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Posted October 18, 2011
Slow, brutal Read
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The story opens with Chester watching all the news coverage of Rhonda Romero's face transplant for money operation and recovery through the various news outlets. This is the woman he has passionately loved from afar for more than 20 years! We follow Chester as he makes the jump to 20 years earlier; his whole being bent on saving Romero from this fate worse than death - selling her face for billions (face prostitution). But some things don't make sense. Why is his car there when he goes back? Where did the purple shirt come from? Can he actually change events or will he have to suffer through everything again? And why, when everything he had with him came through unchanged, is he looking 20 ears younger? Who is Susan and why is she in the book?
As the story proceeds Chester is faced with problems trying to save Romero, problems with his present day self, problems with a bookie out to kill him, and problems trying to save another young woman's life
The basis plot is interesting. The first few pages piqued my interest enough to pay 99 cents. Yes, there was some torturous descriptions and similes but the plot felt like it would go somewhere new and different. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Have you ever watched one of those crime shows where the first five minutes is spent looking at the evil psychopath or through the eyes of the killer? Remember how eerie that is? The first 30% of this book feels just like that. To top it off almost half of the book is like this:
"Sometimes that which one wants to see least is the hardest from which to look away. It was a meek moment thrust into audacious light when Rhonda Romero, the fallen star and facial donor, exited the hospital two days later. The clicking, the flashing, the calamity of it all; it was both a sad intrusion and a powerfully obscure perversity."
"One discriminates one's company shrewdly in youth, lightly in adulthood, and with broad abandon in age. In youth, one expects the most interesting and perfectly uniform friends. By old age, one brightens just at the sight of another born within the same decade who might remember the same sone, movie, or event - one who might hold some knowledge on how to defeat their ticking nemesis or, in the least, help one better enjoy life's slow, automated ride."
Such passages wouldn't be terrible if the first half of the book wasn't ALL written this way. If any of you have read the original Frankenstein by Shelley and thoroughly enjoy the slow pace of the plot due to language such as this, you might well enjoy this book, For me, both were hard to read, but yes, I read them to the very end. For the last 25% of the book, Aleman finally lets the reader enjoy the plot, though his plot is quite thin in the end.
I didn't find the characters enticing nor fully filled out. Even our protagonist is a little hard to take because the first 20% or more of the book is spent wondering if he is a psychopath or not. It is hard to change horses in the middle of a race, even if it is a slow one.
I don't fully recommend this book to anyone but caution the reader to be wary. Much of the book reads like a treatise and I never did find it actually telling a good story.