Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Awful Truth About the Sushing Prize’ by Marco Ocram, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I was delighted to participate in this tour, and to read a highly entertaining book outside by usual genres, and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*
Should I tell him about Sushing or play dumb?
Sticking in my comfort zone, I played dumb.
Writer Marco Ocram has a secret superpower—whatever he writes actually happens, there and then. Hoping to win the million-dollar Sushing Prize, he uses his powers to write a true-crime thriller, quickly discovering a freakish murder. But Marco has a major problem—he’s a total idiot who can’t see beyond his next sentence. Losing control of his plot and his characters, and breaking all the rules of fiction, Marco writes himself into every kind of trouble, until only the world’s most incredible ending can save his bacon.
Fast, funny, and utterly different, welcome to the weird world of The Awful Truth.
I knew from reading the synopsis of this book that it was going to be something different, which is what appealed to me, and it is undoubtedly a unique book. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it – balancing humour, crime/mystery and utterly shattering all expectations and the fourth wall in the process. It did take me a little while to get into this one. Partly as you have to get your head around the fact that the entire book is being written as you write, the character is the author, and the author is the character. As I said, it’s a very different book. However, once I got my head around that concept – as much as you can, as if you try to focus on it too much it will just send your mind spiralling into confusion (I know, I tried).
It’s not a book that will work for everyone.
Partly because of that concept, partly for the humour – which I adored – which was alternatively subtle lines that you had to read twice, and more blatant lines written for the laughs. Had it just been the latter, I think that it could have been overdone, but the subtlety in between made it and certainly appealed more to my sense of humour.
It’s also, in my opinion, very much a ‘writer’s’ book.
Some of the humour and the moments in the story are something that as a writer myself I am very familiar with – the urge to ‘re-write the sequence’, finding and ignoring plotholes, and discovering the story for yourself as you write it. I loved that. For me, it was the defining part of the book. It had been chuckling to myself whenever I came across those parts, but that was because I understood and emphasised with those difficulties. Non-writers who are reading this book might not get the same nuances, which would make the book harder to understand.
That said, if you can let go of any preconceptions and let yourself just enjoy the concept, then this is highly entertaining, hilarious read. It is absurd, it is cliché in places. Still, it plays on that beautifully, and for anyone who has ever wanted to know what it’s like to be inside an author’s head and watching the story unfold then this is the book for you. If you want a laugh, especially at the moment, then give this book a shot, just be prepared for how different it is and let yourself enjoy the ride.
About the Author:
Marco Ocram is the world’s first self-written author-cum-protagonist. First imagined in 2015, he has gone on to infect the world of literature with two awful anti-thrillers which subvert the tropes of mainstream fiction. Heavily dosed with nuanced intertextuality, the books make little literal sense, and will strike you either as hilarious spoofs or utter nonsense, depending upon your taste in such matters.
The Awful Truth About the Sushing Prize – Marco Ocram (Published in paperback and digital formats by Tiny Fox Press on 4th June 2019) – 3.5/5 (3.5 stars)
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book. Or if you have any recommendations for similar books, please shoot them my way.
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