Another radically funny comedy from one of America’s best satiric novelists.
California must have good stuff. California-based Browne (Breathers, 2009) hails from the same neck of the woods as humor powerhouse Christopher Moore and brings the same mojo to his sophomore novel. After getting down with zombies in the subversive romantic comedy Breathers, the author turns his attention to the human condition. His hero is the deeply flawed and conflicted Fabio, the nom de plume of the literal Fate, the predestination of your life on this crazy Earth. Fabio reports to Jerry, who sounds a lot friendlier than God but is actually a bean-counting bureaucrat complete with quotas and a serious deficit in the sense-of-humor department. Not that Fabio is the only anthropomorphized divinity on the clock—there are plenty of compatriots, among them Lady Luck, Gossip, Karma, Justice (who is a sociopath), Truth (the kleptomaniac), Dennis (which sounds friendlier than Death) and, the most troublesome, Love. Not to mention that his rival, Destiny, is gunning for him. Unfortunately, Fabio has fallen head-over-heels in love with Sara Griffen, his neighbor in New York City, from which he telecommutes to ruins most people’s lives. Bummer for Fabio: His girlfriend is slated to be part of the “Big Event,” the return of the Messiah to Earth, delivered by memo, no less. “Effective immediately, all staff members are instructed by executive order to prepare for the Messiah’s arrival sometime within the next eighteen months as indicated in your individual job descriptions,” scribbles Jerry. “Those not directly affected are expected to plan the baby shower.” Genuinely comic novels are hard to come by, so grab a copy of this one. There will be long lines at Browne’s book signings if he keeps this up.
These days there are very few American comedy writers bringing their A-game, but Browne is swinging for the fences.