BUSY MONSTERS – Brilliant humor, tedious story

I am so jealous of William Giraldi’s brilliant humor that I spent the first 100 pages of this book just laughing and shaking my head. But then it got old. By the end I was fighting my way through.
Charlie has been jilted by his fiance and sets off on a cross-country quest to prove his mettle. Along the way he lands in jail, hunts Sasquatch and generally pisses people off. He’s a memoirist so he’s writing about all these adventures, naming names and revealing his inner-most thoughts. This is a brilliant devise as it allows Charlie (really Giraldi) to break the fourth wall and speak directly to us, “dear reader.”
In the beginning, I really apprecitated Charlie’s snarky attitude. With his mean spirit and graphic language, I clearly understood this is not a book for all tastes, but I thought Charlie was a smart loser I could love — “Yes, this was middle-class melodrama, folks. Just think how much melodrama sounds like melanoma and you’ll begin to get the picture.” Unfortunately, about half way through, he just grew tedious. I started to think Geraldi might appeal to me more as a short story writer because I was no longer rooting for him to win back Gillian (off on her own quest for a giant squid).
Giraldi does ultimately rally, providing an ending both satisfying and fitting. And, as a picaresque, this works. The satire is heavy- handed, but “in the name of love” is a pretty instense topic so I get it. Maybe it’s just not the genre for me.

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