Monday, August 15, 2011
God's Holy Socks
I've been scouring the interweb tubes for you, my loyal readers, and frankly wading through some astonishingly bad novels in my search for gems to recommend. Today it's all been made worthwhile.
Mendacities, by George Berger. Catchy title, right? He could win Worst Title Ever contests with that one. After that one poorly-chosen word, though, the suck comes screeching to a halt and the coolness begins. Well, you also have to get past the cover, which screams "Arty-farty pretentious literature." Bear, however, with me. The actual novel rocks.
It's a very difficult book to describe. We'll see if I'm equal to the task. It's a book that thumbs its nose at the genre system, the kind of thing a traditional publisher would never touch because it has no pigeonhole. It's cool in so many different ways, you can't classify it.
The main characters are in High School, but is sure ain't your typical YA novel. There is a conspiracy theory so preposterous Fox Mulder would't buy it, but it happens to be true. There is mystery and murder, dark secrets and danger. There are secret societies controlling the media, the military, the government. And not just any secret societies. Cool ones! The Order of the Silver Badger. The Order of the Golden Shark. How awesome is that?
And the whole thing is couched in prose that is both beautiful and endlessly surprising. The simplest scene may cause you to spray coffee on your Kindle, or just sit back and stare in sheer disbelief at the originality of it all. Here's an example, as the narrator copes with the aftermath of his teacher's untimely (and highly suspicious) demise:
Why do we grieve, I wondered, or at least pretend to?
Is it a coping mechanism? Or a cynical social ploy to show others how sensitive, emotional, and caring we are?
When I die, I decided, I’m going to come back as a zombie and beat the heck out of all the complete strangers who make the mistake of pretending they cared.
Yeah, so I guess my grieving lasted all of a minute or two, at most.
Does that make me a bad person?
Here's another, as his mother gives her perspective on a conspiracy theory:
“Maybe they’re not telling us the whole truth,” Nat said.
“Who is they?” I asked.
“Who is them?” my mother suggested.
Anyway, check it out, and let the agreeable boggling of your mind begin.
Mendacities on Smashwords