You’ve heard the term “popcorn movie” before, right? It basically means the movie is a big summer (usually) blockbuster full of action and special effects and actors who look sexy covered in sweat and grime, huge setpieces, exciting shootouts and explosions, and while the heroes may go through a bit of hell, they triumph in the end. What it does NOT mean is that the movie is going to be some life-altering examination of character and humanity full of quiet heartache and a slow pace. That’s what the Oscars are for.
JERRY’S BOOK SUCKS: THE BOOK is a “popcorn book”, and that is not meant as an insult on any level. It knows exactly what it is, what it’s trying to accomplish, and the general laws of physics and human nature be damned. It sets its eyes on the goal, jumps in the car (or on its horse 😉 ), and floors it. Full speed ahead and hang on for the ride. THAT is what this book was for me. A big, bold, ambitious, and satirically hilarious big-budget Hollywood action fantasy that basically takes all the ingredients from a dozen totally different recipes and tosses them all in together for a glorious cauldron of steaming hot fun. Oh, and don’t forget the kitchen sink…that’s thrown in there, too.
Jerry is an overbearing bore, and Rob loses a bet playing darts with him. His bane for losing is that he must edit and publish Jerry’s book–which has no title–since Rob had self-published a book of his own before. The problem is, Jerry’s book, well…it sucks. It’s about Jerry, who has renamed himself Gary in the story, and how he has to stop the vicious bat-monster Bob–curiously close to Rob’s name. There’s a girl in the mix who’s been taken, and Gary goes on a quest to find and save her from the nefarious Bob before he hurts her AND before he amasses the power to control the entire universe. Along the way, Gary enlists Helen, a woman who works for him–and has been turned into a gelatinous goo with an eyeball in it–and an otherworldly gnome by the name of Ryan, King of the Foopians (just read the book).
We travel across time, across space, to other planets, other galaxies, other dimensions, and even Hell! There’s absolutely NO place this book doesn’t go with its sprawling adventure, and along the way we get a handful of Footnotes from Rob, the editor, where he explains how Jerry has taken some real-life situations and written them into the book, but he’s always changed it to make Bob/Rob look bad. Oh, and Jerry has written himself/Gary as an obnoxious, know-it-all, perfect male specimen who makes other men green with jealousy and makes women’s panties eject into the nether with lightning speed at the sight of him.
We can tell Rob hates Jerry, and his footnotes throughout really drive that point home. However, in spite of all this, Jerry’s book really DOESN’T suck. I mean, sure, strip away the scathing satire and the fact that we’re reading a book edited by a guy who hates the author, and this wouldn’t work so well. But in the framework of how the story is presented, it ends up being a home run. There’s fun to be had on every page, laugh out loud moments assail us at every turn, and there’s simply no predicting what will come next. How do you predict that an elderly woman with a talking tit will turn into goo after a fall and spend the rest of the story in one bottle or jar or another in a holster on Gary’s hip, end up screwing herself (literally and hysterically), and pleasure a lusty demon?
Answer: you can’t!
Jay Sigler and Justin M. Woodward have created an absurdist masterpiece here, a mixture of bizarro fiction, sci-fi, and high fantasy, and I for one have never come across anything quite like it before. I do hope I get to experience something like it again if the authors decide to continue Jerry’s sucky books story. When it ended, I wanted more.
Its got action, its got comedy, its got romance, its got an army of talking yard gnomes, its got time travel, portals to other worlds, and a berry that turns you into a walking cellphone to people across the galaxy. And so much more.
Your life will not be changed here. You will not reach some epiphany about life and humanity. You will not break down in tears (except for those of laughter), but what you WILL walk away with is the memory of some of the best fun you’ve ever had ‘twixt the covers of a book. I mean that. Lots of laughs, lots of WTF moments, lots of action and explosions and shootouts and even a pretty damned good rap battle.
If any or all of that sounds appealing to you, snag this up. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, and who doesn’t like a good belly laugh or 800? I know I do, and I had a great time with Jerry’s Book Sucks: The Book. You will too.
Now, go buy the foopin book. Find it in print, digital, and audio here.