PRANKS. OIL. PROTEST. JOKES BETWEEN NEWLYWEDS.
AND ONE HILARIOUS SIEGE OF A MAJOR CORPORATION.
Remmy grows up with Beth in Bellhammer, Illinois as oil and coal companies rob the land of everything that made it paradise. Under his Grandad, he learns how to properly prank his neighbors, friends, and foes. Beth tries to fix Remmy by taking him to church. Under his Daddy, Remmy starts the Bell Hammer Construction Company, which depends on contracts from Texarco Oil. And Beth argues with him about how to build a better business. Together, Remmy and Beth start to build a great neighborhood of “merry men” carpenters: a paradise of s’mores, porch furniture, newborn babies, and summer trips to Branson where their boys pop the tops off of the neighborhood’s two hundred soda bottles. Their witty banter builds a kind of castle among a growing nostalgia.
Then one of Jim Johnstone’s faulty Texarco oil derricks falls down on their house and poisons their neighborhood’s well.
Poisoned wells escalate to torched dog houses. Torched dog houses escalate to stolen carpentry tools and cancelled contracts. Cancelled contracts escalate to eminent domain. Sick of the attacks from Texaco Oil on his neighborhood, Remmy assembles his merry men:
“We need the world’s greatest prank. One grand glorious jest that’ll bloody the nose of that tyrant. Besides, pranks and jokes don’t got no consequences, right?”
“Bell Hammers” by Lancelot Schaubert invites readers into a captivating journey steeped in humor, poignancy, and a fight against corporate tyranny. The author claims it to be a story based on real life. Spanning from 1935 to 2015 in Southern Illinois, the narrative follows Wilson Remus Broganer’s (author’s grandfather) life, offering an unapologetic portrayal of faith, corporate greed, environmental concerns, and the essence of enduring relationships.
Schaubert weaves a chronologically rich tapestry, painting Remmy’s life from childhood to his final moments. The narrative delves into themes of love, friendship, and unwavering commitment, brilliantly exemplified through Remmy’s growth and relentless pursuit of his beliefs.
I love Beth’s character. She is a strong-headed and humorous character whose bond with Remmy gives us relationship goals.
The story switches between humor and gravity, effectively delivering relevant messages on humanity’s values and the lasting connections we forge.
The incorporation of callbacks to earlier scenes adds depth, fostering a strong connection between the reader and the story throughout the narrative. While the pacing occasionally lags, the overall journey is like a reunion with an old friend, reminiscing about old life.
“Bell Hammers” stands as a testament to resilience, mirroring Remmy’s unwavering determination in the face of adversity. Schaubert adeptly navigates Remmy’s quest for justice against corporate malpractice, portraying the intricate interplay of personal conviction and societal struggles.
The title and cover art elegantly highlight the book’s theme, teasing its core without revealing too much, inviting readers into a captivating narrative brimming with wit and profundity.
In conclusion, “Bell Hammers” offers a compelling blend of wit, depth, and social commentary, inviting readers into a world that resonates with the complexities of human existence. Schaubert’s narrative mastery makes this a recommended read, a journey that humorously and profoundly explores the triumph of the human spirit amidst life’s trials.