fast Times at Ridgemont High meets a low-brow version of Joyce's (please place an emphasis on low-brow) Ulysses. It involves a journey, Ireland, and a mind-blowing amount of Scrumpy Jack, Mexican brown or black, and chakra openings. It also involves a red balloon - a "semi-permeable membrane" that holds the last breaths of Jonny Rowe's grandfather (named 45). On this balloon is inked "Happy Birthday Fanny!" Jonny has just turned 30 and is "working" on his doctorate in gene Here is something like Fast Times at Ridgemont High meets a low-brow version of Joyce's (please place an emphasis on low-brow) Ulysses. It involves a journey, Ireland, and a mind-blowing amount of Scrumpy Jack, Mexican brown or black, and chakra openings. It also involves a red balloon - a "semi-permeable membrane" that holds the last breaths of Jonny Rowe's grandfather (named 45). On this balloon is inked "Happy Birthday Fanny!" Jonny has just turned 30 and is "working" on his doctorate in genealogy while living at home with his mother Vera, a cancer survivor who barely makes ends meet at 128 Hydrangea Drive, Old Castle, Ireland. Frequently Jonny must correct his friends on the difference between genealogy and gynecology, but I'm not too sure there IS much of a difference for Jonny, who hides his morning erection - "accentuated by [his] psychedelic paisley pyjamas" - with a genealogy magazine. Jesus of Nazareth! I thought the book was a little hard to get into - perhaps because I had to spend so much time in the "bong-house" with Jonny and his best friend Charlie, Cha, puffing on their road-cones. Or it took me a few pages to get into the slapstick humor. Then it started to grow on me. So many funny lines.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hunter Jones

    Funny...sexy...intelligent. This book is so well done I thought it was an autobiography when I first started reading it. Mr. Dunne takes the reader on a flight of fantasy in many ways. You will be captivated by the humanness of Johnny Rowe, from the first chapter. Congrats to Mr. Dunne for being one of the brave new wave of fiction writers that demands we, as readers, take a look--this is where an imagination can take you.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Boo-Boo

    I cannot remember how I stumbled across this book but when I joined "goodreads" it asked me about the books I had read. As soon as I saw the cover, I remembered I loved the story.It made me laugh. Who'd think you could get so attached to a balloon just as a reader. Now, I have discovered there are other books of the Authors to read. It's like finding a mystery present at the back of the Christmas tree when all was done and dusted. I cannot remember how I stumbled across this book but when I joined "goodreads" it asked me about the books I had read. As soon as I saw the cover, I remembered I loved the story.It made me laugh. Who'd think you could get so attached to a balloon just as a reader. Now, I have discovered there are other books of the Authors to read. It's like finding a mystery present at the back of the Christmas tree when all was done and dusted.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Humour is a personal thing. What makes one person laugh won't necessarily make others laugh. I think Jonathan Dunne has it right with "Balloon Animals". My husband banned me from reading it in bed at night because of the snorts and chuckles! There's probably a laugh in there for everyone at some point, regardless of their sense of humour. There are some things I (as a well brought-up lady - HAH!) know I shouldn't laugh at, but I just couldn't help myself. Using a toilet before reading is a must... Humour is a personal thing. What makes one person laugh won't necessarily make others laugh. I think Jonathan Dunne has it right with "Balloon Animals". My husband banned me from reading it in bed at night because of the snorts and chuckles! There's probably a laugh in there for everyone at some point, regardless of their sense of humour. There are some things I (as a well brought-up lady - HAH!) know I shouldn't laugh at, but I just couldn't help myself. Using a toilet before reading is a must... you don't want to be PYSL :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Meet a set of incredibly quirky characters including Ronald McDonald, Reiki Mistress, Candy, and Ruthy. On his 30th birthday when his grandfather dies, Jonny vows to return his grandfather's "remains" (contained in a red balloon) to Iowa. His journey is filled with humor and pathos as he discovers unknown ancestors and uncovers mysteries involving his odd family. Get ready for a wild romp like all of Dunne's offbeat hilarious novels! Meet a set of incredibly quirky characters including Ronald McDonald, Reiki Mistress, Candy, and Ruthy. On his 30th birthday when his grandfather dies, Jonny vows to return his grandfather's "remains" (contained in a red balloon) to Iowa. His journey is filled with humor and pathos as he discovers unknown ancestors and uncovers mysteries involving his odd family. Get ready for a wild romp like all of Dunne's offbeat hilarious novels!

  7. 4 out of 5

    David Os

    A very original comedy, so many hilarious characters. The expression laughing out loud is thrown around a lot these days but I was literally laughing out loud at some of the situations Jonny Rowe gets himself into as he embarks on this wild quest. I can definitely say I've never read anything like it, its funny throughout, shocking in places and mind-bending towards the end where things really get out of control! The central idea of the balloon is very clever and that, combined with a host of qu A very original comedy, so many hilarious characters. The expression laughing out loud is thrown around a lot these days but I was literally laughing out loud at some of the situations Jonny Rowe gets himself into as he embarks on this wild quest. I can definitely say I've never read anything like it, its funny throughout, shocking in places and mind-bending towards the end where things really get out of control! The central idea of the balloon is very clever and that, combined with a host of quirky characters, make this a great read. Its a very entertaining story and had me completely engrossed from beginning to end.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pam Chambers

    I found this book through Jonathan's twitter comments....downloaded it and curled up in an old beaten up leather armchair in a coffee shop and started to read....and was still there long after I should have left. I would never normally pick up a book of this kind..but I'm so glad I did..it is laugh out loud funny, touching and entertaining. What more could you want? Except maybe another frothy hot chocolate to keep you company while you read? I found this book through Jonathan's twitter comments....downloaded it and curled up in an old beaten up leather armchair in a coffee shop and started to read....and was still there long after I should have left. I would never normally pick up a book of this kind..but I'm so glad I did..it is laugh out loud funny, touching and entertaining. What more could you want? Except maybe another frothy hot chocolate to keep you company while you read?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gearóid

    Really enjoyed this book. Been looking for a funny story for some time. This book is'nt only funny....it is hilarious! Laugh out loud hilarious! What a wild,crazy adventure! Never knew what was going to happen next. Highly recommend this to anyone who want to read something totally original and great fun! Really enjoyed this book. Been looking for a funny story for some time. This book is'nt only funny....it is hilarious! Laugh out loud hilarious! What a wild,crazy adventure! Never knew what was going to happen next. Highly recommend this to anyone who want to read something totally original and great fun!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brandy Swor

    Whoa! This book will leave you on the edge of your seat wondering how such a fantastically strange story was concocted. I thoroughly enjoyed the crude humor. Most of all, as a lover of variety and spontaneity, this book held my interest as the plot got thicker. If you want to read something "different" this is definitely the way to go. Whoa! This book will leave you on the edge of your seat wondering how such a fantastically strange story was concocted. I thoroughly enjoyed the crude humor. Most of all, as a lover of variety and spontaneity, this book held my interest as the plot got thicker. If you want to read something "different" this is definitely the way to go.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lolly K Dandeneau

    What I love about Dunne is his humor. All of his characters remind me of people I know, or avoid ha ha... Jonny Rowe is off on an outlandish quest to give his deceased grandfather a proper send off, which wouldn't be so complicated if the old man wasn't such a mystery when he was alive and now contained in a red balloon through his last breaths, blown at Jonny's birthday party. 45, his 'senile' grandfather who was more of a father to him than the 'Clinical Dad' who may or may not have taken his What I love about Dunne is his humor. All of his characters remind me of people I know, or avoid ha ha... Jonny Rowe is off on an outlandish quest to give his deceased grandfather a proper send off, which wouldn't be so complicated if the old man wasn't such a mystery when he was alive and now contained in a red balloon through his last breaths, blown at Jonny's birthday party. 45, his 'senile' grandfather who was more of a father to him than the 'Clinical Dad' who may or may not have taken his own life. Nothing runs smoothly, and between tattoos on the 'arse' as clues, drugs, quite a bit of bladder accidents and cagey family members, readers are going to drown with sinkable pleasure. Did I mention travel and quirk, lots of quirk? I annoyed people when I laughed too loud at the DMV office, it's that type of story. Some lines: "Tommy's going to be a karaoke-master some day and I envy him because he's got a goal in life. He once told me about a venture which he planned to launch in either Vegas or Thailand. He would call the concept Marryoke where young drugged and druken couples would marry each other through the noble form of karaoke verse." "Your family tree is a yet to be discovered species lost in some jungle: you receive money from the living-dead." "Relax, Pampaquino, I'm going only to look into your eye-hole." Thankful that she doesn't want to look into any of my other holes, I gladly agree to her tractor beam." "I'm gobsmacked as my gob is smacked by a deathly cold palm from beyond the grave." "Do cemeteries have opening hours? They shouldn't. The dead should be allowed to come and go whenever they please. It's a bit of a waste of time if you ask me. If I'm a ghost, do you think a closed gate is going to stop me?" "He's a loser, Jon, always was and always will be. A charismatic bum. There's no happy ending wen there's a charismatic bum concerned." And I can't share more of my favorite excerpts because it would give away bits of the story. The last lines in the novel are sweet. Yes, sweet in a novel full of sarcasm, wit and a bit of magic. The reader will never look at Ronald McDonald, that frightful clown, the same again. Dunne's writing sticks, and there is a particular style in his work that I find fresh. Do I recommend Balloon Animals to friends- heck yeah... and everyone else too. Fun times... fun times...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I would give this an almost four. The book starts out at Jonny's 30th birthday. The party is in Ireland. 45, Jonny's grandfather is there he blows up by mouth a huge red birthday balloon for his grandson. It is the last thing he does. {moments before he whispers a couple secrets that he wants Jonny to travel to Iowa to take care of some past regrets. seconds after blowing up the balloon, 45 drops dead. Jonny holds fast to the balloon. He is convinced his grandfather's last breathes are in the re I would give this an almost four. The book starts out at Jonny's 30th birthday. The party is in Ireland. 45, Jonny's grandfather is there he blows up by mouth a huge red birthday balloon for his grandson. It is the last thing he does. {moments before he whispers a couple secrets that he wants Jonny to travel to Iowa to take care of some past regrets. seconds after blowing up the balloon, 45 drops dead. Jonny holds fast to the balloon. He is convinced his grandfather's last breathes are in the red balloon. He grandfather has reqested that Jonny go to Iowa and seek out a person named Candy. He wants to deliver a message to this person. Jonny has some unfinished business to take care of before he travels to Iowa.. He is wondering about why his grand dad wants him to go there in Iowa where his grandfather ,45, grew up and left for Ireland years ago. Don't want to give away any spoilers, but Jonny has some secrets to uncover along the way. He always has the red balloon with him the whole time. so what is going on with 45? and why does he go by this name anyway? flag 3 likes · Like  · see review Aug 05, 2013 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition This book was a pleasant surprise and is very well executed, not to mention very funny and also rather emotional at times. Do not let this one pass you by...here is a tragic comedy, full of feeling and adventure.The plot was I thought, well developed and had me sucked in from the first few pages. This was a lot to do with the quirky characters who I warmed to but also the witty prose and the continuity throughout. By continuity, I mean that the plot was cleverly executed, right down to the small This book was a pleasant surprise and is very well executed, not to mention very funny and also rather emotional at times. Do not let this one pass you by...here is a tragic comedy, full of feeling and adventure.The plot was I thought, well developed and had me sucked in from the first few pages. This was a lot to do with the quirky characters who I warmed to but also the witty prose and the continuity throughout. By continuity, I mean that the plot was cleverly executed, right down to the smallest details. Those details were weaved in perfectly and certain aspects just popped up in places that served to illustrate how truly great this writer is and how he is able to play with your heart strings and make you giggle simultaneously. I am looking forward to reading more material by this author. I hope that others find this gem amongst the billions of other reads! flag 3 likes · Like  · see review May 18, 2014 Lisa Cobb Sabatini rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition I won Balloon Animals by Jonathan Dunne from Goodreads.Jonathan Dunne's novel, Balloon Animals, starts with a unique premise, moves along with an unexpected plotline, and reaches a thought-provoking conclusion.Protagonist Jonny Rowe is on a quest to return his grandfather's final breaths, trapped in Jonny's birthday balloon, to his grandfather's birthplace. Jonny hopes to also figure out his own identify along the way. With humorous situation and fascinating characters, Dunne's highly imaginativ I won Balloon Animals by Jonathan Dunne from Goodreads.Jonathan Dunne's novel, Balloon Animals, starts with a unique premise, moves along with an unexpected plotline, and reaches a thought-provoking conclusion.Protagonist Jonny Rowe is on a quest to return his grandfather's final breaths, trapped in Jonny's birthday balloon, to his grandfather's birthplace. Jonny hopes to also figure out his own identify along the way. With humorous situation and fascinating characters, Dunne's highly imaginative story is a compelling page turner. Jonny views the world, not through the clichéd rose colored glasses, but rather through a shrinking red balloon. Quirky and funny, this novel is also reflective and insightful.Balloon Animals is a novel for readers who love reading plots that are full of surprises and for readers who enjoy viewing the world from unfamiliar angles. flag 3 likes · Like  · see review Jan 11, 2017 Erik Volk rated it it was amazing I am finding myself a great fan of Jonathan Dunne's books. His quirky characters and off-the-wall storylines continue to amuse me and this book is no exception. This story of a young man searching for his past that stretches from Ireland to the USA is so full of enticing characters, strange twists and such an amusing and yet thought-provoking storyline, I could not put it down and was sad for it to end. From his senile grandfather to his Reike mistress to his pot-smoking best friend to A Ronald I am finding myself a great fan of Jonathan Dunne's books. His quirky characters and off-the-wall storylines continue to amuse me and this book is no exception. This story of a young man searching for his past that stretches from Ireland to the USA is so full of enticing characters, strange twists and such an amusing and yet thought-provoking storyline, I could not put it down and was sad for it to end. From his senile grandfather to his Reike mistress to his pot-smoking best friend to A Ronald McDonald doppleganger, the amusement never ends. However, the storyline contains serious undertones having the reader question the importance of family, the journey of self-awareness and how even those of us from the most dysfunctional of families can glean important lessons from those closest to us and from those whose lives touch ours. flag 3 likes · Like  · see review Apr 09, 2014 kim hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition Shelves: realistic, adventure, contemporary, read-in-2015, humour, first-reads 4.5 Stars.I'm just laughing and always at the edge of my seat by the end of this book. I admit it was a bit slow for me at the start but by the end I felt that it was necessary for me to be able to get to know the character in depth. All the characters were so well-thought of, realistic and easily relatable. "You have to laugh because you'd cry if you didn't" Dunne showed memorable and magical people can be despite their hardships and their flaws. Filled with laugh out loud moments an 4.5 Stars.I'm just laughing and always at the edge of my seat by the end of this book. I admit it was a bit slow for me at the start but by the end I felt that it was necessary for me to be able to get to know the character in depth. All the characters were so well-thought of, realistic and easily relatable. "You have to laugh because you'd cry if you didn't" Dunne showed memorable and magical people can be despite their hardships and their flaws. Filled with laugh out loud moments and adventure. "I've shrunk but I haven't lost my colour" Very loveable. I loved every moment with Jonny Rowe and Charley, a great duo. flag 3 likes · Like  · see review Nov 15, 2012 Elisabeth Zguta rated it it was amazing Balloon Animals is the craziest story, really out there, and I loved reading every minute of it. Jonathan Dunne has written a splendid tale and created memorable characters that are lovable despite their flaws. Real life drama could never be so hysterical. The story is different from anything I have encountered, as we follow Jonny Rowe's quest. The characters are a bit bizarre, yet I could relate to them. The more I read the more I laughed. There is also a sad side to this story. The ending was Balloon Animals is the craziest story, really out there, and I loved reading every minute of it. Jonathan Dunne has written a splendid tale and created memorable characters that are lovable despite their flaws. Real life drama could never be so hysterical. The story is different from anything I have encountered, as we follow Jonny Rowe's quest. The characters are a bit bizarre, yet I could relate to them. The more I read the more I laughed. There is also a sad side to this story. The ending was warm hearted. I definitely recommend this book if you want something different, funny and memorable. flag 3 likes · Like  · see review Jun 08, 2015 Jess rated it really liked it The adventure in the book was great. Who would think that travelling with a balloon could cause such a problem, trying to grant your grandfather's dying wish. The characters in this book were well planned out, the unexpected twist at the end was something I didn't see coming which made the book so enjoyable to read. One thing I didn't like were some of the chapters were too long (I read this on my kindle) and the only reason why I didn't like that was because I read this in bed and like finishin The adventure in the book was great. Who would think that travelling with a balloon could cause such a problem, trying to grant your grandfather's dying wish. The characters in this book were well planned out, the unexpected twist at the end was something I didn't see coming which made the book so enjoyable to read. One thing I didn't like were some of the chapters were too long (I read this on my kindle) and the only reason why I didn't like that was because I read this in bed and like finishing a chapter off before going to sleep.All in all I really enjoyed the book and can't wait to read more of Jonathan Dunne's work! flag 3 likes · Like  · see review Feb 05, 2016 Romina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition Shelves: fiction I had a lot of fun reading this book. Lots of giggles and laughs. I liked how it was written, I liked the story, I liked the comedy. Somewhere in the middle of the book I was thinking that a movie can be made after this story and it would be so funny! I like that kind of humor. I think my favorite part is the one when they go to the cemetery to snap a picture of...I guess you'll have to read it to find out! ;-) I had a lot of fun reading this book. Lots of giggles and laughs. I liked how it was written, I liked the story, I liked the comedy. Somewhere in the middle of the book I was thinking that a movie can be made after this story and it would be so funny! I like that kind of humor. I think my favorite part is the one when they go to the cemetery to snap a picture of...I guess you'll have to read it to find out! ;-) flag 3 likes · Like  · see review Oct 12, 2014 Caitlin Farley rated it really liked it One of the best books I read this year. Every twist is unexpected and there's simply no way to read this in silence, I ended up snorting and guffawing into my pillow most of the time. Its brilliant. One of the best books I read this year. Every twist is unexpected and there's simply no way to read this in silence, I ended up snorting and guffawing into my pillow most of the time. Its brilliant. flag 3 likes · Like  · see review Aug 21, 2016 Profoundly Shallow rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Martin McDonagh, everyone else A hilariously grim, unpredictable, exciting adventure! flag 3 likes · Like  · see review Sep 20, 2016 Deidra rated it it was amazing An epic journey of ridiculous proportions. Absurd and hilarious. The protagonist kept me rapt. I loved it. JD is quickly becoming a favorite author. Five stars. flag 3 likes · Like  · see review Nov 06, 2016 Charmion Victorian rated it liked it What a fun read. It had a lot of "what?, I can't believe that happened!" moments. This book definitely kept you on your toes with all the shenanigans pulled. What a fun read. It had a lot of "what?, I can't believe that happened!" moments. This book definitely kept you on your toes with all the shenanigans pulled. flag 3 likes · Like  · see review View 2 comments Oct 05, 2020 Treena Hales rated it it was amazing This book is unique, hilarious and clever! It's a book that you can't read without laughing out loud and one where you get totally absorbed by the characters and the storyline. The storyline is quirky with plenty of bizarre elements. There is a lot to this book and the level of detail used by the author really pulls you into the story. Somehow the story feels authentic in that what you read becomes very real. It feels like an extremely well-thought-out book with some lovely themes in the writing This book is unique, hilarious and clever! It's a book that you can't read without laughing out loud and one where you get totally absorbed by the characters and the storyline. The storyline is quirky with plenty of bizarre elements. There is a lot to this book and the level of detail used by the author really pulls you into the story. Somehow the story feels authentic in that what you read becomes very real. It feels like an extremely well-thought-out book with some lovely themes in the writing that run throughout the book. The characters are a mixture of fun, sometimes sad and quite astonishing! The main theme of the book is unusual and brilliant. I have never read anything like it. I'm ready to order the next book, Mr Dunne. Thank you for sharing your writing! flag 2 likes · Like  · see review Apr 18, 2018 Katja Vartiainen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition Shelves: fiction, humour I loved this book! An amazing story of an Irish dude with fuzzy family history. There is an amazing story line with twists and turns and hysterical characters. The dialogues and situational comedy is really funny. We feel for the personages in this tale, and laugh, through them at ourselves. Somebody should make this into a film as well. Brilliant. flag 2 likes · Like  · see review Jun 07, 2015 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition Shelves: first-reads, first-reads-received This book had a lot of unexpectedness. I was expecting the story or a road trip, which it vaguely is, just with a lot less road in the trip than I expected. It's a book with unexpected turns. It's a book that doesn't always add up either, but I'll ascribe that to artistic license rather than errors. Even the formatting is unexpected, with random line breaks and inconsistent chapters. Yet it all adds up into something interesting. Something absorbing in fact. The book starts quite slowly but it d This book had a lot of unexpectedness. I was expecting the story or a road trip, which it vaguely is, just with a lot less road in the trip than I expected. It's a book with unexpected turns. It's a book that doesn't always add up either, but I'll ascribe that to artistic license rather than errors. Even the formatting is unexpected, with random line breaks and inconsistent chapters. Yet it all adds up into something interesting. Something absorbing in fact. The book starts quite slowly but it drew me in. It's a rambling story that I couldn't turn away from. The characters have a touch of the unreal in them, in fact many of the supporting cast feel almost like caricatures, but it works. The whole thing adds up to deliver a dreamlike oddness, one that is easy to float along with. It also manages to leave the ending a little vague without feeling brutally cut off - there's more to know, yet that's the premise of the whole book, there's more to know, and the slightly unsettling feeling it leaves is fitting.If you love that slight deviation from reality in a meandering story then grab this book fast and I think you'll enjoy it. If that's not your thing though this book will probably be hit or miss - you may find something new for you to enjoy, you may give up quickly. I hope you enjoy it though, there's something interesting in it. It has a less serious tone to many in the style, despite the obviously serious core thread of the plot, it offers a slightly askew perspective and that gives it a fairly unique flourish and makes it one to look out for in my eyes.I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Goodreads program. flag 2 likes · Like  · see review Jan 09, 2013 Bianca rated it it was amazing What can I say that will make you want to read this (almost) tragic comedy? I was caught off guard and absolutely LOVED the surprise that was hiding in Balloon Animals! I was not expecting to laugh out loud, nor did I expect to become attached to Johnny Rowe. Beside finding the humor in human behavior during tragic times, I was emotionally touched by the beauty of its heart and thought. This story sums up the unpredictable journey of 30 year old Johnny Rowe, who (still) lives with his mum, has What can I say that will make you want to read this (almost) tragic comedy? I was caught off guard and absolutely LOVED the surprise that was hiding in Balloon Animals! I was not expecting to laugh out loud, nor did I expect to become attached to Johnny Rowe. Beside finding the humor in human behavior during tragic times, I was emotionally touched by the beauty of its heart and thought. This story sums up the unpredictable journey of 30 year old Johnny Rowe, who (still) lives with his mum, has a degree in genealogy and has no direction in his life....yet. On his 30th birthday, his senile grandfather keels over after breathing his last breath into Johnny's birthday balloon but not before he makes one bazaar request of his grandson. Inside the balloon, the 'essence' of his beloved grandfather and a handwritten note, coupled with his shocking request gives Johnny no choice but to go on a heavy journey from Limerick, Ireland to Iowa, USA. The outrageous characters blend perfectly with the outlandish events in this unforeseeable voyage. Each corner Johnny turns, you might laugh, you might get nervous, you just might pee your pants...Johnny did!I implore you to get your copy of Balloon animals today, and believe the reviews when they say "I laughed out loud!" On a side note: I believe if you like the movie "Garden State", you will like Balloon animals..but that is my opinion (I dare you to prove me wrong)Jonathan Dunne flag 2 likes · Like  · see review Apr 18, 2017 Britt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition Shelves: own, 2017 I have to say that although this sounds like a wonderfully sweet story, it's definitely not for everyone. There is a lot of drug use, offensive language and the main character Jonny is a straight up weirdo! How anyone can walk around smelling like a toilet without being questioned is a mystery to me..Two things really bothered me when I first started reading this book: The paragraphs seemed to be long winded with many different thoughts thrown all about and there was an eye rolling amount of pop I have to say that although this sounds like a wonderfully sweet story, it's definitely not for everyone. There is a lot of drug use, offensive language and the main character Jonny is a straight up weirdo! How anyone can walk around smelling like a toilet without being questioned is a mystery to me..Two things really bothered me when I first started reading this book: The paragraphs seemed to be long winded with many different thoughts thrown all about and there was an eye rolling amount of popular songs mentioned. When I finally got into the book, the jumbled sentences didn't bother me as much because I started to realize that I was in a wacky person's mind and as with all humans, our thoughts quickly jump from one to another. Jonny Rowe's grandfather, 45, died on the day he was celebrating his 30th birthday - his final breath contained in the balloon he was blowing up for him. Jonny knows his grandfather came from Iowa and he would like to honor him by taking him (the balloon breath) back to his own hometown. Also, he's having an identity crisis at the moment and it needs to be sorted out now so he figures this is the perfect opportunity. He'd love to get a deeper look into the part of his family he doesn't know anyways. This will be the best story ever for his Phd thesis!Jonny and "45's" journey to Iowa is one big poopy-pants adventure after another. Once the shenanigans are finally over, a lot is learned about the history of the Rowe family and Jonny finds out that 45 wasn't exactly the man he said he was. flag 2 likes · Like  · see review Jul 25, 2014 S.M. Nystoriak rated it it was amazing Sarcastic and witty, and unbelievably fun!It had been one of those weeks. A family member was in the hospital, ICU, and it was going to take some serious humor to brighten up my spirits. As I sat in the waiting room of the hospital, worried, I picked up my Kindle and read Balloon Animals, by Jonathan Dunne, a book I had started but had not been able to finish due to recent circumstances.Well, Mr. Dunne's debut book delivered! Sarcastic and witty, the characters came alive with each unbelievable Sarcastic and witty, and unbelievably fun!It had been one of those weeks. A family member was in the hospital, ICU, and it was going to take some serious humor to brighten up my spirits. As I sat in the waiting room of the hospital, worried, I picked up my Kindle and read Balloon Animals, by Jonathan Dunne, a book I had started but had not been able to finish due to recent circumstances.Well, Mr. Dunne's debut book delivered! Sarcastic and witty, the characters came alive with each unbelievable happenstance. I had not laughed that hard at a book since, well, I don't know when. I found myself guffawing at the ridiculous situations that Jonny Rowe and his friend Charley got themselves into, to the point that every other person in the ICU waiting room was dying to know what was so funny. Of course, I shared, and recommended this read to them.Some of my favorite scenes were, in no particular order: "The Hound", "The Tattooed Corpse", and "Sooty". And the interaction between Jonny and the balloon was actually very sweet. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this read, and am actually very grateful to Mr. Dunne for providing this stress relief for me.I look forward to his future writings with great anticipation! flag 2 likes · Like  · see review Oct 11, 2016 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition Shelves: fiction-clever-creative, own-on-kindle, source-goodreads This book was so great to read! It was like an amusement park with a roller coaster, tilt-a-whirl and even fun-house mirrors! It takes you to places in your mind you've never been. More than once I found myself saying "Did I really just read that?!" All of the characters in the book are a riot. The use of nicknames for some of them (45, Clinical Dad, Reiki Mistress) is hilarious. I really enjoyed getting to know them all - especially loved Sooty towards the end of the story.Really great book. I This book was so great to read! It was like an amusement park with a roller coaster, tilt-a-whirl and even fun-house mirrors! It takes you to places in your mind you've never been. More than once I found myself saying "Did I really just read that?!" All of the characters in the book are a riot. The use of nicknames for some of them (45, Clinical Dad, Reiki Mistress) is hilarious. I really enjoyed getting to know them all - especially loved Sooty towards the end of the story.Really great book. I can't wait to read more books by Dunne!Notes:"The magnitude of never ever seeing him [45] again is like falling down into a black bottomless pit of pining." "Mini-muffin?" "Thanks." Scene at 45's wake between Jonny and his girlfriend. LOLPage 142 - Any book that mentions "Love Will Tear Us Apart (Again" and "The Killing Moon" gets my vote! Love these songs. flag 2 likes · Like  · see review « previous 1 2 3 next »

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