Author: Yahtzee Croshaw
Number Of Pages: 398
Published: October 23rd 2012 by Dark Horse
Again, I assume I’m like most in that I stumbled into this book as a fan of Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw’s hilarious video game review known as Zero Punctuation. When I found out he had written a second book after “Mogworld” which I also loved, and have previously reviewed. I naturally picked it up as soon as I was able and put it on my to read pile.
Well.. lets start with the blurb shall we, as that puts this story into context perfectly.
“It’s the apocalypse that no one expected. No zombies, no aliens, no drastic climate change, no lava or brimstone….Jam. Sticky, carnivorous, strawberry jam”
What a strange premise, our Protagonist “Travis” awakens one morning in sunny Brisbane, only to find that the outside world is covered in a layer of carnivorous strawberry Jam, and that is just the tip of this incredibly odd, gem filled iceberg. Throw in US secret agents, weird cults, corporate organisations and a unlikely bunch of heroes, and you get one of the absurdist and funniest novels I’ve read, yet not in an exaggerated way.
Despite the obvious humour of the book, there are still certain aspects that a so frightingly realistic, or at least you would consider them to be if you where somehow in the middle of this sticky apocalypse. This is definitely apparent in some personality traits & reactions to certain people – at first you would say they are exaggerated for comedic effect, but after a while it starts getting to you. There might be some truths in this.
It grips the reader with the endearing narrator Travis, and his flatmate Don Sunderland (who is a programmer from the first novel Mogworld) along with a handful of others, as they attempt to come to grips with what is happening to their old town, not to mention the menagerie of bizarre characters that have suddenly surfaced in the town, such as Mary the eight-legged Goliath Birdeater.
This novel sure didn’t skimp on originality, the plot like Mogworld was never straight forward and constantly changed depending on the situation the characters found themselves in, this left a lot of loose ends, some of which I think it would have been fun to have explored a little more. The writing was fast paced and in parts there was a real element of suspense and horror (particularly in the descriptions of deaths) which reall game the story depth, and kept you hooked and on the edge of your seat.
In short, the book is about a Jam Apocalypse of biblical precautions which is written with dry British humour and a bit of whit on the side, this is the kind of book that could easily become the next cornetto movie starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
And im not going to say anything more on it other then: read it, laugh and enjoy it!.. but don’t blame me if you have a perpetual fear of cleaning up any spill jam / jelly that you, your partner or your kids spill in your Kitchen.
Until next time, read more books!…