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By Elizabeth Frey-Thomas on 08-27-15
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
The only caveat I would extend, prior to recommending this book is that it is quease-inducingly gross, pretty often. Now, that is not to say that it isn't necessary to the telling of the tale, it just means that you may not want to be eating, while reading. Honestly, though, I would totally recommend the book, for its intelligent word-play, and its in-your-face storyline. I found the messianic overtones really interesting.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Sloughing Off the Rot?
Oh my, there are plenty! I think when you realize that there are more layers to the tale than what the protagonist understands, it's a pretty memorable moment. Some of the memorable scenes need to be experienced first hand by the reader, and not projected ahead of time. Much of the novel defies description.
Have you listened to any of Michael Vasicek’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I have listened to another book he's narrated. I admire Vasicek's "clean" reading of a novel - he doesn't telegraph that an event is about to happen, in a way that ruins the suspense. He is pleasant to listen to. With this particular book, there are scenes that would have caused an audible cringe, from many narrators, and he didn't do that. Admirably, he has a range of character voices that make listening to dialogue from the novel easy to follow, as well.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
I'm pretty sure the blumpkins make this an unmarketable movie... the CGI costs would be astronomical, and they'd have to ditch the bestiality, to get an MPAA rating
Any additional comments?
I want to reiterate how insanely clever this story was. The author works song lyrics and other quotable soundbites into the dialogue in a really amusing way. It is both humorous and frightening. There are echoes of messiah fables, Wizard of Oz, Heart of Darkness, all with a very fresh (and at the same time fetid) voice. Quite well done.
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By Cynthia Mab on 11-22-15
It doesn't get much better than this
This is the second time I read Carbuncle and I think he has such an enjoyable style. I read this in a particularly stressful week and it did make me laugh out loud, so the timing couldn’t be more appropriate. His previous novel “Smashed” is all strange, humorous and unique — that’s why I love it — but this one manages to be even more twisted. Sick is the best word to define it, I think. How was he able to transform such a simple plot (troubled-hero-embarks-on-a-self-discovery-journey-where-he-meets-random-people-who-change-him) into such a lysergic experience? The plot had nothing spectacular about it, but similarly to Smashed, what conquered me in this book was the humor, the craziness, the adrenaline and the fact that I could relate with John on so many levels (ok, that’s just embarrassing).
I usually don’t prefer writing over plot, there needs to be some sort of equilibrium. I’ve read authors who wrote brilliantly about things that made me want to erase my memory and, for that reason, I wouldn’t consider them perfect. I’ve read authors who executed a great idea so poorly that I felt sorry for the death of the idea involved. I’ve also read writers like John Fowles who are able to transform a nice concept into a masterpiece. These are my favorite types of authors. And then there are people who can start from a completely ordinary plot and still amaze me because the writing is so special I just can’t help being addicted to it. Lance Carbuncle falls into this last category.
"Sloughing off the rot" is somewhat similar to Nick Hornby's "About a boy". There are musical references, the narrative isn’t pretentious and the main character is extremely likable, despite all his flaws (and he has many). Also, there’s something childish about him, perhaps because he is a man without a past. But "Sloughing" is way crazier. And funnier.
Overall, a very authentic and creative novel that managed to amuse me in the middle of a brutal week. 4 out of 5 stars.