*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author, NetGalley and Tiny Fox Press. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Writer Marco Ocram has a secret superpower—whatever he writes actually happens, there and then. Hoping to win the million-dollar Sushing Prize, he uses his powers to write a true-crime thriller, quickly discovering a freakish murder. But Marco has a major problem—he’s a total idiot who can’t see beyond his next sentence. Losing control of his plot and his characters, and breaking all the rules of fiction, Marco writes himself into every kind of trouble, until only the world’s most incredible ending can save his bacon.
Fast, funny, and utterly different, welcome to the weird world of The Awful Truth.
This has to go down as my most highlighted ebook to date! Nearly every page brought another tongue-in-cheek spoof of writing, reading, fiction in general, or crime fiction in particular.
I just haven’t read another book quite like it!
The story follows Marco Ocram, bad writer and something of an idiot all round, as he writes his own crime adventure while it occurs. Every word of the story pops from Marco’s addled brain and into reality, via the filter of the words we read on the page. It’s unbelievably meta and incredibly good fun.
Starting with a new television and a squished body, Marco drags his reluctant hero (who he believes to be a sidekick) Como along for a romp through the tropes and clichés of crime fiction, framed utterly anew by the unique style of delivery.
There are innumerable media and cultural references: Marco Ocram is basically standing in front of the Fourth Wall nodding, winking and mouthing ‘Ha ha, look!’ periodically at the reader. I think I could reread the book multiple times and still find new gems.
Whilst seemingly unlikable with few redeeming features, Marco actually quickly endeared himself to me as he bumbled from one ridiculous situation to the next, solemnly pointing out every plot hole and linguistic flaw but pushing determinedly onward in the blind belief that somehow it will all turn out okay if he just keeps on writing.
In my opinion, regardless of the outcome of the case, it did!
I hadn’t forgotten. In my last book, I’d wanted to play the bad cop in the ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine when we interviewed one of the baddies, but Como pointed out that I was a writer, not a cop, so we ended up doing the ‘good cop, bad writer’ routine, with me as the bad writer, which had caused no end of cheap jokes at my expense. You don’t forget a thing like that easily.
– Marco Ocram, The Awful Truth About the Sushing Prize
The Awful Truth About the Sushing Prize is available on Amazon right now!