This is very funny book, filled with a slew of excellent one-liners that made me chortle. Because it made me laugh, I wanted to like this book more, but there were a couple things that bugged me about it.
1. As the back cover tells me, the main characer, Marv Pushkin, is an asshole of the highest order. A drug-abusing, selfish, vain, rude, philandering asshole. I have no problem with that at all, but I was expecting something to change by the end. To set up such a character, and stick him in a situation like this (stuck under a broke down Range Rover in Alaska, a bear eating his legs, slowly dying…) I would think there would be an arc, that he would learn a lesson, develop a new perspective. Grow, change, be in some way different by the end. But that really didn’t happen.
2. I felt like the author was doing the old wink-and-nudge too often, especially by the end when Marv goes off on a pro-Capitalism and anti-terrorist screed that just didn’t ring true. It made him seem like a caricature, or a cardboard cutout of the ‘Ugly American’. Maybe I’m just reading this at the wrong time, maybe I’m being too touchy here, but it feels old and played out. Yeah, I get it, Americans are big, fat, loud, racist, obnoxious assholes who hate the environment and love themselves some guns and gas-guzzling cars and chicks with huge tits. But Marv is little more than a stereotype, and never really developed past that. There were portions where he could have, some intimate details about his life and insight into how he maybe got to be the way he is, but it’s too brief and not really explored. And because he doesn’t change or grow or develop into more than this stereotype, well, that’s what he remains.
The idea here is great, the cover art is awesome, and as previously mentioned, there are some really funny lines in this that definitely made it worth the read.