I had to go to the supermarket yesterday afternoon for dog food (ie: premium mince beef needed - only the best for the HossFace). Not being in a particular rush, I wandered down the book aisle to see what was going on - because I hate the fact that supermarkets sell books.
Blah, blah, blah... usual garbage... more nonsense, different nonsense... blah, blah, blah... and a book I'd never seen the cover of before - The Anomaly by Michael Rutger - with a sticker on the front that said "For fans of Dan Brown, Stephen King and Michael Crichton". I laughed to myself, because those three authors are not the same at all (though I have read just about everything all three have ever released) and picked it up to see exactly how anybody could justify the content of said sticker.
At first glance, it sounded like a 100mph Indiana Jones romp through the Grand Canyon. Nothing special but nothing awful either. I gunned the barcode (because I've got in the habit of shopping with my own scanner so that I don't have to speak to anybody about why I buy so much mince) and it came up at £5 reduced from a cover price of £25. Bearing in mind my previous post, I figured a fiver would be a good experiment to prove a point.
The day pressed on. Work completed. Let's break the spine on this Dan Brown/Stephen King/Michael Crichton wannabe...
And there I sat, from about 7pm until 2am chewing my way through it like a fool in love, breaking only for coffee and cigarettes along the way. Then I went to bed where I pressed on for a little longer until 4am and er... finished it over lunch today.
It's a winner. It's wonderfully written, funny, exciting, has great characters, intrigue, a sustainable plot (some of it ridiculous but that's kind of the point of the story anyway), is self-referential when the only 'self' to refer to is what you've just read and is so self-aware of exactly what it is every step of the way, it gets away with murder on a grand scale.
It's not often I read a book this thick in less than a day but I loved every moment of it. I should really be eating humble pie about my book discounting comments earlier, but instead I'll just stick a fork in it. If it had been out there at its full price, I probably wouldn't have picked it up at all and I would have missed a treat. This doesn't happen often around here, so yeah, I'll eat a little pie over this but I stand by my comments and just add that there are exceptions to the rule... and I happened to find one less than a day later Godammit.
I suspect it will be less than a year before The Anomaly is optioned for a movie (if it's not already) and the paperback (presumably out next summer) will go nuts. Truth be told, this has more in common with Benchley's Jaws than any of those other guys but I guess 1977 is a little too far out of the frame of reference now.
And then I picked this up these because I cannot dine exclusively on fiction - I figured it was about time I broadened my horizons. It better not suck: