Faye's Reviews > Strange Flesh

Strange Flesh by Michael  Olson
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Apr 21, 2013

it was ok

On "Movers & Shakers" list; comparisons to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Ready Player One (both 5 stars). Okay, you've got my attention.

15% read - Ugh! What am I doing? Such an obvious first novel. Michael Olson assumes he has to provide a definition of all technological and sexual terms? Exactly where is this guy planning on finding an audience that knows nothing about either? Very old nuns? Okay, maybe, but people that understand neither and want to read this book? Where are those people?

25% read - How is this book not like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? Well, the main character is not terribly likeable, sure he's clever and horny, but that doesn't make him likeable. We're supposed to admire this hero, right? So far I'm just neutral. Also, the women in this book are completely objectified. I'm guessing this is going to be the definitive work on objectification. Berger is always respected; there's no Berger or liberal journalists here to offer balance to nastiness.

35% read - The inclusion of sex in this storyline seems totally gratuitous. Yes, the plot acts like it needs the sex to move forward, but really, it doesn't. Any book could have been used for Billy's game platform, any product could have been under the iTeams' development - the sexualization of these seems cheap. Yes, sex sells but this seems like a used car salesman's pitch. Ready Player One creates a fantastic online-game fiction without all these cheap shots. I can't believe I suggested this as a group read.

Speaking of Ready Player One, should we expect that future literature is going to be based on online adventures? Don't get me wrong, Ready Player One did it so right; but watching someone else surf the net seems like a waste of life. Is that what we' re going to have to read about from now on?

43% read - Mwah hah ha! Dick in a Box! The sexual inferences so far have done nothing to turn me on, but at least this is funny.

50% read - Okay, I'm interested enough in this book to want to keep reading. I'm convinced that Michael Olson is clever enough to deliver a mysteriously complex plot. I'm cutting the tape that secures the dust jacket from my public library edition so no one in the doctor's office sees what crap I'm reading while in the waiting room.

56% read - The editor's at Black Lace have it right; men cannot write erotica for women. I'm sure this part is supposed to sexy, and I hope and presume for the author that it is to men, but it's filler to me.

65% read - The problem here is my expectations - the whole invocation of
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on the back of the hardcover made me think I was going to be reading something intelligent. If this had been an unknown, spine-crushed mass-market paperback touting itself as a macho thriller that I found on the take-a-book-leave-a-book shelf at a campground; my expectations would have been on par with the plot and I'd be happy with this.

90% read - Good use of sex toys as weapons. Is this the end? No wait, there's more.... and more....

100% read - This wasn't intended as a bestselling paperback; Michael Olson had Hollywood in his sites. It could happen, too. It won't be groundbreaking blockbuster, just shlock approved by committee before rolling into theatres and making it's way to DVD. All the plot twists are there. Are all the female characters Bond caricatures? Yeah, but the men aren't really well-developed characters, either. I'm not anywhere near "flushed, breathless and begging for more" as stated on the dustjacket, but I'm thinking this may have generated a lot of discussion as a group /book club read afterall.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Donna (new)

Donna Nice review! Thanks for taking the bullet. Have you read "Mr. Peanut"(Adam Ross) yet? I think it might be your cuppa. Plenty of things to decode - for instance one of the detective's names in a anagram of a character from an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Pop culture and literary references abound. Story moves around in an interesting way. One of the better reads of last year.

Faye Donna wrote: "Nice review! Thanks for taking the bullet. Have you read "Mr. Peanut"(Adam Ross) yet? I think it might be your cuppa. Plenty of things to decode - for instance one of the detective's names in a an..."

Thanks for the tip, it's now on my TBR list. Cheers.

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