Review: Happy Doomsday

Happy Doomsday by David Sosnowski

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I got this for free from the Kindle First (or whatever it’s called now) program where Amazon Prime members get a free book each month.

It’s been a while since I disliked a book a much as I disliked this one. I kept reading in hopes of redemption because that has happened once or twice. But, alas, it was not meant to be.

There are 2 reasons I didn’t like this book. 1) I hated the narrative style. I don’t know how to describe it other than “sarcastically conversational”. It was also weirdly political in points – which doesn’t mean I disagreed with the political points. I often found myself either in agreement or at least indifferent. But I just hated the way it was done.

2) Despite directly referencing Chekov’s Gun in the book, I feel like the author failed at this – or at least failed at a related narrative trope. We start the book in media res. Our first protagonist (there are three) wakes up after said doomsday event. He finds 2 humans in front of his house and he is deciding whether to shoot them. Cut to 1 year prior. We get to see the characters in the days/months leading up to the doomsday event. So far, so good. We can get to know the characters and have some personal stakes in their stories. But here’s where it went off the rails for me: in a book that is (in the PDF I converted it to) 400-ish pages, we don’t get back to that first scene until around page 380! We spend almost the entire book getting to that point. I feel like the author made a promise to me and then just about broke that promise. After the characters meet up, the next few chapters each jump forward in time, ending 4 years later. I would have had such a much better time reading the book if we just never had the prologue. If we were just following 3 characters and I wasn’t waiting almost the whole book to see if one of them gets shot, I would still have had the horrible narration (at least to my sensibilities), but not that PLUS the narrative tension.

This might be a book that works well for you, but I found it excruciating. At one point I was doing anything else with my reading time EXCEPT reading this book. I dreaded coming back to it. But I wanted to give it a chance at redemption. At least I didn’t pay for it.

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