Poor Henry, suffering from all the effects of the breakup of a long term relationship. He has lost a lot of weight, is going through a lot of soul-searching, he misses his ex and desperately wants her to take him back. He sends her text messages with “I miss you” tacked onto the end and then he mentally punishes himself afterwards for doing it. He seems lost, emotionally exhausted and looking for some new distractions in life. He is then, so utterly not the quintessential hero. He’s a protagonist that most of us can relate to even if we don’t actually like him as a character.
Then we have Dani – a tattooed waitress who has become obsessed with KidnApp – a downloadable app for your mobile device that permits you to organise your own kidnapping. You can customise everything from the length of the missing period, to the nature of the kidnappers (do you want them rough or gentle). It is a great idea for our time, so consumed as we are with mundane lives, KidnApp allows you to inject a little bit of excitement into your daily routine. Dani plays in a band and works in a bar, she loves her bike and naturally doesn’t really have much going on in her life until the day she decided to organise her own kidnap.
Back to Henry, and he is presented with a proposition by an old friend and flies across the country (from Baltimore to LA) to hear what he has on offer. It turns out that the old friend owns the KidnApp company and he is offering Henry a new job, a new lease of life, a new start. Henry though is bemused because he can’t really understand why anybody would even want to be kidnapped. Nevertheless, he takes the opportunity the new job is giving him – perfectly legal of course and he has a job on his first night.
The text is a little rough around the edges – it is not badly written but it could have done with a little clean-up before release (and I found a handful of typos in there too). It also tended to drag a little in places and some tighter editing and removal of unnecessary waffle would have made it a much stronger work – I just kept willing the text to change pace and for something to happen. But that said, it does flow rather well and that’s the most important thing for this sort of book. It is a fun idea, mixing entertainment with a dash of social parody so if you like such books, you will certainly enjoy this offering. It didn’t completely grab me but it could and should have done and the truth is, I can’t completely explain why my overall attitude towards it is one of ambivalence. A solid 3/5.
2 thoughts on “Book Review: So Say the Waiters by Justin Sirois”
I was exited to see this on The IndieView as I also reviewed this book on my site baumanbookreviews.com. Nice review!
Thanks Courtney :)