Monday, December 08, 2008

Starving authors' sale

Title: The Great Brain Robbery
Author: James P. Fisher
Bookmark: months-old train ticket

I'm going to let you folks in on a little secret. Sometimes ket goes to the used bookstore, slaps down a fiver, and walks out with three hundred high-quality paperbacks, and a biography of a NASCAR driver, which she sends to me with no return address. These selections are usually based on entertaining titles, or bizarre cover illustrations (my next post is a shining example of both qualities), and in many cases, her process turns up true gems.

Then there are cases that make it obvious how she can walk out with such a high stack of books for less than the cost of a Whopper. The best part of this book was the clever title. Wait. Scratch that. The title shares "Best Quality" honors with the malicious glee I felt while reading it, knowing that someday soon I'd get to review it. Books like this remind me of why we gave our little project such a vicious name, and why many of us read crap for the joy of tearing it apart later.

Spoilers be damned--I'm laying everything out for you.

Dennis is a college junior with a recurring nightmare he can't understand which is always accompanied by a sense of guilt over "the unpardonable sin" (turns out, it's not failure to rewind VHS rentals). He's growing bored with everything, despite his roommate's efforts to get him laid at a beach party. When a visiting professor runs a brain wave test on him in psych class, he sees the nightmare vision again, but it turns out the prof was a fake. After calling every shrink in the book trying to get an appointment, a college shrink asks him if he likes his penis, and Dennis goes home to discover the fake prof in his apartment with a teleportation device in a suitcase.

He takes Dennis to a room carved out of Antarctic ice and asks him to save his alien world with his unique brain waves by basically standing around.

Believe it or not, his claims are not legit. The alien (whose name, Cynnax, has an X in it so we know he's an alien) has collected 24 Earthlings in the hopes that two of them will hold the key to saving his world from a basement dimension, but plans to torture the necessary "force" from their brains to do so.

Then there's a two-page, full-color ad for cigarettes that probably cost as much to print on its glossy paper as the rest of the book. Go, 70's.

Dennis discovers there's a second world ALSO marooned in this micro-dimension, filled with people who look like dogs, and they're good guys, and although they have some trans-dimensional telportation capability, they have no devices for sealing plot holes. Dennis goes on commando raid with invisibility serum, gets captured, discovers that although the bad guys can teleport themselves across thousands of light years and dimensional barriers, their holding cells dissolve when exposed to tears. Really. Salt water apparently burns right through their space-age poly-crete.

Blah blah poor transitions, blah blah whiny protagonist, blah blah weak love subplot, blah blah painfully bad science (their polar base is subjected to temperatures "near absolute zero"), blah blah more plot holes, blah blah happy ending.

Labels: , , , ,

posted by reyn at 1:39 PM


Blogger Kate said...

When you write ALSO in all caps like that, I can't help but to think of Sarah Palin. Also.

I really love the idea of mailing people random books with no return address. Brilliant!

12/09/2008 8:24 AM  
Blogger reyn said...

I would like to thank you for prompting elizabeth to refer to me as "Sarah Palin", "Tina Fey look-alike", and "Caribou Barbie", and making continual references to my beehive and "specs appeal". Next time we meet, I will have to find a way to properly thank you for bringing this excruciating joy into my life. Perhaps something involving dead fish in your car.

12/10/2008 12:54 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Like Elizabeth really needed someone to plant the idea in her head. I'm sure she came up with it all on her own. Besides, I'm sure she's just being affectionate.

12/10/2008 4:29 PM  
Blogger reyn said...


Are we talking about the same person?

12/10/2008 4:37 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Of course. She just shows her affection in different ways, I'm sure. At least that's what I've always told myself....

12/10/2008 4:40 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Two clarifications: 1) I called you a Tina Fey "Pod Person", and 2) really, we want to know: how do you get your beehive so perky?

Kate knows all about my tough love! Beneath it all, I'm soft and gooey like Nutella...

12/10/2008 8:36 PM  

Post a Comment