Most helpful positive review
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Laugh, Whoop, Be Enlightened
on March 7, 2001
I plucked this book off a library shelf in 1996 only because the author's last name caught my attention as being similar to my own. I took it and 6 other novels home and sat down to take a quick preliminary glance at all of them, happening to start with CC. Three hours later, I was still in the same place, alternately howling with laughter and shouting out "Richard Dooling is a GENIUS!" This novel has everything--everything I like, at least: black humor, mordant sociology, unusual but believable and mostly even likeable characters, a plot that keeps you turning pages as fast as you can while at the same time wishing the book would not end, mystery, surprises, an inside look at an arcane profession, and finally, wisdom that doesn't seem hokey. I went back to the library in search of information about the author and--this was 1996, remember--found only a couple of reviews, in library journals, and the reviewers had not understood the book AT ALL. Its fortunes improved somewhat after his second novel was published. The movie was also superlative but went largely unnoticed. I recommended both novel and movie to many friends, and several told me one or the other was just too "strong" for their taste. Maybe it just hits too close to home. I have found most of the same qualities in Dooling's subsequent novels, which because of their subjects--Africa, cyberspace--may be far enough removed from what really hurts us here in the U.S. to be more popular.