Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Maze
 Click on Cover

Author: Randall Brooks
Genre: Satire/Horror/Humor
Book Rating: 5
Author Rating: 2

I honestly have no idea where to begin writing this review.  I didn’t laugh enough for it to be funny, nor did I find the gore gory enough to be grossed out or so over the top that I laughed at it.  And as far as poking fun at most genres as satires do, I just didn’t get it.  Even the erotica elements fell flat.  This short story just didn’t do it for me.
This novel read as if it was supposed to be ‘so out there’ you couldn’t take it seriously.  But instead of it being that ingeniously outrages it just made me go face palm on almost every page.  If ‘scary movie’ wasn’t funny it would be this novel.  I’m down for things that are so stupid you have to laugh at them.  The problem here was that when taking stabs at the ridiculous plot angles of horror, psychological thrillers, juvenile teen writings and movies, and undesirable human character straights, is that the characters just seemed stupid instead of funny.  The writing came off as flat instead of heightened and or over exaggerated. 

The erotic elements, weren’t funny enough or steamy enough or just plan stupid enough either.  People have sex or are naked at the most inopportune times in horror, movies and writings in general.  Times they would never be naked in the real world.  I just didn’t feel it was over done enough in this book to qualify as satirical.  And it wasn’t erotic enough to be erotica either it was just sorta blah. 

In my opinion of course, this book read like it was written by a 14 year old boy, strung out on mushrooms, sprinkled with a dash of ecstasy and marinated in expensive tequila.  So high was this boy that he looked at a caterpillar and thought ‘man I can write a whole story about a caterpillar detective on the hunt for the ‘leaf destroyer’ who is trying to wipe them out by removing their food source.  Then after sobering up could not tell that the story needed serious tweaking to live up to the awesomeness of it’s ridiculousness.  Ridiculous can be good after all.

Editing, necessary.  I can honestly say I didn’t find a single grammatical error or spelling mistake and yet my brain kept screaming editor editor!  Why?  Let me just pull a sentence that bugged me out  ‘after finishing the surprise exam that the teacher surprised us with’.  Why oh why is surprise there twice.  If you took a surprise exam it’s obvious the teacher surprised you with it.  And things of this nature if not the exact same thing where riddled throughout this entire book.  And the phrase ‘don’t judge me’ was highly overused.

The characters and scenarios weren’t stupid enough for me to buy into them.  Not crazy enough for me to laugh, and the twist endings always made me go straight eye-roll mode.  The first short story I still can’t wrap my brain around.  I’m probably just not smart enough for it.  The worst one for me was the woman who watched something on the news about a serial killer, hears her own friend murdered on the phone and doesn’t immediately call the police.  If you’re going to go for stupid it shouldn’t be that stupid.  Even the dumbest person in the world would call the authorities.  And then the husband chocking her to death when he hears her submitting to the rapist only to buy time for the husband to come and rescue her.  Seriously it just wasn’t believable that any man would assume his wife would plan to meet him somewhere, see him there, get kidnapped on an elevator only to have anonymous sex knowing she’d get caught.  No sane person would set themselves up that horribly.  You don’t invite your husband to a place you intend on having sex and bring your son along as well.  How stupid could this man be?  Of course she’s being raped.  Just… ‘facepalm’.

The best thing in this entire novel was the short story where the teen was trippin on some serious mushrooms.  Sadly every trip was just him sleeping in class.  It would’ve been cool, if  people actually witnessed him trippin instead of him dreaming it .  It was descriptively the most fun thing to read.

Then there was  the girl who willing dated a serial killer.  So much fun to be had there.  It could’ve been hilarious, but sadly I just thought she was stupid.  Not in the funny kind of way.  I could go on forever about how this book failed, in my opinion, because of its lack of funny.  Not it’s lack of imagination.  It just seemed like bad writing, instead of intentionally bad writing, which are very different from eachother (should be one word, in my opinion that is).

And lastly the final diatribe.  Really? In a fiction book what is this thirty or so pages even doing in here.  I’m not interested in being preached to about politics, and homosexuality, and enough with the proper way to punctuate quotes.  And how cause is only because if the apostrophe is before the ‘c’.  Seriously I’d take a billion or more grammatical errors over a bad story any day.  (okay I might be exaggerating a bit but you get the idea). And the christian hate… who cares?  I thought this was a satirical collection of horrors?  What is this stuff even doing in this book? 

It was reading this end section that made me realise why I didn’t really feel for this novel.  There’s a certain amount of  ‘yeah I said it and shut the fuck up and deal with it’.  Like I’m being shouted at the entire time. By these characters who are so grey.  Not depthless enough to be brilliant or deep enough to be amazing.  Just flatline.  I really felt like the only way I could thoroughly enjoy this book is if I was stoned out of my mind, under the age of fifteen and was the type of person who didn’t like to read. The person who laughed when people farted in real life, but didn’t find actual fart jokes funny, and I found the amount of times I could pleasure myself per day a point of bragging rights to other guys, and, oh the list is endless.

I feel like my IQ dropped a few thousand points reading this which is such a shame.  I don’t have that much intelligence as is.  The last thing I need is for it to be sucked into the abyss of the pages of writings that leave me feeling like I just ate ice-cream too fast, downed the most burning shot known to man and, then doused my aching brain cells with salt and pounded it with a meat cleaver, only to come out thinking, ‘what the hell was all of that’.  That about sums up my experience of traveling through the mind of this author.

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