Author: E.P. Rose
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
First Published: 2013
Page Count: 290
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Though this story could get confusing and twisted around in subplots, the book redeems itself through its quirky creativity.
*Short story feel *Quirky, fun story
*Too many different character stories *Don’t understand some aspects of the book
“I’m sorry. It’s too late. You’ve been enrolled.” Numerous characters in England are tied together through one poem that enrolls them into The Conspiracy Kid Fan Club. The story follows their different adventures of attempted murder, love, art, and a stab at entrepreneurship which eventually bring their lives together.
This was definitely one of the most unusual books I have ever read. I really struggled between giving a “Pick it” or “Skip it” label for the review, but because it was, overall, such a quirky and fun plot once everything came together, I decided to endorse it. There are multiple story lines within this book that almost make it feel like a compilation of short stories. However, at the end all the characters and their stories manage to tie together (and I love when authors do this, hence the “Pick it” score). Each character has a very unique, usually funny plot of their own, so every chapter was unique which helped move the book along.
Even though I enjoyed the short story feel, it was also overwhelming at times to have so many different characters and stories to keep track of. You didn’t know who was really important and how it would come together at all in the end so, initially, it was difficult to get invested. In fact there are so many different plots and characters going on in this book, that I’m impressed the author could create a synopsis for this story at all; I certainly struggled writing that first paragraph summary above. I also didn’t understand a lot of this book. For some of this I can place the blame on myself; maybe if I knew a little more about poetry or old-time American movies or the blues, I would have understood some of the hipster banter and vibe, but it was beyond me. However, some things, like the point of the title, alluded me. There is no character that fills the role of the conspiracy kid. It’s merely a club all the characters unwittingly join. Other than that, I don’t see what the title has to do with anything in the story. I don’t understand what a conspiracy kid is. I also see why there is a ball of yarn on the cover and a hamburger on the back since they are a part of the book, but because of the lack of a somewhat detailed synopsis, I totally thought this was a kids book about some elementary school version of the dead poets society or something ( until I reached the sex scenes and realized this was definitely not for kiddies). I feel like the whole book, from cover to cover, and from the synopsis to the varied stories was very confusing.
So that paragraph above seems like a pretty big summary of the negatives compared to the positives. However, I still believe, confusion aside, that this is a commendable book. Everything comes together nicely in the end, but it was upsetting that it seemed to take a while for the fog to clear and for me to really see where this story was going. I also think there are people out there that might understand and enjoy the wit and banter of the author more than I was able to at some points. It’s a really short read at 290 pages, so why not give it a try? It’s certainly different.
*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.