3/5 stars Cute but Ultimately Inane
If you read the blurb after hearing the story you’ll realize that it pretty much sums up the entire plot. Henry Pash gets turned down flat by the patent office for a mysterious invention that you don’t learn about until roughly 2/3 of the book have gone by.
– I’m going to preface with perhaps this is just “not my thing” because I tend to hear way more epic fantasy, mystery, and science fiction than humor.
– For something filed under “humor” I’m a little disappointed. Don’t think I laughed aloud once, though there might have been a few things to chuckle about. That might be a simple matter of the humor being not my style. There were a ton of metaphors and similes, several quite clever, but most more annoying than anything else.
– The protagonist had a way of describing things that was very … thorough.
A simple concept like “I thought he would be impressed” becomes à “I was sitting at the edge of my seat hoping for an opportunity to spring out of the chair and lay out the idea upon him first hand. I knew it would floor him like I knew the time of the day. I imagined that awe-struck Turner, hanging on to my every word, eyes widening and mouth agape as I sketched the highlights for him.” While thorough, the way things were described also came across as tedious.
– Characters (2/5):
I get that this is a first person narration style, but nearly every character sounded the same. I don’t mean the narrator couldn’t do various voices – he did fine. I mean that all of Henry’s friends worded things and thought the same way. As a narrator, Henry’s unreliable. By that, I mean, he skips around, telling the story out of order, ultimately for effect. While it works, it’s also annoying. I didn’t particularly like the protagonist. There’s no real sense for what he does besides visit a café and pine/wallow in self-pity for being rejected for his brilliant idea.
– Plot (2.5/5):
This is where the deviation from my usual genres might be kicking in. I found it boring. Nobody died. Nobody got shot at. Nobody faced any sort of danger or crisis. Henry might argue with me on that point as the patent office’s rejections was hands-down the end of his world, so he decided to wallow for a third of the book.
– Twist (4/5) – The way things tie up in the end works. It’s a very neat little package. The conclusion also takes place almost instantly.
– Technology (3/5):
I suppose you could file the book under near-future dystopia or even scifi. The ideas represented by the Boztecs are very cool and all too close to reality.
– Narration (4/5):
Well-handled. There was one breathy character in the beginning who drove me crazy, but thankfully, he didn’t return for the rest of the book. The overall light-hearted tone suited the story very well.
– There are not enough unrealistic elements to be a strange fairy tale. Moral being, money can’t buy happiness.
– Who do I think this will resonate well with?
Not exactly sure of the target audience, but I don’t think I’m in it. Middle age and older men. Please note that this is in no way a knock against older men. Rather, it’s an acknowledgement that my tastes will probably not be identical to them. Also, not saying that nobody in any other age range or stage of life will like it. Just taking a guess at who might “get” the brand of humor being presented here.
Whether you’ll enjoy the book depends on your tastes. I suppose that’s true for everything in life. The things that bothered me are going to click with others. The humor type is very dry, perhaps too much so. Listen to the sample and/or read a few pages. If you like what you see, give it a go.
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