the yuck factor

Sunday, December 30

i was a vegetarian for about 10 years, and still can't eat red meat. that probably explains my initial reaction to The Inferior, by Peadar O Guilin. he uses the word "flesh" at least once a sentence, and always in reference to food. there's a reason for it -- a (theoretically) integral to the plot reason for it, but still.

however, i persevered, and got past my knee-jerk reaction (though i'm betting i made a face every time i read it) and, well, yeah. the back of the book says "With echoes of Tarzan, Conan, and The Truman Show, Peadar O Guilin's debut is an action-and-ideas packed blockbuster that will change your perceptions of humanity and leave you hungry for more."

aside from what i consider the incredible crassness of the phrase "hungry for more," given the above "flesh" thing, it's not a bad blurb. there is a lot of Tarzan in it -- i couldn't say about the Conan reference, never having read it -- with spears and hunting and jungly tribal stuff. the ending is a pretty clear reference to The Truman Show, and there is an awful lot of action.

but i didn't like this book. i think i'm not the right audience. this is the kind of book that will make an amazing video game, and would indeed make a standard blockbusting action movie. but that didn't make it a good read.

why didn't i like it? aside from the yuck factor, of course. well, like i mentioned above, the ideas seemed there more as an aside than as the point, and were muddled on top of that. when i finished the book, after the (theoretically) stunning conclusion, the only thing i could think was that the book was either too long or too short.

the way in which it all ties together at the end (i.e., the way in which they connect Tarzan and Conan with The Truman Show) was a little sloppy. it kind of reminded me of an episode of Lost. lots of really insane conspiracies, possible red herrings, inexplicable appearances and disappearances, weird intercepted technology, and no real hope of it all ever being reconciled. (i will now be promptly stoned by Lost fans; all i can say is, i calls it like i sees it.) so either there needed to be less of all the conspiracies and red herrings and inexplicable happenings, or the book needed to be longer to really and truly tie them all together.

that being said, it would make a great video game, and i can see a lot of guys (i'm thinking 12 to 18) really enjoying it for the admittedly well done action and the truly bizarre concept. not to mention fans of Lost.