Snow Blind – Richard Blanchard
The stag do.
Three simple words which will send shivers down the spine of any groom (or their bride) to-be!
This debut novel about a stag-party in the Alps is like a skiing holiday on the mountains themselves – exhilarating, fast-paced, full of twists and turns, smiles and hilarity. Once you get to the bottom of the slope, or finish this book, I’m sure you’ll agree that “Snow Blind” is a memorable experience which you won’t forget in a hurry.
Before I start this review I have to mention that I was sent this book from the lovely people over at Matador Books. I get sent so many books to review from so many publishers, when I get home at night it’s book central – but when this one hit my doormat it stood out from the crowd.
It was designed well and it had a great blurb on the back… so I got stuck in…And I’m glad I did, because Richard Blanchard is destined for great things.
Now Richard’s story revolves around a man called Dan Greenhenge, a loveable loser who is soon to be married. But before he ties the knot to his Italian fiancée Sophia, he leaves his young son and bride-to-be behind and jets off to Chamonix, France for an extended stag skiing weekend.
Trouble is, his “fellow stags” consist of a bunch of, excuse my French, utter w***ers. His brother, his workmates, his old college buddies are all out to torment him. Apart from one woman who is tagging along too…the love of his lifetime, Juliet.
Why the hell is there one woman on his stag-do!!?
Things are bound to go wrong, right?
Under pressure from every angle, Dan is a weak man who doesn’t know how to say no, or know who, or what he is, or where he wants to be, or what he wants to do.
He hates his job as a marketing executive for a low-cost airline.
He hates his college friend Richard who leads the gang astray. He’s insulted, forced to drink, dunked in snow, forced to go places he doesn’t want to go and forced ski in places he doesn’t want to ski.
And all the time he’s torn between his love back home and the feelings brought up by Juliet, a woman who broke his heart in 1992.
Just why was she there???
It all becomes clear when Juliet opens the closet and exposes a skeleton which should have remained there. And Dan’s faced with a difficult choice…
But is it too late?
I have to say that the final few chapters choked me up. I got so attached to Dan and his family, that when something happens, it happens, and you read on thinking to yourself: “No? No? Seriously? What?”
Let’s just say that Richard knows what grief is. And he knows how to write a great story.
Essentially, “Snow Blind” is a book about what happens when a group of British men who ‘should know better’ get together. It’s a moralistic tale of drunken debauchery and daring decisions. It’s about what it means to love and be loved in return, and how you can be blind to the great hand you’ve been dealt.
If you’ve read Mike Gayle’s Stag and Hen Weekend then you’ll know what a treat you’re in for with “Snow Blind” – it’s an addictive read from start to finish and filled to the brim with vibrant characters and one-liners.
Richard Blanchard may have just started his journey as an author, but while Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards was a flop, Richard is someone who will surely soar.
I have to say I loved every single minute of this stag weekend story, and was left with a lump in my throat at the end.
The Book Boy Rating – 4/5