Title: Will save the Galaxy for food
Author: Yahtzee Croshaw
Published: 14th Feb 2017
Hello my fellow Bookworms and page turners,
And with all this time to myself following lockdown 1,2 and 3, I have had a lot of time to reflect on my past, things that I have done and what has influenced me. Because of this I have returned to Croshaws work, and I am looking at his two part Jacques McKeown series.
Will Save the Galaxy for Food is a satirical science fiction novel, which, on the surface, is a comedic sci-fi romp with some serious Red Dwarf / Blackadder style humour that had me splitting my sides laughing. However,if you look a bit closer you will see that it actually offers a suprising amount of depth.
The story follows the ‘from-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire’ pattern, is fast paced, action packed, and brimming with interesting characters. It mainly follows our main protagonist, who is an unamed down-on-his-lick pilot. Like many other pilots, they have tall tales of epic adventures aplenty from the golden age of space exploration. Unfortunatley, those days are long gone, following the creation of a stargate-esc transport system, pilots are struggling to make ends meet, and are forced to take on dead end jobs to pay the bills. The only real acception to most, is a “traitorous” pilot making his fortune off the backs of his comrades by stealing their stories to further his writing career, I am of course talking about Jacques McKeown, the only thing is, like Banksy, nobody knows who he actually is!
That’s where our unnamed protagonist comes in, he is tasked with imitating McKeown in a dangerous job for a big-time crime boss. It is from this moment that the plan falls apart as if it was concocted by Baldrick himself, leaving our would-be hero to fend off crime lords, angry pilots, cuddly canabilaistic mascots, and much more.
I believe that the characters are the key to the success of this novel, the lead character is ambiguous to the point he doesn’t even know who he is anymore. We learn bits and pieces over the book, but not enough to put a name to the man. At first he comes across like a sleazeball, but that impression gradually changes into a reliable hero figure with just slight brain damage.
When I read a book, its not uncommon for me to dislike the supporting characters, mainly there for subplots that head nowhere. This book had interesting characters who don’t feel heavily forced or shoehorned in for the sake of it. I like the way Croshaws use of language and whit was used to circumvent the situations some of the characters found themselves in, the crime bosses son in particular, I found myself laughing the hardest at these sections.
All in all this is what Yahtzee Crosshaw does best, from Zero Punctuation, Mogworld, Jam and now Will save the Galaxy for food his use of constructive, colourful language is cleverly used to weave an interesting, and incredibly funny story. If you are a fan of Tv Programmes like Red Dwarf, Black Adder or the film Galaxy Quest I can pretty much guarantee that you will like this book! (Fingers crossed for a Tv/Film adaptation)
Until next time, read more books!