WORST. PERSON. EVER. Yes, that's the title, with periods. It's British/American culture clash fiction by Douglas Coupland, with an offbeat and wild bent, and not without the rat-a-tat of four letter words (being, after all, about an unredeemable human slug…but an adorable one.) The protagonist is named Raymond Gunt, and he sees nothing wrong with himself at all (kinda like many banking CEOs involved in the bailout and bonus circus, or gangster rappers whose revenge against them includes becoming just like them.) Gunt gets involved in a survivor type reality show on a small island named Kiribati in the Pacific (which is reminiscent of my own novel Fame Island, about a survivor reality show staged in the Caribbean), but there the similarity ends. This book is more like Carl Hiaasen on steroids. It's also a little like the excellent first person novel Pocket Kings by Ted Heller. Kiribati actually exists, (as Palm Island in my story really exists), and was site for a Marine assault in Nov. 1943. Gunt has a problem with the U.S. Military machine. The comedy comes from the contrast between how people see him and how he sees himself. It's not always a pleasant read, but it is experimental and not micro-targeted genre fiction, and for that I salute the effort.
I recently asked a couple of narrators to tell me about one fav recent title they've done, and why they like it.
Narrator Susan Denaker: "I recently had the great privilege to record two books on spiritual healing written by a former physicist from NASA, Barbara Ann Brennan. The first was HANDS OF LIGHT and the second, LIGHT EMERGING, both written with a perfect balance of scientific analytical sensibilities…including a beautifully concise history of theoretical physics…and yet a clear sense of Spirit guiding the authors voice to explain why love is the glue that holds it all together. Informative, uplifting and life changing. Getting paid to record it was an honor."
Narrator Johnny Heller, who is up for an Audie award for Best Solo Narration this year in IN A GLASS GRIMMLY: "I recorded YOU MIGHT BE A ZOMBIE AND OTHER BAD NEWS for Tantor Audio. It's from CRACKED. It's pretty funny. First, it has pretty much nothing to do with zombies. I'm reasonably certain that they titled it that because Zombie stuff is pretty hot right now and it will sell the book better! They pretty much admit as much. While there is a short bit on zombies in the book, they might just as easily have called it: Lesbian Vampire Werewolf Zombie Babes. It's mostly a long collection of lists. Very much like the Cracked website. It revels in taking cherished memories and tales and trashing them with gusto. I found myself frequently running out of the booth to share the most disgusting bits with Jo Anna Perrin who began to view my gleeful visits with great dismay. things like "the 5 most terrifying bugs in the world" or "the 4 most badass Presidents" or "6 Terrifying things they don't tell you about childbirth."