A Litte Summer Reading List: Book One Review



Little book readers out there, my apologies.  Never have I had such a difficult time finishing a book as I have with Charlie Huston's The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death. If anything I am usually the crazy recluse who shuts herself in her room until the last page is devoured, ignoring responsibility and the bfs pitiful pleas that I see reason and go make a meal. I'm the annoying kid at the front of the class with my hand up at the end of the day answering questions the teacher hasn't even asked yet, much to the annoyance of my classmates who would like to leave the confines of those little desks.

Not this time ladies.

This time I couldn't even pick it up without cringing. I came up with excuses not to read it. But in the end I gave in, I do have blog readers counting on me and all lol.

Why folks did I dislike this book? (If you couldn't tell all that harrumphing was meant to convey my dissatisfaction with the read lol) I didn't love this book because of two main reasons.
1. I felt the author may have an uncontrollable urge to make love to himself & possibly marry himself. and
2. What plot?

So like I was saying, after reading five minutes into this book I got the distinct feeling that the author was having an affair--with himself.  Now this could just be a reflection of the personality of the main character Webster Goodhue who is a self proclaimed "dick". Mr. Goodhue really is such a "dick". Why? Well because he won't shut up about it! We get it, something really bad happened to you and your defense mechanism is sarcastic smart-ass humor, but seriously there is only so much I can take. I mean the amount of times the man calls himself a dick, someone else calls him a dick, the word asshole is used both by & against him. It's mind boggling.

So why am I taking this out on the poor author? Well for one he wrote the nonsense and secondly the amount of witty banter going on made me feel like I was in a witty banter contest with the author trying desperately to prove to me how he is the king of said witty banter.. Does anyone remember that show Gilmore Girls? How at first you are impressed at how quickly they chat with each other & how clever their comments are, but by the end you are saying wow please stop this is just getting tiresome.

Part two of my complaint about this story is the slow-moving plot. Now its not like I need something happening every second of the book. Maybe it was because of my preexisting frustration with the dialogue that I felt the plot was lacking. So within the first half of the book we know there is this guy Webster Fillmore Goodhue who used to be a teacher. Something traumatic happened and now he sleeps all day & mooches of his wealthy hippie mom & his tattoo artist best friend Chev who he lives with.

Everyone is fed up with his bs. So he takes a shitty job (literally) with the Clean Team, a group of roughnecks who clean up crime scenes & dead things (and by things I mean people). Classic tale of competent guy avoiding life after a tragedy.He gets involved with questionable girl (Soledad) after cleaning up her dads suicide.At this point SPOILER she has been kidnapped by another group of roughnecks who are after her brother for a  business deal gone bad. Did I mention this deal was over almonds? Apparently almonds pay a pretty penny. Oh yeah and Soledad may or may not be involved in this suspicious business.

Ok so it sounds like a lot is happening, but granted it took getting 3/4 of the way through to get to this. And it's ridiculous.And not the kind of ridiculous I like.

On a positive note if you are an Angeleno you may like this as it references a lot of areas around L.A.Kind of fun. Also the Clean Team plot line is interesting but I'm pretty morbid so I like those types of things. I was thinking it would be more about that business.
I still believe there's hope for it being a show. . .if they just focused a little more on the lives of the people whose remains he handles. . .much more interesting. Like Six Feet Under.

All this negativity aside much respect for the author. I could never get a book down on paper so I can't be too judgmental :)

Anyway I'm not even done yet. . .agh! but I'm so so close. . .just wanted to post this for those who are done to let them know the next book is  

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

so if you are ready go ahead & get reading that! I loove John Irving. I'll post the new book in the sidebar when I finish the first one! I promise by this weekend

1 comments:

stephanie Toole | August 8, 2010 at 8:48 PM

So.. confession.. I have not yet finished the book..
But this is only do to the fact that time as been escaping me..
I am well past the middle.. and nearing the end...
So review so far..
Almonds... really.. unbelievable.. at the store today.. I actually priced almonds..
just because of this book... hmm...
So for me the book had a rough beginning... it was a little hard to pick through the assholes.. and get to the story.. but... I have to admit... I am not to the end.. but I dont absolutely hate it..
I agree the whole narcissism bit is true.. seems like a small window out to the author..
I do think that with just the right tweaking.. this could make an interesting show.. if like you said they give it that six feet underish feel...
I hope to finish it this week... and will be getting the next book soon .. hopefully..

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