By Barry J. House

Reviewed by Sue Phillips

This is a very silly book in the best tradition of British silliness. It tells the tale of one man's experience of alien abduction and how it can lead to lifelong friendship with something that looks like the inside of a tripe bin in an abattoir. I have worked in an abattoir and attest to the tripe bin's marked lack of charm. It later transpires that this image has been superimposed over the creature's true form, which it feels is just too hideous to inflict on sensitive human eyes.

The abduction takes place on a space ship from Tau Ceti where, by law, all alien species must undergo an anal probe at the beginning of each visit, hence the title. The Tau Cetian's name is John Smith, which translates as: "one who yearns for the sweetest sessric pond, even before the third milking of Teuhleuhlah's teat" - a name implying high status.

There follow a series of adventures that see our hero, now employed by John Smith as a bodyguard, firing a ray gun with settings ranging from "mild headache" to "component atoms dispersed" (enough to atomise a planet) with "desperate hangover" and various other settings in between. Hero that he is, he manages to save John Smith from a mysterious enemy who has been trying to kill him, thus freeing the pair up for more interesting activities including exploring new worlds and playing on a cosmic computer game, where he narrowly escapes activating deadly robots.

Throughout the book I found myself smiling, chuckling and laughing out loud at the daft humour and even dafter antics of the main protagonist who could not claim to be any kind of a genius. He swears a lot, but it is generally mild and unlikely to offend any but the most sensitive of souls. Frankly, I felt that "bloody" was done to death and became a little boring after a while; but that is my only real criticism. The writing style is simple and lacks any kind of polish, but is effective and without any major errors.

If you are a fan of Terry Pratchett or Red Dwarf, you will probably enjoy this as much as I did. If, on the other hand, you prefer Star Trek and Hope Hodgson, you may miss one or two of the jokes.

I Was Probed by Aliens and Lived to Tell the Tale! by Barry J House. Pen Press Publishers Ltd pb, 112pp, £4.99. Available from Amazon Play.com and Tesco.

Author's website: - www.barryjhouse.co.uk

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