Author: Chris Genoa
Edition: Eraserhead Press (Paperback, 2005)
How I Came by This Book: I picked this up during my latest library book sale adventure.
About the Author: Chris Genoa was born in Philadelphia, went to college in Virginia and London, and has a special place in his heart for New Orleans. He is the author of Foop! and Lick Your Neighbor, both available from Eraserhead Press. He lives in Brooklyn.
Synopsis: There are strange happenings going on at Dactyl, Inc., the world's first and only time travel tourism company. So strange that Joe, a tour guide, is promoted to the new position of Chief of Probes. His first probe: find out who's been traveling back in time and torturing his boss in rather disturbing ways.
Joe finds himself catapulted from his dull life into a surreal journey where a blind hog-tying monkey is one of the sanest creatures he meets. Traveling through a past where the only thing that changes the present is death, while dealing with the fabric of space-time slowly unraveling, Joe stumbles into the middle of events that threaten both Earth's future and past.
Review: The cover of this novel was what caught my eye. It's a fish in a light bulb full of water. Awesome, right? And yet it has absolutely nothing to do with the novel so that's the last you'll hear of it. *le sigh*
I don't really know where to start with this book. I wanted to like it so badly, especially because it had me laughing right from the first sentence. But in the end there was far too much about it that I didn't like.
Foop! is a strange novel set sometime in the future--a slightly dystopian, mad-cap adventure about a man named Joe who gives tours in the past. People come to Dactyl, Inc. to travel back in time and witness historical events from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln to The Great Supernova of 2015. Joe gets caught up in a strange series of events involving the torture of past versions of his boss and ends up being followed by a strange Duo of men he has nicknamed Boogedy and Nibbles, getting mixed up with a cult lead by the delusional Ba Hubba Tree Bob, and playing the world's weirdest game of Bingo. And no, I really can't make that make sense. No matter how hard I try.
The book is full of plot holes, forced humor, and overly surreal events. It was as if Genoa had taken the best bits of Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide series and the film Brazil, took them out back behind a shed, and shot them. He then took all the parts that people didn't like and decided "Yes, this is how I will write this book." His strong beginning meandered out of control as events got unnecessarily weird and the humor started to become a crutch rather than the asset it had originally been.
The writing itself isn't too bad, although there were some editing issues, including the fact that occasionally the font was bigger in some places than it was in others. There's no real character development and none of the characters were particularly likeable. The book is chock-full of weird people doing weird things for no reason.
There are probably people out there who have read this book and loved it. I have an ex who probably would have adored it if he had read it. I, however, was just glad that I was able to get through it.
I'm giving Foop! 3 out of 5 Gabriels.