Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Book Review: By the Time We Leave, We'll be Friends by J.David Osbourne
J.David Osbourne is an asshole. You know the type, The first time they
pick up a guitar they can play a power cord without any help. They
know how to ride a skateboard and do tricks the first time they try.
This is a first novel. An amazingly good, taunt fucked up mind binder
of Dark Bizarro that is so well crafted you wont believe it's a first
novel. I know, what an asshole. He should have to struggle through a
few good but not quite there novels before writing a masterpiece like
the rest of us. What a jerk. I am not the only author jealous of this
book, might the only one to come out and say it.
So you want to here more about the novel. Lets start by saying this
won the 2010 Wonderland award for Bizarro novel of the year. It is the
story of a Russian gulag in 1950's Siberia. The story follows a couple
different characters but focuses much of it's attention on Former
thief and prisoner, Alek Karriker. things change for Alek when he is
promoted from prisoner to being a guard.
This gulag setting is perhaps one of the most bleak locations for a
novel you copuld possibly pick. So of course that interested me the
first time I heard about this novel. Are you really goign to escape
when hundreds of miles of tundra are on the otherside of the fence?
This is a miserable place and opium is one of the few things that
helps to take Alek's mind off the conditions that he and prisoners
alike deal with. One problem he has is a hole in his neck is talking
to him. At the same time the prisoners are losing their minds to drugs
So why not try to escape? It's insane right? There is no vegetation or
food in sight for hundreds of miles. That sets of the kick in the
pants that Karriker has in mind for making it to freedom.
Well this novel is total insanity and I will only fail to give it
justice. It's all well researched and written. It's compelling and
impressive in every way. Swallowdown publisher Jeremy Robert Johnson
has an amazing eye for dark horror themed Bizarro and so far batting
five for five on masterpieces.
As often happens with masterpieces it's only weakness is also a
strength. I admit I have no idea what happened at the end. Of course
the first time I saw Muholland Drive I was totally confused, second
time I totally got it. the fact of the matter is I will read this
novel again someday and I predict I will feel like Moron for not
getting it the first time. Either way J. David Osbourne will still be
an asshole for writing this amazing first novel