Friday, December 12, 2014

Bait by J. Kent Messum

4 Stars
Needles are squicky, so I’m gonna ignore that part of the story and SHARK THE S*#^ out of this review instead!!!!Commercial Photography

A couple of years long time ago I was just your average wife and mother who opted to read a lot of fluffy nonsense in my downtime. Then a bad influence came into my life . . .

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Instead of reading stuff like Twilight, he encouraged me to read the darker side of fiction. When Mitchell saw there was a book all about smack/tar/chiba/horse (a/k/a heroin if you’re not a complete nutter like my pal), he was in. When he told me Bait also featured a supporting cast of characters in the form of sharks, I was in as well.

Bait is the story of six people, previously unknown to each other but who all share the common bond of heroin addiction, who wake up on an island in the Keys. Battling withdrawal, they piece their stories together to figure out the hows, whys, when, wheres, and whos of how they ended up where they did. Once that part of the puzzle is solved, the six are forced to make a terrifying decision . . . swim through shark infested waters to the next island where they will receive more drugs and possible a chance for survival or stay where they are and die.

And that’s where the getting gets good, my friends. Let’s face facts – we’re dealing with a bunch of junkies here. There’s not gonna be a whole lot going on in the character development department. The real stars of this show are the sharks! God I love sharks. They’re so cuddly and adorable . . .

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Just me? Alrighty then.

Anywho, these suckers (the humans, not the sharks) are deep into the drug scene. There’s no way they aren’t going to try to get to the stash on the next island. You know what that means?

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I pity the fool who has to go against these mother*&^%#s ‘cause they are HUNGRY!

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Let’s hope all the humanfolk don’t end up served at my fave restaurant . . .

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This book obviously isn’t for everyone. It is gritty and gory and everything foul that I like when choosing a book that everyone else will probably end up hating. I flagged a bunch of quotes and “memorable moments,” if you will, but now that I’m writing this up I’ve decided to skip it and only mention a couple of things. First – Messum has used this tactic of ending one chapter with the same sentence or idea that begins the next chapter. Call me a sucker for a good gimmick, but that one really worked for me and tied everything together very well. Second – as strange as this sounds, Bait could spark one of the best “book clubby” type of discussions of any book I’ve read recently. I love dealing with the question of what is right and what is wrong and who is good and who is evil. This book is one that will leave you with a strong opinion on those subjects.

Basically, if a book about junkies maybe getting eaten by sharks sounds like your idea of a good time, check out Bait. You probably won’t be disappointed. And hey, even if you don’t like it the bonus is it is really short and reads super fast.

And also? Dear Olympic Committee:

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Yes, please. Consider this a formal request.

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