Thursday, 24 January 2013
What I've Been Reading:
'Mr Suit' by Nigel Bird
I was sent a copy of 'Mr Suit' by Nigel Bird as part of a Goodreads.com giveaway. The novella was described as a "noir farce...that delights in the dark humour of the situation as much as it explores the deeper issues relating to painless release".
I can't seem to decide exactly what it is I thought of this novella. I'll admit that the idea was a good one - Archie, an ex mobster with locked-in syndrome wants to die and unable to help him herself, his wife asks head mobster Mr Suit to arrange his death for her. Things don't go to plan and she finds herself making the slowest get-away possible with her wheelchair-bound husband in tow. The story leaps from one chaotic mis-adventure to the next and it did keep me entertained throughout but I did feel as though it was lacking something. I don't think I connected with the characters enough for me to care what happened to Archie and when Mr Suit kidnaps his daughter, Miriam, I felt as though I didn't really know enough about her to worry about her safety. I feel as though she could have been more of a presence earlier on in the novella and that way I might have been more incensed by her situation. As it was, there were times when I struggled to see Archie as 'real', as more than a body stuffed in the corner.
The ending was a surprise that admittedly I didn't see coming. There were some good twists along the way that kept me guessing and all in all, this was an entertaining read that did manage to keep me interested. I think it could of benefited from being longer - perhaps extended into a novel. We need more time as a reader to identify and grow to care about the characters.
The one major downfall for me was the very obvious mistake on page 19 - the attempt to resuscitate somebody while in the recovery position. You can't pound on somebody's chest while they're on their side. Sometimes a little research goes a long way...
All in all, it was an entertaining but slightly flat read.