Imagine that you lay yourself cold and naked on a metallic table. Next to this table is a smaller table with cup upon it filled with thin, fragile glass tubes and you voluntarily take one of those tubes and shove (see: not gentle) it up the hole in your penis (imagine that if you don’t have a penis for the sake of this because I’m almost thirty and I’m still not exactly sure where women pee from). Then you hit that tube with a hammer (and you penis with it) and you’re forced to piss that glass back out.
Rinse, wash, repeat for several hours.
Does that sound bad? Because that is how my experience listening to the audio book for the first of the Paladin of Shadows books, Ghost, has felt thus far.
And if that was too graphic, don’t read this book because it gets way worse for seemingly no reason other than to shock you and make you feel that these characters are evil.
I started reading it because the people over the podcast Read It and Weep were talking about it and I thought it would be sort of an endurance test. Now I’ve learned there are things far worse than Fifty Shades of Grey or the most abhorrent furry pandering fan fiction. I would read all of those things five times over to not have to hear it casually mentioned that some college girt had her nipples burned off with a blow torch before she was flayed or to not have to hear a strange, racist retelling of history where blacks didn’t have writing until they were enslaved by whites and Mexicans always drive vans.
The strange thing is that the author used to be somewhat reputable. He writes Republican space fantasy where capitalism saves the solar system and there’s some flashes of badly written sex scattered between the political grandstanding. But this book broke all the rules of writing at large and then just took a shit on so much else. We get characters being described while looking at their reflection. Women being noted as having nice hooters (in third person narrative), there’s multiple rape scenes that seem to serve as nonsensical torture porn of liberal women getting their “just deserts”. Oh, and at one point two characters just start to sing March of Cambreadth.
Oddly enough all of this has about a four star rating on any site that I can find. The characters seem to serve as either political representations of one thing or another. The main character’s only redeeming quality is his ability to kill scores of terrorists. And the book tries to sneak in a “see Bush was right about the weapons of mass destruction plot line”.
I can’t finish this whole thing, I’m quite sure I’ll rip my nuts off first. But I am determined for some reason to finish the first part of the book, it’s divided into thirds. I’ll write on it as I go through.
The plot thus far seems to be that Assad and a thinly veiled representation of bin Laden team up to bring college aged women from the US to Syria to be raped on live webcast to teach Americans a lesson. The women are always referred to as whores. The main character is a retired SEAL team member who is attending college and likes to stalk women that he dreams about raping. While stalking one girl she’s abducted by a van (that must be Mexicans because only they drive vans) and he follows the van to find out about the terrorist plot. He follows them to an airport and hops on a plane that’s bound for Syria as a stowaway to save the rest of the girls and kill bin Laden.
Never mind that an unauthorized jet full of people on the no fly list would have never taken off from an airport without catching an ass full of sidewinder missiles, the whole thing feels like it’s too crazy to be as popular as it is, but it’s totally well received by a group of people. It’s part of that Ayn Rand style fiction where you teach by writing about how your theories play themselves out.
Except that you write them in a totally biased way where the odds are stacked in your favor. Every capitalist, inventive type is the bastion of good and the rest of the world crumbles because they are tired of holding it up. In the case of Ghost the hero is a white middle aged man who loves Fox News (he’ll only call them to get the story because they’ll tell the truth) and a racist who uses words like raghead all the time and makes a point to talk about how the movie Roots was bullshit and then precedes to blame the Arabs solely for the slave trade as if no one else was there to benefit from it. He makes a point to say things like women want to fuck heroes and even goes on to demand a blow job from the first girl he saves (she tells him that she will blow him the next time she runs into him no matter where she spots him). And a character that refers to almost every woman in the book as a liberal bitch and makes a comment about how they’re going to turn these nearly raped girls into Republicans yet (because they’ve seen the horrors of Muslims).
The writing is made for a specific type of person to confirm what they already believe and what’s probably saddest is that I don’t see enough reviews pointing this out and condemning it. Even in the bad reviews.
This is running long, but there will be more to say once I finish this first third, I’m sure that this shit just gets worse.