Indifference, Barry Blokes
It's been a long time since I posted my weekly Sunday blog. I did warn you I was taking a break! Actually, I'm still on my "break"—which mostly entails working behind the scenes to make the whole experience more engaging for you. With any luck, I'll be back in full swing for the new year.
In the meantime, I have joined a book review group on goodreads.com (fantastic site), and I thought you might be interested to read some of my reviews. Most of the books I'll be reviewing are new authors, like myself, and indie writers. Think of it as a way of unearthing new talent :)
Here is my first review, for Indifference, by Barry Blokes. Firstly, the book description:
Nobody gives a shit anymore.
We are all selfish, greedy, impatient, uncaring, and ruthless - but maybe we can take a moment for a story.
With modern technology and the ease of interaction, we have become more confident and less concerned with anyone or anything that does not directly impact us. We have also become cruel. Desensitized to sex, violence, and death as a result, and stepping over any bodies that fall in our paths on the way to the end of another boring day.
An old man tries to find a reason to keep going. A cocky insurance adjuster looks to deny you everything, including your dignity. An IT rep does what he can to impress a dissatisfied mother. A morose fast food employee has to decide if she wants a promotion or a quick exit. A shady secretary uses the only assets she has to win the support of her boss, a dying fiancé, and the family she left at home. A lone nurse tries to provide help in a medical environment devoid of any care. A single mother learns too late that her children are her life.
Everyone for themselves. Everyone worthless.
Equal in death.
My review: ★★
I'd like to give Indifference 3 stars, because the characters interested me, and the idea behind the book is really relevant to the way we live as a society today. Unfortunately, I had to deduct a star because I found the book very difficult to follow. The author hasn't put himself in the shoes of the reader. He jumps from scene to scene and from present to past with no warning, and I often had to go back to reread sections to figure out what was happening.
Many of the scenes drew me in as they were built up, only to throw me out again as the author reverted to his pet words. By cramming as much piss, shit, blood, and vomit onto the page as possible, he only deters us from the already vivid imagery. Sometimes, less is more.
The stories are also fairly disconnected. Although I think this is how the book was planned, I found it too fragmenting. With fewer characters we might have been able to delve a little deeper into their personalities.
I did like the characters, and I do appreciate the concepts. It was the delivery that I struggled with.
Well, there it is. See you next time with more reviews, articles, and exciting news.Indifference, Barry Blokes
Roger Keays is an artist, an engineer, and a student of life. Since he left Australia in 2009, he has been living as a digital nomad in over 40 different countries around the world. Roger is addicted to surfing. His other interests are music, psychology, languages, and finding good food. Click here to subscribe to his weekly blog, or stalk him on Facebook and Twitter.