Steve Beeson's Reviews > TJ & Tosc: A Field Guide for Life After Western Culture

TJ & Tosc by Suhail Rafidi
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really liked it

It is a strange story of how I came to hear about this book. I actually found out about it through my obsession with finding new music. So, earlier this year, I discover a band called "Perfect Beings" (whose debut album is fantastic, by the way). And come to find out, their self-titled debut album has a liner note: "Loosely based on the novel 'TJ and Tosc' by Suhail Rafidi. So I order the book online, and when I get it in the mail, the return address is the author himself! I suppose I am an early adopter.

Anyway, I found the book to be an enjoyable read, despite a few flaws. Let's just get those out of the way first.

What I didn't like:

The writing style in this book is incredibly terse, jerky, and completely unsubtle. There is a lot of " This happens. Then this happens. Then this happens" with little consideration of the flow of the language. Also, the narration is awkwardly put in third-person omniscient and present tense, which exacerbates the jerkiness of the writing. The narration is a bit too forthcoming with each character's feelings and emotions - "She feels sad because this happens" rather than just showing us and letting the reader figure out for himself.

What I liked about it:

The end-world scenario presented in the book was very extensively researched and seemed completely plausible, given the book's explanations of backgrounds and technologies. The author really did his homework. Also, the story felt really heartfelt, as if a lot of effort and care went into the making of this book. And, despite its flaws, it is a really interesting read that is easy to pick up and hard to put down.

All in all, I feel a lot of heart went into writing this. I give it 4 stars.


P.S. It was a great idea to have Perfect Beings write the musical companion to this book. Much of the fun of reading this book came from identifying lyrics and themes that made their way into each song on the album. If you are interested in either the book or the album, do yourself a favor and pick up both. They really do enhance the enjoyment of one another.
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Reading Progress

April 27, 2014 – Shelved
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
May 9, 2014 – Started Reading
May 27, 2014 – Finished Reading

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