|Reviews for Damaged Goods|
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|Easily the Worst Novel I've Ever Read|
|By:||Isaac Wilcott, Ridgecrest, California|
|Date:||Friday 2 May 2003|
|Rating: || 1|
I'm one of those people who keeps every single book he ever buys, even the
ones I didn't like. My shelf space is very limited, so many books reside in
boxes, though carefully preserved and taken out now and again to "cycle"
them with ones on the shelf, or reread them. I enjoy almost all of what I
read and seem to have less exacting standards for fiction than most people.
I'm very forgiving of authors for their peculiarities and faults, and
effortlessly enjoy what is despised by the more-critical majority.
It should come as a great surprise to everyone, then, that I absolutely
loathe Damaged Goods. More than loathe -- there are no words to describe how
much revulsion on a mental and spiritual level this novel aroused. It's by
far the worst novel I've ever read, and this is coming from someone who's
read thousands. I read it about five years ago -- it's taken me that long to
cool down enough to write this more level-headed review.
At first this book struck me as ridiculous if nothing else. But around page
100, when it became clear that things were not beginning to brighten, it
passed the RIDICULOUS point and became MONOTONOUS. By page 150 it had
reached the THIS AUTHOR IS OBVIOUSLY DEEPLY DISTURBED point. By page 200 I
was literally gagging and sick at heart.
What, you may ask, provoked this response? Page after page after page of
carefully and lovingly described death and devastation, torment and rage,
mutilation and horror, pain and suffering, perversion and manipulation -- on
and on and on and on and on. Nothing else. All the characters were the
lowest, basest dregs of humanity, doing the worst imaginable things to each
other and to themselves. No love, no hope, no joy -- only suffering and
I love gratuitous violence as much as the next man, but honestly! This
(so-called) novel is nothing *but* gratuitous violence. For instance there
is one scene where a woman murders her husband in an excessively grisly
fashion, for no better reason than the dead infant inside her womb "told her
to." That's what I *think* happened, anyway; Davies didn't seem too keen to
let the readers know what was going on, beyond drenching us in blood. If
you're going to have your characters run amuck, at least provide a credible
Presenting violence and its consequences realistically is one thing, but
this is wallowing in it, loving it, and holding it up as a wonderful
experience. Never before have I encountered such an attitude taken to the
extremes presented here. No matter what his stated rationale may be, the
author (I hate to say it) is apparently a very sick individual, who adores
and glorifies blood and pain, wrapping himself up in a warm blanket of hate
and death. Absolutely sickening.
This book is also unoriginal and dull, arising, no doubt, from the
repetition of the above-mentioned mayhem. And the few variations of
horrifying death presented are nothing new: there are all sorts of automated
killer machines from ancient Gallifrey (yawn) rearing their ugly
cross-dimensional heads by erupting from the bodies of various cocaine
addicts (gag, yawn) taking possession of people to function as operators
(yawn) and devastating much of London after the joining between mad-woman
and machine exponentially increases the savagery of each (yawn). All of this
happens without anyone noticing, apparently. Thousands die, and yet somehow
by the end of the book it's all fobbed off as "well, just a typical day in
the shadier districts of London." It makes UNIT's emergency evacuation of
London in Invasion of the Dinosaurs seem believable by comparison.
I was determined to finish reading this novel, and I did. I then promptly
tore it in half, then into tiny bits, and threw it into the garbage where it
obviously originated. This is the only novel I have ever intentionally
mistreated, damaged, or thrown away, and it deserved it. Ptui.
|By:||Mike McGovern, Edmonton, Canada|
|Date:||Thursday 26 January 2006|
|Rating: || 1|
I would like to write the perfect review for this book, but I cannot. It has already been written, just beneath this one. It's perfect. Every single word. Nothing left to say. Read it.