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Whispering Bodies: A Roy Belkin Disaster Paperback – September 10, 2013
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"Jesse Michaels' debut novel is a unique and side-splitting performance, punctuated by a whip smart narrative and magnetic prose. A dizzying combination of Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman and Kurt Vonnegut, if he were a hostile agoraphobic, Whispering Bodies is an unreasonably funny work. It's Mitch Hedberg, it's Franz Kafka, it's none of the above. A post-everything romp of delicious absurdity." Alex Green, Caught in the Carousel
"Jesse Michaels' Whispering Bodies is the first book I couldn't put down in a long time. In Roy Belkin. Michaels' has given us one of the most memorable protagonists in recent fictionshades of a 21st Century Ignatius J. Reillybut ultimately wholly original as he stumbles his misanthropic yet, at times, oddly hopeful way through the world. A great book." - Rob Roberge, author of The Cost of Living
"How this guy, this guy who comes out of nowhere, this 'Michaels,' could turn something out like this I'm speechless. Absolutely shitting right now. It's like there is finally a book." Albert Deasely, Enchantment
"A perverse, inventive, and unremittingly funny debut novel that ingeniously marries John Kennedy Toole to Raymond Chandler." Patrick deWitt, Ablutions and The Sisters Brothers
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Top customer reviews
So maybe I set the bar far too high when I started reading Whispering Bodies. What I did like about the book was that there was plenty of humor and I especially enjoyed seeing the growth in Roy Belkin as a person by the end of the book. In fact, I am actually very likely to read a sequel to Whispering Bodies because the ending does leave you curious what happens as Roy moves into a new chapter in his life.
My problem with the story is that I was not impressed with the actual mystery. I didn't find the twist all that surprising and I thought everything came together far too easily with almost no investigation (let's be honest LeCroix basically gives him everything). Also I felt that Pernice was really just an afterthought, she served the purpose of getting Roy out of the house and that's pretty much it. She could have been a ghost.
Originally I was going to rate this 2 stars but in the end Roy Belkin does sort of grow on you and Jesse's writing is strong enough that you really do relate to Roy's frustrations and uncomfortabilities. I also found it hard to only rate the book a 2 and still admit that I would read a sequel. So for a first effort its decent enough to read and I hope if this becomes a series Jesse's strength as an author will catch up to his brilliance as a song writer.
This book hilarious. Seriously, I laughed out loud while reading this so many times. It's very fast-paced so there were no boring parts. I read it all in one Saturday afternoon, which was an afternoon well-spent. The plot is rather simple (murder mystery/love story), but Michaels' take on the overused genre is one of a kind. His creativity really shines in the characters he's created, which are all wacky and fantastic. Even minor characters are unique and well-thought-out. The writing, itself, is really impressive for a first-time author. There's nothing bad I can think to say about this novel. I hope Michaels writes more in the future. He may be a better fiction writer than he is a musician (no offense, Jesse).
Just buy this and read the hell out of it. If you don't thoroughly enjoy it then there's something deeply wrong with you.