A comic debut that makes a transition directly from offensiveness to sentimentality: a vain, greedy, creature of 1980's London finds himself turning into a cartoon until—with the help of an angel—he recovers his humanity. Adman Nick Taig is the transatlantic version of Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho: a callous misanthrope whose inner life consists of the joy of seeing himself in the mirror, meditations on luxury products, and bursts of racist, classist, misogynist commentary. But instead of killing people, Taig finds himself victim to a strange disorder: he's become so two-dimensional that every now and then he literally becomes a cartoon: his limbs stretch like putty; his unspoken thoughts appear above his head in balloons. Fleeing from the impresario who wishes to promote him as a freak, Taig is held by scientists at a secret research facility where paranormals are studied in the hopes of developing psychic weapons. During his imprisonment, Taig discovers a reserve of decency and repudiates his anti-Semitism. After his escape, assisted and inspired by a (shades of The Fisher King) mysterious tramp (whose business card reads DEUS EX FUCKING MACHINA), he even performs mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on a bum. While his coke- snorting former cohorts get their comeuppance, Taig, cured, finds true love. Better in concept than execution: Snow's first novel, already bought for the movies, reads as though calculated precisely to take advantage of post-Roger Rabbit special effects and may be more effective on the screen.
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