by S.C. Hayden
Editions: ebook, paperback
First published April 2nd 2011)
Source: review copy
In a twisted yet somehow familiar version of America where militias, doomsday cults and self proclaimed Prophets are as commonplace as gas stations and fast food restaurants, The American Idol Company is born. After outraging millions across the world and coming dangerously close to starting World War Three, The American Idol Company is poised to become the next great religion, but the looming threat of disaster is never far behind.
Their goal: resurrect Idolatry as a prominent religion and get rich manufacturing and selling Idols. They publicly promote their fledgling company as if it were a legitimate religion and they themselves Prophets. The company becomes quickly and wildly successful but outrages millions across the country and around the world. Operating under the belief that scandal and controversy will increase sales, Augustus and Desmond manage to insult everyone from the Pope to the Ayatollah, and come dangerously close to starting World War 3.
~ Goodreads Blurb
The idea of this novel is that quirky sort of might-be-brilliant plot. It’s one of those things that you’ll either love from the first moment or not get interested even after more tries. For me, it was the latter.
The writing was really good, in fact I loved it. I kept going for something like 50 pages because of the writing, it has humor, spunk, I loved that. The characters were somewhere between intriguing and odd, a mix I generally love, only here I didn’t click with them at all.
The whole idol thing, I won’t lie, I wasn’t that hot about. I’m not big on any religion, as you guys know, or any church or whatever, but I am big on respecting them all and everyone’s beliefs, regardless of the fact I might or might not share them. Because of that, I had a few places where some lines were just, I don’t know…I wouldn’t say offensive, because they were part of a humorous number more or less considering the overall tone and action, but they didn’t make me want to follow the story either. I think this was my issue with it, in the end. There were these things that were cool about it, but the overall effect wasn’t offensive or gripping, I didn’t feel the impulse to follow through with the story.
If you’re open minded about religion, by large, and like the idea of theater of the absurd (I find some resemblance between that and this story), then give this a try. It didn’t work out for me, but maybe it will for you guys. Let me know.