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The Chorus Effect Paperback – June 26, 2015
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About the Author
RUSSELL BOYD is an Austin-based writer and musician. He currently lives in Round Rock with his family, where they play video games and drink whiskey.
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The majority of the story follows Chintz, a loner of sorts. For lack of better word, Chintz is just weird. Like the kid in school who spoke with himself while dancing through the hallways kind of weird. Ok, so you have the idea? The thing is: as Chintz goes through the story interacting with his supporting cast, the weirdness fades into the background. You see these other characters look at him and they see him as something more, something special. Through the relationships, you begin to see him as more than the kid talking to himself and dancing down the halls, you see him as a tragic hero.
This is what I loved about The Chorus Effect. I truly did not like Chintz at the beginning of the story, but now that I'm done, I wish I had more of him. I wish I had more of this little universe that I was given but a glimpse of.
Pros: The characters were entertaining and unique, as was the story itself. I really dug the eccentric characters, though.
The only cons for the book was the frequent breaking of the fourth wall and the slight air of pretentiousness (specifically the hand holding: over explaining things that didn't need to be explained in so much detail).But really, I think it's easy to look past all of that and concentrate on the story itself, which like I mentioned, super unique, and highly entertaining. Totally would recommend to check this book out!
On a positive note, it's well written and surprisingly well edited for a self-published book. There are some interesting, odd-ball characters and had the whole thing been a set up for Katie and Chintz's last moment's, I'd have called it a success. But it's about 1/3 too long (if not more) for that to be the case.
If I had to condense this review to a few carefully chosen words, they would be presumptuous and self-indulgent. The author's constant breaking of the fourth wall especially. As if the book wasn't quite quirky enough the author/narrator had to stick his two cents in too. It was annoying and broke up the story.
It was this over the top quirkiness that eventually ruined the book for me. You have characters who speak in mixed up, nonsense for no apparent reason at all. You have POVs from the perspective of a cat. You have a narrative style dedicated to pointing out the absurd over the expected, which could have been great if not quite so over played. You have philosophy passed off as science and science of the hard-core hand waving variety. It was all too much for me.
And that is a shame, because Boyd's descriptive ability is wonderful. I appreciated the distinct lack of alpha hero and the success of the socially anxious, nerd heroes. I liked that there was a strong female character (though I'm borderline on the fact that her sexuality caused such ruptions. I think the book skirted the cliche, but JUST BARELY). But there was just too much else crowding these good things out. In the end, I bored and just hoping to finish.
Note: received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review