Received a copy of Missing Parts by Ethan Mawyer through the First Reads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review
Joey Stuffleburg lives in Sylvania, Ohio with his older free-spirited stoner brother Thomas. On one not so typical morning Joey is awakened to the smell of mouldy green cheese. I don't know if you all know this but consuming cheese before bed can lead to terrible nightmares, haunting your subconscious, does waking up to it lead to an ominous rest of day for your waking life? On his way to work at Stark & King where he is employed as a marketing writer, Joey neglects his hygienic regiment and takes his trusty 2010 Ford Escort in order to avoid a verbal reprimand from his boss Little Len Bradley for being late. Unfortunately, his glove compartment with his "Axe" body spray has vanished, and if you thought mouldy cheese smelled bad, get a whiff of him. Let's just say that upon entry through the door he is politely asked to go on home while noses are pinched. Lucky for him he has a reserve 2002 Toyota Camry in the driveway, unlucky for him once he takes it to work it is missing all four key holes. When he calls a cab he finds out that there is some sort of force field surrounding his neighbourhood and he can't get in. If things weren't bad enough Joey is periodically pelted by produce from the aerial assault of Professor Martin Huzzah's minions. Huzzah is intent on world aggravation by preying on the overreaction of people bringing widespread panic and something tells me the following days are going to be pretty complicated.
I am not going to lie, the author lost me at times, especially when we were introduced to the uprising at the Magellan centre and the following trips back to the square. This novella was a nice, surreal light-hearted change of pace that was very much needed after reading some pretty heavy material lately. As an aside I find it incredibly peculiar that the previous novel I read had a primary character named Ben Bradley and an antagonist who was dead set on utilising microorganisms for regional biological warfare. The similarities between consecutive books happens a little more than I would like to admit. Back to the topic at hand, the author provides a fun environment filled with quirky characters,"permissible" racial stereotyping, bizarre happenings and a good understanding of the most nutritional food group, I mean what the hell is an etrog? "And I've been saying things like fudge this morning because that
creep on TV last night said something about maybe widespread
immorality throughout the city was the cause of all the weird
shit that's been happening like there's a border between
dimensions composed purely of moral fiber and by being a bunch
of soulless assholes we might have caused that fiber to break
down, which is probably pure bullshit stolen from a science
fiction book but I tried to be clean just in case. But fucking
profanity is not immoral and that was probably some frustrated
high school nerd hijacking the airwaves last night so there's
probably nothing to worry about. I really hope there isn't."