Top critical review
A NYT bestseller, but:
Reviewed in the United States on August 25, 2018
I bought this book without having any prior knowledge of the author and what to expect. I was not pleased when I realized that this is trash. Just because the author has made it on the NYT bestseller list, more than once, I think, doesn't make it a great or even a good literary accomplishment. And bestseller means only that this book sold a lot of copies. It says nothing about its content. So, the NYT bestseller list is no gauge for the literary value, the quality of its prose or any other criterion that speaks to its content.
It's the content I reject. It is one thing to make the tragic victim of a horrible destruction of her entire face the centerpiece of the book. But that should be enough. Having to have this poor women living with a leaking gaping would that won't heal, and covering it up with a aluminum foil which she does not wear all the time in the book, is gratuitous to the extreme. On top of that, the author describes in morbid detail why the would won't heal. It had been saturated with tissue and feces of a dead dog in the road when the IED went off. Deleting such details would not have detracted from the book, it would have made it better.
But if that weren't enough, the damaged army veteran and friend of our tragic heroin is always high as a kite on heroin. As this coarse yarn unfolds we learn that he deliberately overdosed to commit suicide. The reason? He had his manly vitals shot away and is in constant pain. There is no telling where the money comes from.
But out of pure lack of imagination or because one victim with a ghastly wound that leaks and never healed, HE IS LEAKING PUS AS WELL!
That such trash became one of the most sold books of the year in its category does not speak well for the intellectual develution of its readers. The plot has enough holes to drive a dope laden panel truck through. Apparently its readers don't mind. I found out after I ordered the book on Amazon, that this author has a whole long list of books, featuring the same hulky hero, a drifter whose travel gear consists of one set of clothes and one tooth brush and nothing else.
The ending is, as is usually the case with such "literature", a rush job and a big downer. I could have thought of five better ones to allow the author to extricate himself more gracefully from this embarrassing work of gore and implausibility. Just like when you are still having to answer three more questions on a test and it is five minutes to the bell.
Lastly, obviously knowing his readers, he uses a dumbed down minimalist vocabulary, not to mention his atrocious grammar. The actors in the piece of course are talking street English which makes it authentic. But the narrator's language skills are equally pathetic. To make such deplorable, formulaic rubbish a bestseller by a huge number of
American buyers speaks volumes about the tastes and dulled senses of today's readers.