I’ve had a long-held belief that many editors and publishers are afraid to admit when they don’t understand something. When the form of a written work is off just enough that it appears to be done on purpose and not because the author doesn’t know how to write, then it must be ‘new’ and ‘innovative’ and even though it’s hard to follow and doesn’t make sense, it must be publish-worthy because it’s bucking a trend. Sorry. Sometimes it’s just crap.
I’m really, really curious as to how this novel got published.
Okay…there’s a decent idea in here. Not a particularly new one, if you’ve read a fair amount of science fiction/fantasy, but the idea is okay. A young man is given a book called “The Calendar of Sleights” and as he reads it he starts to develop supernatural powers. Cool.
So who are ‘the assholes’ in the title? Some rival magicians, according to the book. Our intrepid hero, Mike Wood, according to me.
Author Sam Munson’s writing is distracting. He appears to be spending a lot of time developing or setting up a ‘voice’ – concentrating on the form, rather than telling us a story that is engaging or captivating. The short, clipped sentences – constantly! – made this challenging to read. A challenge is okay if it pays off, but this doesn’t make the grade.
I never bought in to our central character or cared why he was the one selected for this quest. His arrogance and laissez-faire attitude was more annoying than appealing.
I so much wanted to like this book. A great title and the germ of an interesting idea but it gets lost in Munson’s attempt to be creative in style.
Looking for a good book? The War Against the Assholes by Sam Munson is a fantasy novel that favors style over content and drags because of this.
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The War Against the Assholes
author: Sam Munson
publisher: Saga Press
hardcover, 272 pages