gulf-boulevard-by-dennis-hartReviewed by Melanie Kline

Gulf Boulevard is by far one of the most fun and entertaining books I have read in quite some time. Jason Najarian is at work when he reaches his hand into his sweet stash, a 56-ounce XXL bag of M&Ms and finds he only has green ones. Jason decides that this must be a premonition of some kind. What are the odds of getting only green M&Ms out of a bag, let alone a 56-ounce XXL bag? So he finds himself the proud owner of a lottery ticket. Everyone he tells about the freak M&M experience thinks he’s crazy and it was just a coincidence or dumb luck.

In the middle of the night, Jason wakes up on the couch and as he’s turning off the TV to go to bed, the lottery drawing is on and he – in great disbelief – finds himself the winner of $63 million. He immediately purchases a house for his mother and a house for his father and makes plans to live his dream on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

He locates a real estate agent, Phyllis Hammerstein, whom he nicknames The Hammer behind her back and pays $1.2 million dollars cash for a home. He moves in all by himself on the side of a Gulf Coast island and frames his green M&Ms. He also winds up purchasing a parrot named Montana that only quotes the movie Scarface and knows every word of it by heart.

Since finding out about his windfall, Jason’s ex-wife, Megan decides that they are still in love and continually attempts to hunt him down while he sends her on wild goose chases. His plan is to become a hermit in his home except when he needs to go to the mainland for groceries or supplies.

Jason very soon realizes that this is not going to happen as the people from the other side of the island begin coming by to visit. They then decide that they will all come to Jason’s side of the island to watch the sunset every night which is where the serious roller coaster ride begins. Jason finds out that Sal is in the mafia and hiding out on the island. He falls in love with Fiona who has her own secrets to keep. “Toast” and Amber are just there for vacation, but wind up getting drawn into the issues that ensue.

Gulf Boulevard was absolutely one of the best books I have read and I recommend it to everyone. Hysterically funny, dramatic, ironic–it has it all and is well worth the read.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Doubleday. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.