Sheeple’ by Simon Carr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is an absurdist sci-fi hero’s journey, featuring an everyman, Jim, who discovers that not only is the world not at all what it appears to be, he is far from what he believes himself to be. The world is as the conspiracy kooks see it, Jim is Satan’s spawn, and it will fall to him and his mildly villainous cohort to save the world from another — also semi-evil — faction.
Absurdist stories can get away with all sorts of deus ex machina happenings and logical inconsistencies that would never fly in other genres. This book capitalizes on this fact to some degree. However, one can only really get away with those problematic story elements if the book is: 1.) a laugh-riot of hilarity – such that the reader doesn’t notice or care about those “defects,” or 2.) carefully composed be clear in the face of the bizarreness that is part and parcel of the genre. This book is fully neither. Don’t get me wrong; it’s an amusing story with some genuinely humorous events and turns of phrase. However, it also has more fun with plays on the word “Uranus” than anyone other than an eight-year-old boy has a right to have. While it has its moments, some of the humor feels forced, and so the overall effect isn’t likely to remind readers of the work of Douglas Adams.
If you’re looking for a carefree read that will give you a chuckle here and there, give this book a look. But I can’t say that I got drawn into it to the point that I was desensitized to its spasticity.
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