Books

Book Review: Carpet Diem by Justin Lee Anderson

My initial thought was, and kind of still is, Good Omens. There is something inherently the same here. Maybe it is the theme: heaven and hell, angels and demons, and the world coming to an “end” combined with humor. Or it is the opening scene of how Lily, the demon, and Daniel, the angel, enter the story. This initial comparison made me like the book and a lot. Also, the fact that our hero is the unusual kind, pathetic, and this is putting it nicely. Don’t worry, he, Simon, is likable as well.

The story in a nutshell without spoilers, is Simon growing up, having to decide the destiny of the mankind, and losing his carpet in the process. He gangs up with unusual characters who all are strong and unique, making the story fun to listen to. But at the same time, they are annoying. Towards the end, I grew tired of Simon’s Aunt and her one-sided nature. She wasn’t the only one who annoyed me with their humorous function with a lack of humanity or maturity; they felt childish more than often.

Another thing that annoyed me towards the end was the unbelievable saves throughout the story. Okay, now we have backed up into a corner and don’t know what to do. Don’t worry, there will be some out of the blue save, and all is well. They are permissible in stories. Especially in humorous ones. But too much makes everything seem unreal, breaking the illusion of the story. Yet, somehow those close calls and miraculous saves worked here enough for me to continue on.

The theme of the book is women vs. men, yin and yang. The book played with the stereotypes and broke them and strengthened them and a lot even when the women were strong and could hold their own and save the day. I liked the concept initially. But as jokes, characters, and the story progressed, it didn’t hold my interest. It didn’t make me laugh at the jokes at its expense. Okay, I didn’t laugh at all. But I rarely laugh even with the books I find funny. Sometimes I smirk or have that aha moment, but rarely full-on laugh. But this book didn’t make me smirk either. It made me think, jovial and funny, but thinking is not an emotion. So there was a disconnection between what I thought and felt.

I have complained and a lot. Because on some level, I loved the book and cherished it, but it didn’t satisfy me completely, and that seemed to be its problem. Okay, my problem as I have heard, read, and seen that others have loved and laughed. I would say try it out. It might hit your funny bone. If it doesn’t, be aware of Lily.

Thank you for reading! Have a devilish day.

P.S. Loved the play on words in the title!

1 comment on “Book Review: Carpet Diem by Justin Lee Anderson

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