Thursday, 10 March 2016

Book review - Celebrity Culture - Duncan P Bradshaw


Back in the late 1970's Malcolm McKindy started to produce diseases. By the early 1980's he had become the leading celebrity virologist, proudly winning the title for two and a half years in a row. He was working on developing a new disease, a disease that would change the world forever; Mad Dog.

Malcolm became the reason that the Lou Gehrig awards were initially created. A ceremony where 'celebrities' take a plague off, where diseases are introduced to the host, and the winner is the disease that ultimately triumphs. The winners are then taken and mulched down in to a gritty paste for mass consumption.

We join the proceedings at the 13th annual awards, being hosted at the Roquefort Plaza, where our celebrities are getting ready to crumble. Expect things to happen, mufflers appearing in the neck of a host from a 63 Buick Riviera whilst they are transforming into a drive through cinema, through to the arms of host's beginning to show re-runs of Different Strokes.

Confused enough?

I'm leaving my overview there. It's difficult to give this book a simple description of its overall story because there isn't one. Its written in such a unique way that the only way to truly understand it, is to become immersed within its pages. I know for a fact that some people won't like this story, but the reason that they won't like is simple; they won't truly get what it's all about. In this book Bradshaw has taken just about every triviality and modern lifestyle reference, totally rinsed it with satire and spat it out the other end.

If like me, your brain works on a level where you are able to have lengthy discussions about the hierarchy of cheese, or whether Yoda took too much acid in his youth, then this story will float your boat. You have to remember to treat it in the exact manner of which it is intended, otherwise you may start looking for reasoning that isn't required and probably end up going cross eyed. Over thinking it may result in not liking it, and that isn't Bradshaw's intention.

This is a world where diseases are a life choice, not a way to get laid, and where youths can be seen on the streets drinking viro-juices. Its a world where diseases must be union sanctioned, and we ponder whether we will ever discern the true meaning of life, death and saxophone solo's.

Its mad, its out there. In places, its bat s**t crazy, but it works. Its extremely well written, and Bradshaw can be commended for both his ability as a writer and his outlandish imagination; refusal of entry into the awards as his veins were pumping blood counter clockwise. There are elements where the book switches from third, to first person perspective, so it pays to concentrate, otherwise you may end up re-reading sections.

I picked this up over the weekend and never got chance to really start it whilst giving it the attention that it fully deserved, so left it alone until I had the time. I picked it back up again today and devoured it in one go.

A great book, great humour and a short, sharp read. I will be reading more from this author.

Really entertaining and unique. My rating 4/5

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