March 29, 2015

"Hello Devilfish!" by Ron Dakron: A Book to Avoid

I want to call this book bad.
                The only thing really keeping me from doing so is that it is, as far as I know, alone in its genre. There are no other books like it. Maybe that’s a good thing.
                I picked this up at my library. I’m not sure what the buyer was thinking. It sounded unique. Basically, it is the monologue of a giant stingray as he destroys Tokyo. A bigger monster, more of a squid, pursues him who the narrator thinks wants to make him his boyfriend.
                The narrator then falls into a vat of human growth hormone and become a human, albeit a blue human. Then he has to deal with being a naked human stranger in Tokyo that is still under attack from the giant squid thing. That plot resolves, but incompletely.
                The plot is bad.
                The author missed some weird character issues. Somehow the narrator speaks early about how he knows manglish – a jumbled English based on the aesthetic contents of the letters and not the meaning of the words. Think of the 90s vogue for kanji tattoos that “mean” strength but really represent the steadfastness of the peasant woman. But the narrator is also somehow very concerned and mock contemptuous of the modern study of language and big literature. I hate to apply the character’s faults to the author, but if this part of the book is an indication of the outsider status of the author, there is a very clear reason he’s an outsider – he’s just not that good of a writer.
                But don’t think the book is all bad. There is one redeeming quality. The book is very short. In fact, it was the reason I kept reading. Even if it was horrible, it was over soon.


One more thing. There's this annoying interjection the narrator uses all the time -- the title of the book, and variations of it. Is it an in-joke I'm missing? I don't know!