Supermarket by Bobby Hall
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This book was too busy trying to be great that it forgot to be good.
Forget purple prose, the lengthy exposition in this novel left me black and blue. Supermarket is the debut novel by the rapper Logic and before I go into my review I am going to say that if this is a genuine career interest for him he should continue his pursuit of writing. This book spent so much time trying to be Burroughs, Palahniuk, and Kesey that it almost became a parody of the three.
The basic plot of the story is Flynn, who can never finish anything, starts working at a supermarket for research when he lands a book deal with a new york publishing house. As if the fight club allusions couldn’t be obvious enough, the president of this publishing house is named Ed Norton.
While working at the supermarket he becomes fascinated by a coworker (who is shown to clearly not exist early on with over the top clues) and decides to base his novel on the life of Frank. Flynn, who considers himself a method writer, becomes Frank and robs the supermarket the way he wrote about in his book then goes to a psych ward and befriends another non-existent person.
Along the way there are more clues this person isn’t real. He convinces Flynn to literally kill his imaginary alter ego.
Flynn wins in the end and becomes a millionaire bestseller, in a relationship with the girl of his dreams and unable to fully escape the power of his mind.
The characters in this book were there as props for Flynn to interact with. Even the woman he loves only exists to love him and take care of him.
The two black characters in this book are stereotypes who don’t move the plot forward or develop other characters. They’re literally there only to be stereotypes and Flynn even comments in his internal dialogue that he’s happy Ronda is a stereotype because it doesn’t make him prejudice for thinking she’s a stereotype.
Anyway if you can’t tell, the writing style itself left a lot to be desired. The pacing was all over the place. Most of the emotions broke the cardinal “show don’t tell” rule and it was getting really annoying how after every clever line the narrator felt the need to explain why it’s so clever.
Also, every time it broke the 4th wall I cringed because it served no purpose outside of trying to be different and it removed all tension in the climax because Flynn is obviously still alive if he’s able to not only narrate his story but speak directly to the reader.
View all my reviews