Friday, June 5, 2009

"Sock" by Penn Jillette

First off, I must admit that I had no idea Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller fame had written a book. I was very happy and excited to find this - it meant a book for my hubby to read and I really wanted to read it myself. And, as is usual of strange writing, we had very different opinions about said book when we were done. Namely that hubby really liked it, and I was really disappointed by it.

The story is a basic murder-mystery on the surface. A police diver (the guys that fish corpses out of the water) is doing his duty yet again when he pulls out the body of a former girlfriend. Struck by her death, he decides to investigate and find her killer. He enlists the help of a mutual friend, and they take off to track down the bad guy, thus avenging the girl.

Except this being Penn, nothing is normal here. First off, the story is not narrated by the diver but by his childhood toy, a sock monkey. The diver is referred to as "Little Fool" by Sock through the entire book, and at times, I almost felt like Penn was referring to me, the reader, in the same way. Reading the rantings of Sock made it very, very hard for me to get through this book; while the plot is basically an A-to-B-to-C, it doesn't feel that way. The monkey makes comments about anything and everything, very much like a stream-of-consciousness point of view. And just about every single paragraph ends with a reference to a pop-song or some other catch-phrase from pop culture, which was a bit disruptive in my opinion.

Penn is making comments about lots of things in this book, but probably the biggest one is about the existence of God. Yeah, I know - it's there, trust me. It's just not an overt way to make the commentary, and I think that it gets lost in the jumbled rantings of Sock. Overall, I found the characters to be difficult to relate to, the plot to be a bit thin, and Sock to be just outright annoying. I wish I had enjoyed this book as much as my hubby. He kept telling me to keep in mind who wrote it, which does explain a lot. But it doesn't make it a good book.

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