This is a beautifully written book of satire. It's full of unexpected characters and situations. Its plot twists surprised me and made me laugh out loud. I recommend it to people who like P. G. Wodehouse, Tom Sharp, Roald Dahl, David Lodge or Evelyn Waugh.
The Insane Train is a great book of historical fiction that captures life in the U.S. when it is still reeling from the Great Depression and devoting most of its resources to the war effort. Russell shows us people–asylum employees, disabled vets, railroad workers–who have a small grip on security and who scrabble hard to maintain it. The asylum patients have even less. All of them become real people in these pages.
Algernon's life has settled into an odd routine of talking to the gravestones in the Burying Ground or to his almost equally strange neighbor and creating sculptures from bones (osteo-art). Then one day a train of events pulls out of the station and heads for Big Trouble: old war buddy Norbie Hess unexpectedly arrives, extremely depressed and carrying a suitcase full of money. Shortly thereafter, Madge Clerisy, an exceedingly ambitious and beautiful archaeologist from Pennsylvania, who has been buying the Egyptian artifacts from Suleyman just as soon as he gets them, badgers Suleyman into giving her Pendleton's address, so she arrives, too. She is on a quest to become very famous. The luck of Eulalia, Algernon, Suleyman, Hess, and Clerisy has changed in ways none of them could have foreseen, and their lives will never ever be the same again.
I'd love to hear about some other books that come to your mind when you read "Third time the charm for man trying to eat Skittle off of moving model train."