Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book Review: This Unhappy Planet by Marc Horne

Reviewed for The New Podler Review of Books by Libby Cone.

This Unhappy PlanetAn elementary schoolteacher, a ravenous entrepreneur, and a New Age drifter form a company in Southern California to offer one-stop shopping for any kind of spirituality their well-off clientèle might wish. This sounds like the beginning of a joke, as well it should, but this book is awfully unfunny. Instead of jokes about messed-up kids really being “Indigo” and the language of beemers, we get odd metaphors and similes like “A bad vibe was bubbling up in the lava of the day” and “Her lips moved a little, like bananas full of maggots.” Most of the characters are not very likable, which is no sin; although I wasn't crazy about “The Kindly Ones,” you can bet I read it through to the end to see what its sick-pup protagonist would do next. But this isn't the Southern California of Didion or DeLillo; the characters and the plot are pretty predictable. The men are snarky and misogynist, the women neurotic and needy. We feel the economy tiptoeing towards the cliff, and see the unsurprising panic when it crashes. I'd love to see more character variety and depth, or at least more humor. The topic has the potential to be extremely humorous.

Gotta go adjust my aura!

The book is available at Smashwords.

No comments: