Top positive review
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I feel broken...
on 10 November 2009
I'm not sure I should be spending time actually reviewing this, as getting down on my knees and praying for the salvation of humanity might be a better use of my time. Don't get me wrong, in my opinion, it was a very good novel. However, I thought the protagonist was simply the worst humanity has to offer, the personification of Satan on earth. The depths that "Steven Stelfox" sinks to make you feel violated in a way that only a shower with brillo pads could expunge. Truly a character to sully the soul.
Paradoxically, I couldn't put the damn thing down. It is incredibly well written, as is any novel with a character that has a strong emotional effect. The author is talented, and hilarious.
Nivens depictions of Stelfox's thought process are side-splitting as well as repellent. He seems to have turned the curse ridden one-liner into an art form. Which is a relief because without the exquisite humour, the novel wouldn't work, as it would be so debauched that I would have thrown in on the fire. The humour keeps it just light enough to engage with a very real, if evil, character, the likes of which I have never seen before - and hope I never have any close dealings with.
The story covers one year in the music business, and in much the same way as "City Boy" by Geraint Anderson reveals the dark underbelly of the finance industry, this does the same for record labels. The difference being that it is hard to see any upside, or how anyone could stand up to so much alcohol and drug abuse, while still being able to utter a coherent sentence.
Murder, drugs, pornography, booze and more booze are the staple diet of Stelfox. The dark humoured look into his twisted mind lifts the lid on the ruinous side to this industry and the intoxicating lure of fame and adoration. Finally evolving itself to a basic drive to be intoxicated with almost anything that destroys brain cells and morality
It was recommended to me that I read "American psycho" as a follow up, but I'm not sure I could take it at the moment; the torment from this novel has addled my brain.
Stelfox is horrible, but it is rubbernecked fiction at its best. As I said before, Niven's style of written humour is simply exceptional. If you're easily offended don't bother. If you enjoy being offended maybe you should be in the book. If you're curious and don't mind being slightly sickened, in exchange for being made to laugh then read it. I'm confused now so I'm going to stop.