Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Super Spud Trilogy

Author: Michael Diack.
Bio (from the author):
I’m Michael, 26 and from the UK.  I wrote The Super Spud Trilogy at university and I’m currently working in Oman as a field geophysicist.
I love rock music, films, playing guitar and table tennis.
Description: "Genetic engineering has accomplished many things, one of which has been to create the Super Spud! The humble potato elevated to new heights, creating the most flavoursome crisps ever known to humankind! But that's not all - A magical transformation occurs to all Super Spud crisps not eaten before their use-by date. They take on a life of their own. And so long as they remain undetected by humans, they enjoy life in their own Super Spud cities, take part in major Super Spud sporting events and even start the odd Super Spud war or two. Join Colin, Cougar, Hannibal Vector, Generals Rock, Jock and Strap and all the others in their rollicking adventures. You'll never look at a packet of crisps in the same way again! Fun, quirky and totally original, Michael Diack's debut is strictly for those who are still big kids at heart." (From Amazon)
A Nice Fun, "Crisp" Collection
This was a pleasure to read. The writing is quick, smooth, and well-edited.
We are presented with a trilogy of long stories/novellas about the super spuds, a type of elite, sentient, potato chip (crisp).
If you have an aversion to potatoes, salty snacks, or talking crisps, this book is not for you.  But, if you enjoy a fun, wacky, humorous ride through crisp-dom and all the strange adventures that may ensue, hop on board!
It is nice to have all three books in one volume—you wouldn't feel bad bookmarking the end of one and coming back to it later (or just reading them bang-bang-bang).
The stories are very enjoyable, and of course it is the bizarre humor that keeps you on your toes—just when something solid is being laid out, random strangeness strikes and you're headed down another path lined with machine guns instead of roses. Or perhaps a microwave tank hulks in the bushes.
I think this collection is a great start for someone who wants to get into bizarro. Why? Well, because the stories are right-bloody funny, clever, and silly. But they are not over-the-top-strange-strangle-you-with-a-pair-of-dirty-Hanes-and-a-parrot's-spleen, crazy. Which is fine, good and wonderful.
Just a few things that I noticed, but do not take away from the story. This feels long, but then again I read it all pretty much back-to-back, whereas next go-through I'd bookmark after the end of each story and come back. There are some long-ish descriptions that could be trimmed down, but again, do not take away from the meat and (cliché coming!) potatoes.
And yes, potatoes were harmed in the making of this story!
I'm going with 3.75 (will be 4 stars on Amazon to round up) on this. Great story, kept me going. A few longer explanations could be trimmed (e.g., explaining the microwave tanks), perhaps split this back out into individual volumes... I know, I know, but both could be offered. Say 99 cents (US) per volume, 2.99 (US) for the set? Dunno.
Great book—looking forward to more from Michael!
I was given a copy of this for review.

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