Saturday, January 2, 2010

Book Review: Mercury Falls by Robert Kroese

Mercury Falls is a comic novel about the approach of the Apocalypse and how preparations for it by the managements of heaven and hell become compromised by over-complicated beaurocracy and underhand deals.

This amusing story tells how a reporter, an indolent angel and a nerd end up having pivotal roles in the approaching Apocalypse, a world-ending deal that has been forged by heaven and hell after many thousands of years of legal wrangling. The writing here is extremely imaginitive, with angels and demons resembling employees of large corporatations and heaven and hell appearing like competing companies. Whilst the author creates humour from turning the divine into the banal and poking fun alternately at creationism and modern science, at times the humour is rather esoteric and this may prevent this novel from appealing to a wide range of readers.

Whilst the story of Mercury Falls is quite compelling, with an amusing and recurring parody of people's obsession with a very well-known series of children's books featuring an adolescent wizard, at times it becomes quite complicated and begins to resemble the beaurocracy it draws its humour from. However, a fine ending draws the reader in and made me laugh right up the conclusion where the main characters make a deal with the devil and come out on top.

This novel is very well-written, with a wonderful vocabulary and is clearly written by a mind that sees deeply into all sorts of situations and creates a book as surreal as a painting by Dali.

This is a very clever bookwith a good story and a lot of humour. However, it is way off the main stream and requires a similar imagination to the one that the author uses in order to appreciate it. I would recommend this book to readers who like the surreal, anything anti-establishment and irreverent. I would not recommend this book to religious fundamentalists who would probably take great offence to the almost certain delight of the author.

Score: 8.5/10