Title: The Good Humor Man
Author: Andrew Fox
Page Count: 282 pages
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Genre: Satire, Fiction
50 words or less: In 2041, fat is out and emaciated is in whether you like it or not. Vigilantes burn junk food in the street, nobody wants to get pregnant because then they'll be fat, and twelve pounds of liposuctioned Elvis might be the key to saving all life on the planet.
My favorite book in the entire world is Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins. I fell in love with that book the first time I read it years ago, and I keep revisiting it over and over again. Every time I read it, though, I take something new away from it, whether its the musical language of the book, the hilarity of the storyline, the incredibly serious themes, the outrageous characters, or just the overall experience of reading it.
I had exactly the same experience reading The Good Humor Man. There's definitely plenty of comedy to be had here. although it's definitely of the funny hmm hmm and not the funny ha ha variety. The cast of characters is colorful in the extreme: Dr. Louis Schmalzberg, an aging plastic surgeon who joined the Good Humor Men, a band of dudes who confiscate "bad" food and your health insurance while they're at it, after the death of his wife from cancer. There's Margo, a reclaimed member of a liposuction cult, Eric Trotmann, the leader of said liposuction cult, Oretha Denoux, the driving force behind keeping Carnival alive in New Orleans after all fatty foods and their associated debauchery were banned, and many, many others.
What really resonated with me, though, was the artful way that Mr. Fox used all the absurdity to tell a truly frightening story. If you're a conspiracy theorist, you'll definitely want your tin foil hat before reading this book, and if reading the book left you without anythin to consider, you might want to consider reading it again. Seriously.
The themes and issues that come up in the story are as far-reaching as, what impact does Elvis and his memory have on the American psyche? Is fat (the substance) really as diabolical as we all think? Do we really know how relying on technology for quick fixes for our problems is going to affect the future? What will limited biodiversity mean for us in the future? What happens when you realize you've been living a lie?
I seriously could go on and on and on about this book, but the highest recommendation I can give it is this: read The Good Humor Man when you are ready for something totally different and are bored with what you've been reading. You won't want to put the book down until it's over, and even then you'll want to read it again. I got this copy from the library and I'll be adding it to my keeper pile in the near future.
Overall Grade: A
Up next for me is my review of Never Cry Werewolf (uh oh.....) and I just started The White Queen by Philippa Gregory (talk about a change of pace,) and some other books too!
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