Supermarket by Bobby Hall

Guttersnipe

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Bobby Hall is rapper Logic. I don't normally listen to rap, and have not heard any songs by him. Despite this, I heard some good things about this book, but had no real expectations starting it.

Flynn is a young man who recently got out of a relationship and starts working as a floater at a local supermarket. It is hinted that he has problems with a mental illness. He meets a misogynistic, thieving punk named Frank and decides to write his novel based on him and the supermarket. The line between fantasy and reality starts to blur.

The first thing I noticed is his prose. It is very juvenile and basic, bereft of both cleverness and individuality. The only device used is the odd simile that goes on far too long. The African-American characters are purposefully stereotypical for reasons I don't understand. Everyone seems to be a projection of different facets of the author's personality; they think and act in ways no real people do, just to advance the thin plot. The main character is offered a large sum of money to write a novel after only one little sample draft. Most people in the book like the main character for traits not fully realized.

The protagonist daydreams often, usually about doing something violent. These segments amount to nothing.

There is a twist halfway through that was hinted at almost from the beginning, so much so that you could see it coming miles away. The premise is basically that of a certain far better Palahniuk novel.

In summary, the characterization is superficial, the prose is extremely dull, and the plot is overly familiar. It is easy to read, but easy to forget as well.

Just so you get the picture, the author never finished high school and wrote this after a couple weeks of reading novels, having not read much of anything before. I would advise him to stick to his current profession.
 

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