Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Review: Nobody Gets the Girl

Nobody Gets the Girl
Nobody Gets the Girl by James Maxey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't usually enjoy books with protagonists I don't like. And I don't like Nobody much at all (which is a lot less Southern dialect than it sounds, when you're talking about this book, since the protagonist is, often confusingly, called Nobody). I can see why his wife was happier in a world where he didn't exist. He treats women badly, he's lazy and unmotivated, he makes inappropriate jokes, he doesn't demonstrate a lot of ability to care about anyone but himself, or, if he does care, to care unselfishly.
Nobody, paradoxically enough, is a kind of American Everyman. His moral decisions reflect this. Yes, he's the only character who seems to care about preventing the bombing of hundreds of kids (a tick in the Hero column, though he doesn't take any personal risk in saving them). But his solution to moral dilemmas is the same throughout: kill someone. In this he's not a lot different from the various flavours of villains and psychos who battle it out throughout the book, except in terms of scale.
The book is beautifully well-written, and Nobody's quips, however inappropriate, are genuinely funny. That's why I've given the third star. But I dislike the moral universe of Nobody intensely, and I definitely won't be reading the sequel, which centres around two anarchic psycho supervillains.
If antiheroes are fine with you, though, by all means get this book. The author writes very well.

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