Skip to main content

The Résumé by Simon L. Read

You can debate my expanding waistline
but you do not question the résumé!
Firstly, I must disclose that I read this at the behest of someone who may or may not be the author. I assume he is, although it's not clear. It was made available for free in return for a review of equally ambiguous nature.

"The planet had become a giant sheet of framed paper, unquestionable."

So relates the unreliable narrative of Tedwin torX Jnr, detective and possessor or the titular résumé. It is one of many shallowly profound statements that ping around this surreal concept novel, a time-travelling parody of a police procedural and dated futuristic Dada-esque nonsense piece. The forward, by a fictitious film historian, places this as a novel written in 2016 that somehow influences a film of the same title released in 1994, the references to which seep into the public consciousness and become ubiquitous in the years that follow. The action kicks in straight away with the archetypal 'chief' chewing out our narrator before unloading a shotgun into his own face. From there it gets a little weird. Or more weird. Ted torX is on the trail of a serial murderer, all the while taking great care to keep his résumé updated, and all that stuff from the book blurb.

It's hard to know what to make of such absurdity, other than to recount, truthfully, an emotional reaction. With some evident humour and intelligence, as well as a frisson of sexual ambiguity, it was very enjoyable to read, and if you don't put too much effort into wondering what is anagram, what is obtuse reference, and what the fuck it all means, then it's a pleasing diversion, an afternoon's delight. This may not assist you with your decision-making, but it's only £2.99 so why not make up your own mind? If it makes a difference, this is currently the most helpful review on Amazon.
Enough said.


Comments

How's about that then?

Free Fall In Crimson by John D. MacDonald

Trav is back, still grieving the loss of some chickadee or other whose death almost knocked him off his game, but not too shook up to set himself up with a few more lucky lovelies whilst tripping his way through another overly complicated and rather sordidly underwhelming plot. This time, some bikers are making dirty movies with minors on the set of a future classic hot-air-balloon movie. Travis falls into the action because a rich old geyser carks it in unusual circumstances and it affects the trust fund of a former marina-mate. And hirsute intellectual Meyer wets his pants towards the end. 

You may sense a fatigued, sardonic note in my precis. It's not that I don't still love John D., it's just that after embarking on the long game that is reading the entire Travis McGee oeuvre, I'm approaching the end and it feels long overdue. It's been fun, it's been enlightening, but it's also been a schlep. With the realisation I might now have fewer years left to me …

The Lost Time Accidents by John Wray

Fup by Jim Dodge

If there was a comfort-food version of a book for me, then this would be it. It's funny, touching, humanistic, and features so many quotable quotes that its trim 120 pages could be represented in its entirety on some such authors' quotations page.

We're introduced to Tiny on the occasion of his mother's death, lured into a treacherously fatal situation by, of all things, a duck, while her 4-year-old son sleeps in the car where he wakes to a terrifying solitude. Meanwhile, we're treated to a potted but entertaining history of Granddaddy Jake, Tiny's grandfather, into whose care by fair means or foul (no pun intended) he is finally placed. But the titular Fup duck comes along only once Tiny is fully grown (and how!). A lost and lonely duckling, much like Tiny, she's discovered shivering in a freshly dug post hole, which betrays the attention paid to it by Tiny's nemesis, a wild hog called Lockjaw, who enjoys tearing up Tiny's fences just as much as he …

Metaliterature - what meaning to have is this for meaning?

Not a review this time, more of a curiosity. It seems I'm receiving lots of hits from Russia (Здравствуйте России!) from people searching for the definition of "metaliterature". As such, it is something of a bespoke word, created to fit a need and probably not yet recognized outside literary theory / criticism circles (Merriam-Webster Online certainly don't like it). I was wondering what they typed in to end up here, so, for fun (it's not fun, sorry) I thought I'd bung it in Google Translate and see what came out. As it turns out, one needs a little hyphen for the rather ponderous machine to understand it, and even then only does half the job (meta seems to be meta in any language). 
Incidentally, below is, ironically, a Google Chrome Thesaurus definition* of "meta":

met·a Adjective/ˈmetə/
(of a creative work) Referring to itself or to the conventions of its genre; self-referentialInterestingly (not interesting, sorry) it says this for the full term, t…