I Read: The Last Time I Died by Joe Nelms
Why no, I haven’t been reading much this pregnancy – how could you tell? For a while it was just too many brain cells required and then I realized that I had suffered from severe brain atrophy and needed to read SOMETHING before what little intellectual ability I had simply oozed out my ears. My standards were low: “Words. Preferably in English.” Attempts at reading things that “might be interesting” or “looked good” had failed utterly, so I just went with “GRABBY TITLE!”
In that sense, this book was a great success. It had words. They were in English. The title is indeed grabby. It’s not a bad book. It’s a perfectly cromulent thriller type book and if you need to waste time on a train or just read words that happen to be in English to keep your grey matter from decaying, it’s an excellent choice.
My complaint, because of course I have one, is this is way, WAY more testosterone-y than most books I read. Every time I closed my Kindle app, I felt like my brain was floating around in a pool of Axe body spray. It’s not just that the book is written by a man about a male character – I read plenty of books like that – it’s that the book is written by a MAN about a MALE character. There are all of three women in the book, none of whom have more than a single dimension. Ok, the mother character gains a second dimension at the end but really that robs her of the first dimension she’d had before so that kind of doesn’t count.
The story is predictable and completely implausible, even by the standards of “I am going to suspend disbelief that someone could ‘resurrect’ themselves multiple times on purpose.” This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A plausible story would have had the main character die before making any of his very predictable realizations and had his realizations thrown any kind of “twist” into the story, the reader would have tossed the book across the room in a fit of Axe-scented disgust. It needed to go where we thought it would go or it wouldn’t have been worth the testosterone fueled journey. Sometimes “predictable” doesn’t mean “boring.” This is one of those times.
Anyhow, I have read a thing and I have moved on to reading other things based on actual literary merit because boy howdy could I not go down a road like this again. In that sense, I thank this book for giving me back a shred of my intellectual self respect. Kudos.