End Credits

End Credits

author: A.F. R├╝tzy

name: Steev

average rating: 4.07

book published: 2008

rating: 4

read at: 2008/09/16

date added: 2008/09/16

shelves: fun, novels

This is a funny, irreverent novel about death, mainly, and also about life and society and class and the screwed up world we live in. The book is written in a sort of over-the-top, "gonzo" style along the lines of Mark Leyner, Douglas Adams, or even a bit of Hunter S.

The jokes keep coming even when people are being fired, driven insane, humiliated, or killed. I do have to say that the plot and premise (that God and Satan run their domains according to free market capitalism and that God has a unique afterlife scheme that involves a sort of weird temporary reincarnation) kept me turning the pages and reading along at a fairly quick clip. It's a captivating story, and I'm a sucker for books that offer irreverent alternative versions of Xian mythology (ala "Live From Golgotha").

I do want to talk about one thing that started to increasingly annoy me as I turned those pages: Rutzy has a habit, or perhaps an intentional plan, of using remarkably odd and complex similes. At first i thought this was interesting style, and it often amped up the comic and cynical atmosphere of the book. It was one of the things that pleasantly reminded me of Leyner's writing. An example of one of these that works well enough: "rage overtakes his free will with the swiftness of a starved carjacker relieving a well-off businessman of a 2004 Lexus GS 430." Okay. quite an extended metaphor, but fine. Kind of strained, though, and when this sort of wordplay happens over and over, it starts to wear thin, especially when the comparisons get even more weirdly non-sequiturish, like the maitre d' who approaches the main character "faster than a laser-guided smart bomb," or a nurse "cursing like a lumberjack who has been asked to explain the meaning of the word lumpenproletariat." huh?

Overall, though, this kind of thing wasn't irritating enough for me to put down the book, and I'm glad I read it.

[Full disclosure: After I stumbled on the book here on Goodreads and marked it "to-read", Rutzy noticed and offered to send me a free copy if i'd review it.]