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Dennis Bisskit and The Man From Paris With the Very Large Head-bookcover

By: Stephen Ainley

Dennis Bisskit and The Man From Paris With the Very Large Head

Pages: 214 Ratings: 4.8
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1969 – Man is about to set foot upon the moon. Meanwhile, momentous events are also taking place in the West Midlands. Weddings, funerals, hereditary hair loss, M. J. K. Smith’s cricket bat, a missing masterpiece; dastardly deeds are taking place, above and below the streets of Birmingham. The police are baffled. This looks like a job for Dudley’s finest, Bisskit and Blackshaw – private investigators. Yes, the boys are back. Older, but none the wiser in Dennis Bisskit and the Man from Paris with the Very Large Head.

Customer Reviews
8 reviews
8 reviews
  • Debbie Peearce

    Loved the first book, so it's been a long wait for this one. Well worth the wait though.. Dennis and his best mate, Stinky are older now and there is a slightly different feel to this book. The crime element is very well written and quite exciting, but the humour is never far away. The chapter where Dennis helps his dad at the funeral home had me in tears of laughter. It's a highly entertaining read, and I hope there is more to come.

  • Chris Davies

    'The Man From Paris with the Large Head' is the second book relating the adventures of the hapless, wannabe-jack-the-lad, but loveable, Dennis Bisskett and it's another cracker. Reminiscent of the Beano characters we used to love or the ever-optimistic Dell Boy from Only Fools and Horses, Dennis unwaveringly displays stoic phlegm and an indestructible sense of humour whenever life's downturns seek to put him down. This is another masterful window-on-life from the pen of Steve Ainley that lifts the spirit and, continuously, leaves one giggling. Can't wait for his next instalment.

  • Cheryl Butler

    Such a fabulous continuation of the deeds of Dennis and Stinky. The humour continues throughout again, and even the things that shouldn’t be funny are. Stephen’s writing style just adds to the enjoyment, and I really can’t see why anyone would not enjoy this, or indeed, any Dennis Bisskit book. If you need something to brighten your day, immerse yourself in the world of Dennis - it’s slapstick in a book!

  • K.L. Loveley

    Having read Stephen Ainsley’s debut novel ‘Dennis Bisskit’ I was very much looking forward to his second novel, Dennis Bisskit and the Man from Paris with the Very Large Head. The amusing title, although long, gives insight into the amusing rhetoric within this book. The characters of Dennis and Stinky are so loveable; I was rooting for their success throughout the story. Without giving away any spoilers, I can say ‘The boys are back in Dudley. This hilarious story is a real page-turner, full of amusing incidents that made me chuckle until the very end. I look forward to reading more tales of Dennis Bisskit in the future.

  • Stevie Rain

    I really enjoyed the first book in the Dennis Bisket saga. I loved reading more into these characters after the events of the first novel. The hilarious dialogue and scenarios that Dennis keeps getting himself into will have you in hysterics.

  • Lost in a Book Review

    I was kindly sent this book by the author, Stephen Ainley in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Stephens first book about Dennis Bisskit, I had been eagerly waiting for the release of his second book, Dennis Bisskit and the man from Paris with the very large head. I honestly laughed so hard when reading Stephen's first book, The Adventures of Dennis Bisskit, that I wasn't sure how he could top it. He most definitely has though, this book had me laughing so much, at topics you wouldn't normally associate with humor. It's full of the usual mishaps that happen in the life of Dennis. You have pulled into the story straight away and you are willing Dennis and Stinky to succeed with their investigations, but you are waiting with bated breath for Dennis to get into mischief. This story is based in Birmingham around the time of the first moon landing, the boys have now left the army and are making an honest living as civilians. When you start reading it, you will see that the boys are older but, definitely not wiser.

    If you haven't read the adventures of Dennis Bisskit yet, first of all, where have you been? Don't worry though, you don't need to have read it to enjoy this book. It can be read as a stand alone, however, I would highly recommend that you buy both as it does give you a little extra knowledge about just how clumsy our Dennis actually is. I would recommend this book to anyone from ages 12 and up as it's full of harmless humor with a little pinch of adventure. I must warn you though, the world of Dennis is like no other world known to man and, once you experience it, you will be left wanting more! Roll on Dennis 3, I can't wait.

  • Grace J Reviewerlady

    Having giggled all the way through the first Dennis Bisskit book, I was so looking forward to this one and I wasn't disappointed. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard at a novel before - and I've read for many decades! Having left the army and embraced civilian life, Dennis and his pal Stinky have now set themselves up as Private Investigators. Has army life changed Dennis from the accident-prone young man we know and love? Not a chance!! I still can't wipe the grin off my face from reading this novel - it reminds me strongly of winter Sunday afternoons watching the old black and white films of Jerry Lewis who was America's answer to Norman Wisdom. Throw in Just William, mix these three together well and you probably have as near a character to Dennis Bisskit as you can get. His exploits are so unbelievable as to be totally believable; author Stephen Ainley almost paints a picture of the many incidents which had me laughing so hard in bed last evening that I had to put my device down to allow my husband to get some much-needed sleep before work this morning. I cannot remember the last time I laughed this hard, and I'm sure I'll be grinning like an idiot for many days to come.

    Every single person could do with reading a book like this; it will lift your spirits and leave you feeling much lighter and happier than before. Indeed, there are several things I hope I don't have to do in the very near future as, with memories of Dennis doing the same things - funerals spring to mind, for one - I'm not sure I'd be able to hold it together. Thank you, Stephen, for bringing such fun into a couple of grey January days in Scotland. I'm very grateful to the author for providing my copy of his novel. The decision to read and review, as well as the opinions here, are entirely my own.

  • Suzy Davies

    Great Characters, Great World in The Book, Entertaining. This book was given to me by the author for my review. “Dennis Bisskit and The Man from Paris with the Very Large Head” is a coming of age comedy, with compelling characters and excellent world-building. At the beginning of “Dennis Bisskit and The Man from Paris With The Very Large Head," the backstory is split between the years 1968 and 1969, showing how Dennis has made slow progress in his career and in his personal life. This is interesting because the 60s was a time of great changes. The 60s was the time when man first set foot on the moon, something that due to forces beyond Dennis' control, he manages to miss!

    We also sense that Dennis has missed a great deal of his own life because of his self-absorption and introspection. He has boasted to Stinky, saying that “in another five years” he could be promoted to General Sir Dennis Bisskit. At the same time, he has failed to listen to Stinky's “Big News.” What a twist of fate, an irony, that Stinky is the one who flourishes in the army! Stinky is the first to have a steady girlfriend. Some time has lapsed before it dawns on Dennis that Brenda might be “the future Mrs. Blackshaw.”
    Dennis cuts a sorry figure when we see that he is stuck, living with his parents and his grandfather enjoying the so-called “best years of his life.” Significantly, on Stinky's wedding day, although Bisskit is Best Man, and expected to deliver a speech, once again he is literally and metaphorically “left out in the cold.”

    Time passes, and we see Dennis make one life-changing decision. Following his attempted courtship of Gloria, the daughter of the army chief, Blunkett, his working life has been made a misery. Blunkett seeks revenge by assigning him "dirty jobs” that no-one else wants to do. A “useless soldier,” Dennis leaves the army. An admirer of Bogart, he opens a detective agency inspired by his hero, Sam Spade. He has a business, run on a shoe-string, that seems to give him a kind of alibi for how he spends or wastes his time. Although Stinky had found his vocation in the army, his marriage to Brenda means he has local ties; he leaves the army to join Dennis in his business. This creates conflict between Brenda, now Mrs. Blackshaw, and himself.

    Author Stephen Ainley paints a very funny picture of Bisskit's “mission under cover” chasing “red herrings” (or is it pilchards?) to try to earn a few pounds, and there is much pathos as we root for these anti heroes and wonder what they will do next and what may become of them … I will allow you to discover this for yourselves! Author Stephen Ainley builds a world that is compelling and entertaining, tragic and comic, realistic and fantastical. A good aspect of “Dennis Bisskit and The Man from Paris With The Very Large Head” is the subtle way in which the author creates agency for the women in the story, ensuring that his story has universal appeal. Gloria, who escapes the control of her father by taking work at The Midland Hotel, plays a crucial role in trying to catch a thief ... What a masterful touch that the lead character, Dennis Bisskit, and his side-kick are embroiled in the mystery “underground” disappearance of a masterpiece: “The Man from Paris With The Very Large Head.” We sense that something will surface, given the right set of circumstances. This Dennis Bisskit sequel is about one young man whose identity is emergent - a young man's quest to get ahead/head. A coming of age tale, it depicts a dreamer and a fantasist who struggles to overcome early adversity in his life.

    This young man goes “under cover” to try to hide his social awkwardness and inferiority complex. He becomes a self-made alternative “authority figure” who has a planet of his very own. Bisskit has courage and resilience, and with the support of Gloria and his side-kick, Stinky, he grows in stature to fight officials, corruption and the establishment, against the odds. His efforts are admirable even though the Scottish Man escapes ... Dennis gets to write his own rules, not least of which is a declaration about the importance of having and wearing the right kind of underpants. It is especially heart-warming to experience the genuine loyalty and camaraderie between this unlikely pair of detectives which we sense goes way beyond the action of the book. Dennis Bisskit, James Bond of Dudley, Working-Class Hero, (among many other things,) you can't help but love him!

    My Final Thoughts:

    The best things about this book are the crafting of characters, world-building, and the effective thematic tension between reality/fantasy, home/away, good/evil, loyalty/betrayal, tragedy/comedy that brings the book together as an integral whole. I enjoyed the social satire and the depiction of "class" values in the book. It was brave to write a hilarious scene about death and funerals in the book. Death is a great leveler, and this idea was brought out very well indeed. The comedy throughout this book was excellent. Being a big admirer of “Only Fools and Horses,” “Dad's Army,” and the stunts of Michael Crawford in “Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em,” I can see how this material could be reworked as a television script or screenplay. However, I felt that the editing could have been a lot tighter. There was one page which had an incomplete sentence. There were several instances of the word, “has,” instead of “as,” and there were some punctuation errors. I also noticed, on certain pages of the book, that the narrator over-used the word “Suddenly.” There is a proliferation of adverbs in places, and occasional leakage blurs the boundary between the narrator and the lead character, Bisskit, who also has a fondness for them. Although the pacing of the book was fairly good, I think more short, snappy sentences for the action sequences would have created a more dynamic effect and improved the pace and atmosphere. I loved the originality and entertainment value of this story. Overall, this book is very promising. I rate it at 4 stars, only because of the lack of editing in places.

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