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Lord Vishnu's Love Handles: A Spy Novel (Sort Of)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  718 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
Lord Vishnu's Love Handles is the story of a man who is teetering on the edge of financial ruin and insanity until a couple of secret agents teach him what it really means to lose his mind.
Travis Anderson has a psychic gift. Or so he thinks. So far he's milked his premonitions only to acquire an upper-middle-class lifestyle -- pretty wife, big house, and a shiny Range Ro
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published (first published 2003)
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Apr 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Lord Vishnu's Love Handles is unexpectedly fleshy and overly brash. Its protagonist spends so much time shooting his mouth off that I think the author may have forgotten that, as readers, we're probably more apt to enjoy his work if we don't hate its main character. There's no redemption here. There's barely a coherent plot. What there is, in spades, is a lot of unnecessary bawdiness.

The premise is simple, and then convoluted. Yuppie man leads charmed existence, with a side of psychic abilities
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not see this one coming. In fact, I did not see this one coming until about 50 pages in when I was just about to abandon it. Maybe it was the first-person, overly informal, annoyingly unhinged style, which is a constant throughout the book, but which suddenly became more palatable once the story kicked into full-on crazy mode. Anyway, the full-on crazy premise of this very original book is that a man seemingly slipping into madness may actually be the James Bond of psychic espionage. Or ma ...more
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I selected the rating, "really liked it," simply because I could not put the book down. But I don't know that I LIKE, LIKED it (to sound a like a teenage girl). The language is not for the faint of heart. And the whole tail is curious - much in the vein of a Tim Robbins book. There probably was some big metaphorical meaning hidden in among on the craziness, but since I was looking for escapism - not theology - I chose to simply read it for the very peculiar, action-adventure that it was....
Feb 15, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This story of a yuppie with a psychic gift who suddenly finds himself mixed up with covert operatives and Hindu holy men was a mixed bag for me. I loved the premise and loved the title, and enjoyed much of the writing. But I was disappointed in the direction the author took the story and it fell apart for me at the end.
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really, really funny in a few parts. Was definitely not a style of writing I am used to. It certainly got a bit strange for me near the end.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Usually I dislike books with whiny, self-indulgent, and deluded alcoholic protagonists, but I could barely put Lord Vishnu’s Love Handles down. The protagonist, who tells the story in first person, is over-the-top brash and often obscene, but adds a black humor edge to his diatribes that is rather compelling and funny. He is psychic, and is often overwhelmed by his premonitory visions. And as for his paranoia—is it really psychological breakdown or is there some kind of trickery afoot to watch a ...more
Serafina Christine
This was an amazing book. I loved the clear writing style and sense of humour that prevailed throughout the entirety of the book that literally had me laughing out loud. Clarke took big and sometimes heavy ideas and with a good does of hilarious circumstances created a book with a sense of wacky adventure and a light hearted take on life.
Jan 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let's set things straight: Will Clarke's LORD VISHNU'S LOVE HANDLES is a darn funny book--some of it literally laugh-out-loud funny. Clarke's here-it-is, straight-forward style is fun to read, and the author can set up a scene, antagonize his protagonist, then knock it out of the park with ingenuous comedic wit and ease. Clarke's goofy, ultra-fantastic story--about a yuppie psychic who goes to work for the government in exchange for forgiveness of his IRS debt, yet subsequently loses his family ...more
Feb 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading Lord Vishnu's Love Handles by Will Clarke a while back. I picked up the book after catching an excerpt of it that sounded fascinating and instantly find it right up my reading alley. The writing was plain, and when I say plain, I mean each sentence was civil enough that all levels of comprehension should be able to read from one sentence to the next without feeling lost.

Amid quite a bit of sarcasm the man has a failing business, a wife he suspects of cheating, and a drinking pr
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
This book was way out of the box for me, and I really enjoyed it. I don't read spy novels, but it was sort of a spoof of them, new age stuff, and Disney world, among other things. I was laughing and also not wanting to put it down. As "out there" as the plot was, it also seemed plausible once you entered the head and life of Travis Anderson, the main character, and I think the first person narration helped in that--a lot! The ending was perfect, and the characters were just--so believable, even ...more
Sep 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those seeking an offbeat beach read
Ah. . . this book was exactly what I was hoping it would be . . . an entertaining if somewhat slight beach read. The plot is bizarre. A Dallas yuppie scum does well enough on a psychic website that he's hired by government contractors and ends up in an all consuming battle of good vs. evil, the stakes being his family's welfare and the future of human kind (or at least Disney World). Clarke's voice isn't all that unique--I kept picking up hints of Bret Easton Ellis here, Tim Sandlin there and th ...more
Mar 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quirk-alicious
This book is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas meets Shadow Run (sorry only humans) meets Unbreakable, but it has a soul all its own. It is set in Dallas....poor boring Dallas if only it's good, republican citizens knew what was going on under it's squeaky clean exterior. It is a fast and fun read. The main character has to wade through alcoholism and borderline-schizo apparitions of blue guys as he gets sober and takes on the IRS and secret government organizations and the freaks they employ. All ...more
Not bad for a first novel, I must say. Clarke's characters, while not exactly paragons of literary complexity, are certainly deeper and more detailed than one might expect. He also has a knack for jarring imagery, though a bit of it was a little too-obviously included for shock value. The plot, while not predictable, wasn't particularly inspired, but was still quite fun. I did really like the ending; everything gets wrapped up in a satisfyingly consistent way by having the main character show se ...more
Dec 22, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seemed to shift pretty radically:

* Went from funny romp into somewhat unrealistic (I know, I know) territory, plot-wise, esp. with the masterplan

* Could've used more denouement (wife's reaction kind of unexplained)

* On the one hand, funny satire of Dallas rich people; but then the spy stuff was pretty flat (sci-fi aspects very vanilla)

* Many things seemed very perfunctory. Either needed to go more epic/sinister/top-secret, or be written more tightly with more humour.

SageRat and the chippy bureau
Jun 04, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, audio
Listened to this for an RA SIG. Funny in parts, though the language and sex might offend some. I'm usually pretty good at suspending my disbelief, but this book pushed the limits and, while I was mildly interested in where this might end up, by the time we got there I was bored. Man with mild psychic abilities is taken in to a government program in return for the forgiveness of a $5 million IRS debt. Who can be trusted? Is his wife sleeping with his partner? Is there an alligator in the swimmng ...more
Dec 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book— it’s an adventure in the mind of a crazy person. In a good way. Travis Anderson, an alcoholic on the edge of financial ruin, has a psychic gift. His family doesn’t know about it, but the government does and Travis is recruited, partially against his own will, to work as a “remote influencer.”

It’s all about plot. It’s surprising, fun, dangerous, nutty. The sci-fi mind-control aspect is a great device. I would put this in the same category as James Hynes. I’ll look for more from
Wacky read -- plays with concept of reality. Main character plays PSYCHIC cow type game online -- has extremely high scores -- government was monitoring site to find people with psychic ability for secret projects. Found the main character...The high-octane swearing made it very tough for me to enjoy reading this possibly humorous novel. Younger generation book club readers who didn't mind swearing liked it.
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a silly, mindless, sometimes annoying comedic romp through the head of a psychic yuppie desperate to please his wife and keep his Stepford family intact - often to the point of "why bother, dude?" It was a mindless read, slightly laughable, to the tune of Tom Robbins (but not nearly as wordsmithy), Christopher Moore, or Carl Hiaasen. Two-and-a-half stars; I'm halfway between it was ok and liked it, but it was a quick read.
Paula Nicholson
Mar 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was freakin' histerical. It's essentially about a dude who has some magical mind powers. Obviously he thinks he's crazy when he is kidnapped and keeps seeing the "blue genie" but its actually a covert government operation. He's got a douche bag for a business partner and there are definitely lots of twists and turns in this book. I do highly recommend it!
humorous, not overly self-conscious nor does it try too hard to be profound. just a good, quick read.

i found this book on a bench in the 28th st downtown 6 train stop; read a few pages while waiting for the train and decided i liked it enough to take it with me. it's a book crossing book - check out to find out more. the bcid is 943-4968007.
Jul 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was equal parts bizarre and funny. That expression/bumper-sticker "Just cuz I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me," could be the epitaph for the main character of this novel. I don't want to say too much about the book because I'd hate to ruin the surprises. Let's just say it's a pretty original concept, and it works.
A truly inspired, some might say insane, romp through betrayal, paranoia, religious bunk and cops, crooks and IRS agents. Trying to describe the plot of this story is to get the story read this story so as to immerse yourself in a bit of weird paranoia that might be slice of life observation if life is being observed while imbibing too many drinks or way to many drugs...
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a ride into the surreal, clever & comical world of a regular guy. It is very funny & an imaginative adventure. It's reads quickly & is worth every second. If you don't like this book you probably don't have much of a sense of humor or a sense of how ironic current American pop culture is.
Jul 04, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes christopher moore
this is a funny book about a guy who has psychic abilities...he gets tangled up with a secret group of psychic spies and learns he can communicate with the dead. God appears to him as a short fat blue skinned man. in the end he must save the world, and his family, and come to terms with his psychic abilities. well worth the reading time.
Nicole D.
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a huge fan of weirdy goodness, I find myself a fan of this book. Though I don't find myself laughing out loud, I read with amusement and a grin the whole way through.

This is a very creative take on a spy novel (sort of.) It's fast paced, and great entertainment for a afternoon read.

I look forward to reading more of Mr. Clarke.
Jul 01, 2008 marked it as never-finished  ·  review of another edition
Not likely to finish. Sometimes bizarre is intriguing, and sometimes it's cute, but in this case, I found it merely annoying. Perhaps the better half is the second one...I'll assume that, to be polite.
Mar 13, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audiobook
This book was OK. The premise was interesting and there were a lot of funny, entertaining moments. But the characters were really unsympathetic, the storyline a bit ridiculous and the constant foul language seemed to indicate a lack of intelligence and vocabulary.
Jun 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange and weird but fast moving and crazy fun. Imagine James Frey never went to rehab and instead became a family man in Texas and developed enhaced mind-reading power as well as (seemingly) outrageous paranoid delusions.
Jun 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun and quick read, the kind that effortlessly entertains and makes you want to keep reading even when you really should be doing something else. This is exactly what I need when there's already too much heavy, anxiety-inducing reality in my life.
Dec 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was actually a pretty good story once I got passed the strangeness of the main character. A quick read with lots of action that actaully makes you laugh. By the end I found myself rooting for the main character even though he is a borderline psychotic alcoholic with a foul mouth.
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WILL CLARKE grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana and holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. He is the author of several works of fiction including, Lord Vishnu's Love Handle: A Spy Novel (sort of) and The Worthy: A Ghost's Story. He lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife and family.
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