Okaaay, a different subgenre of comedy, I guess. The “Stoner Novel.” It is designed to appeal to people who do a lot of weed and don’t want to know and don’t care about the consequences of their actions in a meaningless world. “Stupid world. Stupid life. Another day in my boring existence.”
The saving grace of this book is that Thad is acutely aware of his situation and has a humorous and self-deprecating way of discussing it. It also explains how he can cope with the fact that he has met an escaped alien political refugee and the evil ruler of her race is about to destroy the world. His response? “We are going on an adventure!!!” Which leads us to the suspicion that Thad is an endearing nut-job, and he’d be the first to agree.
The structural problem of the book has to do with humour and weed. Humour is a human way of removing the tension from a difficult situation, and weed is a way of taking the tension out of humans. This plays out in the novel by removing most of the emotional intensity. No matter what awful things happen, the author will soon make a joke or the main character will get stoned again, and that will relax the suspense.
It takes until the middle of the book before we are hit with an emotional situation that breaks through this haze. Then the action takes off, and Thad backs off (not completely) on the marijuana. He allows himself to start caring for people (well, beings) and to become involved in life.
Once he begins to care, we begin to care more about what happens to him, and from then on the author concentrates on a good, rollicking space opera, interspersed with cynical humour and bouts of smoking up.
Recommended for fans of weed with a humorously cynical view of the universe (the whole universe) and who like to relax (and I mean really relax) with a good book.
(4 / 5)