Monday, April 14, 2008

Book Review: Under My Roof by Nick Mamatas

Every Monday, I'll be doing spoiler-free, bite sized book reviews.

I wanted to start with something like “funny yet politically relevant” but that does no justice to the the wit of Mamatas in Under My Roof. What starts out as a simple story between a 12-year old boy and his father soon spirals into an imaginative and wacky story that's one part satirical and one part too close to reality. The novel is set in a post-9/11 America and includes elements like telepathy, nuclear garden gnomes, and citizens declaring independence from the state. Mamatas's language is easy to get into, compelling, and most of all, short—a book I wished I had in my hands when I was twelve. The author also develops a consistent and appealing tone of voice from the get go that makes you believe this is really all from the perspective of a 12-year old (albeit a very smart one). Sophisticated and not-so-sophisticated readers will find much of the novel to be exciting, funny, and sadly true. Overall it’s recommended reading for nearly anyone and don’t let the thinness nor the simplicity of the book fool you: this is great stuff and I couldn't put it down.

Rating: 3.5/5.

Rating System:

1 - There are better ways to spend your time.
2 - Ho hum books, usually typical of its genre. Probably only recommendable to die-hard fans.
3 - A cut above the rest, usually with one or more elements that sets it apart from the norm.
4 - Highly recommended and is easily a pioneer of the genre.
5 - A classic or it will be.

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