F**KNESS is relatively devoid of f**kness. Relatively...
I listened to the first 42% of F**KNESS, by Andersen Prunty, narrated by Jeff Bower, then switched to the ebook for one chapter. One chapter. That's all. I missed the narrator so much I went back to the audio edition. Bower does an amazing job of capturing the sarcastic tone of Prunty's novel. Had I simply read the book, I don't believe my review would have been as glowing. The book is dang good, don't get me wrong, but it seems made for audio.
Now, about the book. If you couldn't tell by the title, there's a metric f**k-ton of f**king f**ks in this f**ker of a book. Not to mention some of the most humorous vulgarisms I've ever seen in literature. I loved every minute of it. I'm a firm believer that any language can be foul, any word can become a curse. "Beatrice" isn't a bad word, but call a man "Beatrice" in the middle of an argument and see if he doesn't respond poorly. But you don't need me preaching to you about language, foul or otherwise, so on with the review.
F**KNESS is surprisingly deep. Each chapter had at least one or two quote-worthy paragraphs. Prunty tackles being a geek, being poor, and being invisible to the opposite sex with a deft pen. The prose might be simple, but there are layers to it. You can breeze through a sentence without thinking twice about it, because the flow is as smooth as butter, but if you slow down, you'll find yourself ruminating on the profoundness hidden within. Or maybe I'm just a simpleton. Who knows? What I can say with the utmost certainty is this: I dug this book because I am the main character. I am Wally Black. And I will venture a guess that a lot of you will have quite a bit in common with him as well. We've all been awkward at some point in our lives. The only difference is, Wally isn't simply going through a phase. He's the embodiment of awkward.
Now, here's why I didn't give the book five stars. (Deep breath... ) Prunty kinda, sorta, in a way, borrow from Joe Hill's HORNS. Going into F**KNESS, I had no idea it was about a guy that gets stuck with devil horns. I ignored the synopsis simply because I liked the title. Then I get to the part where Wally goes on his rampage and I sighed. One big sigh. Like, "Dagnabit, man! Why?" It could have been reindeer antlers or a beer helmet. It could have been two vibrators duct-taped to a fedora for all the turds I would have given. Why did you have to make them devil horns? Now, did Prunty read Hill's book? I have no idea. All I know is HORNS was published in Feb 2010, and F**KNESS in March 2011. You do the math.
In summation: The book is good. The writing is as smooth as baby poop, and the narrator of the Audible Edition fits the tone perfectly. Read it or listen to it, I don't care. Just enjoy it, and all that f**kness.
(Note: Some reviewers have complained about the grammatical errors in the ebook. In the single chapter I read, I didn't find anything that stood out. Other than that, I cannot comment on the quality of the writing. If there were errors, the narrator covered them up nicely.)