Friday, July 8, 2022

Book Review: The Decadents

Happy Friday!! I'm telling you what, if I don't catch the ice cream truck this week, I think all of Wisconsin is going to hear me rage. I'm just putting that out into the universe. 

The Decadents - M.C. Schmidt

Phil Ochs has his troubles. His adult son is a failed artist who’s targeting him in a terroristic poetry campaign, his wife has developed an addiction to As Seen On TV gadgets, and a professional rival is poaching managers from his seventeen Fry Buddy fast food franchises.

Worst of all, Phil is a southern conservative who shares a name with a famous liberal folksinger. It’s this lifelong association, he believes, that’s denied him the respect he’s always craved. Who could take him seriously, after all, when his name evokes thoughts of that radical hippie tree-hugger?

When he loses a coveted business award to a producer of testicular implants for neutered pets, Phil is finally through being disrespected. He devises a scheme that’s certain to bring him notoriety. Whether that means becoming a figure of admiration or of national hatred will all depend on how well he conceals the more depraved elements of his plan.

The Decadents is a darkly satirical novel featuring a cast of unique and unforgettable characters.
I did not realize this was the book I needed until I read it. I feel like not everyone is going to really get the humor in this, but I did and it was right up my alley. This almost felt like it could be an episode of that show, Arrested Development, or even Curb Your Enthusiasm, both of which are in my top 5 of favorite shows. Honestly, this would make for an indie comedy or something, I think only a few people are going to love this for the gem it really is. The fact that Phil, our man Phil, loses an award to someone who makes testicular implants for neutered pets had me absolutely roaring. Maybe it was just funny because where I live there is currently this annual competition going for best business/provider in a ton of different areas and businesses all over are begging people to vote for them. Honestly, the whole idea we have contests for that kind of thing is ludicrous to me as it is, but thinking of the insane businesses out there means there probably is a market for implants for neutered pets. (And somehow, thinking of that makes me picture an ASPCA commercial with that Sarah McLachlan song we all associate with sad animals.)

I digress. While the story does wind its way into a more political tale (which really isn't funny given our current state of affairs, but I'm taking desperate measures to laugh nowadays), I did appreciate the dark comedy and absurdity. I had a hard time putting this one down, which was surprising because that's not usually something I struggle with outside of the romance genre. I love that the main character referred to his son David as a "most dramatic little twit", which made me spit my water all over the place. I can literally imagine someone just deadpan telling me that about their kid and honestly, that is who I want to be hanging out with. 

An example of a book I maybe otherwise wouldn't have picked up but ended up really loving. I can't wait to read something else by this author because this was exactly the book I needed over the last week. Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Library Tales Publishing for sending me a copy for review! 

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