This review is written purely from my own likes and biases which may, or may not, agree with your own.
The narrator missed the mark here. I felt like he wasn't interested in the book as he was reading it. There is a difference between reading dialogue from a dark, sullen character and reading with seeming disinterest. This is a shame since the narrator is a talented actor with the ability to "act" this book better.
The book itself starts off VERY slowly. Having previous knowledge of the character Easy Rawlins may have helped. The beginning of the book seems to be dragging out a character development that could have happened faster. Easy Rawlins is not a likable character and most of his interactions are with equally distasteful characters. Easy reluctantly lumbers through life as if the very act of living is both tedious and painful. This book doesn't just teeter on the edge of despair, but gleefully wallows in the deepest depths. I am able to enjoy dark novels, but this one seems to be trying too hard to reach a new low in hopelessness.
I was disappointed by the amount of foul language in this book. It seemed to be purposely peppered within the text as if the author was trying to fill a quota. I did not read the entire book. In fact, I removed the book from my device before I reached the halfway point.
This is definitely not a book for everyone. However, if you like books filled with crushing melancholy then you should check this one out.
I must preface this review with the fact that the author and I seem to have the same sense of humor. I have read other reviews that say the book isn't funny, but I think you have to be dialed in to the point the author is making. Yes, there are chapters in the book that ended before the author did, but I'm willing to forgive these given the hilarity available elsewhere in the book. It is evident throughout the book that the author has the ability to recognize the ridiculous and laugh out loud at it. He takes this ability a step further by creating mundane scenes and expanding on them to the point of mocking humor. His reading of the book brings the humor to life in a way no other narrator could deliver. I have read most of this book several times and each reading brings more than mild chuckles.
Although most of the book is great, I will warn against: The Hundred Greatest Books That I've Read, Side Effects, I Love Loosely, Michael Jackson's Old Face. The first two are too long and drag a funny idea to the point of annoying. The next two are just not very funny. Maybe the comparison to the other chapters makes me feel this way, but I doubt it.
Some of the most hilarious chapters include: Dear Amanda, How I Joined Mensa, In Search of the Wily Filipino, Changes in the Memory after Fifty. The first two could have been written by the same person. After his letters to Amanda, Joey must have changed his name to Rod when he decided to join Mensa. I appreciate the jabs in the wily Filipino chapter as well as getting a laugh at the final destination. Maybe it's because I'm over fifty that the fourth chapter mentioned in this paragraph makes me laugh out loud. I really don't care why.
Overall, this book is more than worth reading. I own the paperback version of this book, but listening to the author read the book propels the book over the top for me! Pure Drivel takes some thought on your part. As long as you understand that this book is not passive I highly recommend you read it.
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