Bad Monkeys: A review

Some see this as an allegorical tale of good vs. evil, some see parellels with Phillip K Dick, yet others call it Matrix-y pulp trash.

To me this is just a really really good book. A work well done. A work that I really like.

I had earlier put this review up on goodreads and now it’s here.

This book came up on my radar again. Shelf cleaning, book sorting and such like. I went through a quicky refresh across it today and my lofty head wished I get to make a film on this someday. A humbled me watching a film based on this book is far far more probable in the near future though. I have been following Matt Ruff’s blog after reading this and it makes up for a pretty interesting read all by itself! Do try it! Am still searching for Fool on the Hill so I could buy it and try it, but till then, this review (almost) sums up what I think of Bad Monkeys. 🙂

The organization, the troop, the NC guns and the X drugs… the one word that kept going thru my mind was cult, cult, cult, cult…Probably because this was printed on the cover of the book. Probably because it really is cult!

The plot is well executed, truth concealing a lie, a lie is the key to another truth and so on… facts dance around facts till the final page. There is enough imagination, enough invention in there to keep pages of fan fiction coming over the years. The simple, good old “Good fighting evil” plot is presented in such style and panache that you cannot help but be charmed.

The author never slows the pace. Even at the risk of making the story seem like it is all falling apart. It seems hard to believe in places and there is actually a reason for it! If you can believe in Hobbits and Harry Potter, why question high tech sci-fi drug junkies out there fighting evil in Las Vegas’ casinos?

For the ones looking for a payoff, the end may seem like a let down at first, but, seriously, try it again, read slowly, it is really is worth it! I cannot think of another way this would’ve ended. It starts with a punch and ends with another. 🙂

The one thing that most fascinated me was the idea implicit in the book. That truth is subjective. That lies are subjective. That good and evil are subjective. And what you choose to believe in changes the way you perceive all of it. What is really interesting is the way this idea is presented. A quote in the beginning of the book sums it up: “Conscience: the inner voice that warns us someone may be looking – H.L. Mencken”

All the science-fictioney inventions and high octane chases are gimmicks that totally add to the glory.

There are flaws, but, then again, to me they are inconsequential. I am a fan. I sit with the Bad Monkeys. You should too, if you ask my opinion. 😉

A note for the language prudes: This book is well written enough for me, like a film can be tightly edited. If you do not agree, go read your eighteenth century “literature” while you pick your noses at night. 😛