Bill is a sad sap. He’s usually drunk and when he’s not drunk, he’s hungover. He’s a wretch, but a very lucky wretch. He keeps winning one lottery after another. In fact, he’s gotten his sorry self banned from a few lotteries for life because he’s so lucky. Just when he thinks his life can’t get any luckier, he stumbles upon a small but determined group of aliens. Yep. This story goes from being an odd comedy to a kind of scifi horror flick. Oh, to hell with it! I’m not sure what genre to shove this book in!
The most important thing about this book is that it made me laugh, often inappropriately. That probably says a lot about my personality, but you won’t figure that out unless you read this book. Sometimes I was laughing because the situation was sad and true, so therefore a little funny. Sometimes I was laughing because you just can’t simply read those taboos without laughing, sometimes uncomfortably. Gregor Xane manages to poke fun at a lot of taboos in this book. There’s plenty of dwarf humor, jibes at pregnancy, and also inappropriate use of puppets shaped liked aliens. Yeah, I’ll just let you stew on that.
Much of the book takes place in a mansion that is really a spaceship. Bill and Miss Plumpkin are the only two humans in this mansion that’s on a voyage to a far off alien world. Jake, the alien who masterminded this, was the last of a site-seeing group that crashed on Earth a few decades ago. The mansion is staffed with robots who impersonate their human counterparts. Reno is the chief among these, explaining things to the humans and keeping the staff in order. Since Bill is stuck in space for a great length of time, he falls into a ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ episode and becomes even more wretched than he was on Earth. Yet, even here, there is humor. It’s often limp, vulgar, and encrusted in stale vomit, but it’s there. Once our ‘hero’ comes out of this sodden episode, the humor returns with more dwarf jokes and some unexpected comfort bots.
There’s no one character that I could consistently root for in this book, but it was a very, very interesting fiction. I’m OK with it lacking a hero and a definite villain as this made the story interesting. I never knew where it was going and I was little sad when it ended. While I did sometimes suffer from crude humor fatigue, I kept coming back to it. Reading this book was like watching several natural disasters, one after the other. Fascinating, scary, and filled with nervous laughter.
I read this book through the Kindle Unlimited program.
The Illustrations: Mike Tenebrae was responsible for the cover and several illustrations in the book, which are also part of the Kindle ebook edition. Of course, the cover drew me right to this book. I was rooting for the killer whale from the start. However, I feel that Tenebrae’s illustrations within the story are the better ones. They are a bit more detailed and sometimes there are naughty bits. I also appreciate his attention to facial expressions that reflect the book scene he’s captured so well.