My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In short, there’s one word that I would use to describe Rico Slade will Fucking Kill You by Bradley Sands: Hillarious! Several times, I found myself laughing out loud during the book. Okay, that’s too short of a review, so let me see if I can expand on this.
The novel follows the antics of Chip Johnson, a Hollywood movie actor famous for his role as the action movie character Rico Slade, who has a penchant for ripping out throats. After a particularly stressful day, Chip snaps and comes to believe that he really is Rico Slade, and proceeds to travel around Hollywood kicking everyone’s ass whom he sees as an enemy, which pretty much everyone. He does this in pursuit of his (Rico Slade’s) archnemesis, Baron Mayhem, played by Chip’s former lover George, and all while pursued by his (Chip’s) body-hair-obsessed psychologist, Harold Schwartzman, who Chip/Rico keeps mistaking for his (Rico’s) sidekick, Joe Pesci. Are you still with me?
The novel skewers the Hollywood stereotypes pretty savagely, from plastic-surgery obsessions, tour buses, traffic jams, and ranting action-movie director Jared Bruckheiny (guess who that’s supposed to be). Sands also mock/pays tribute to action movie stereotypes, with repeated, over-the-top martial arts moves, constant explosions, and loud rock music playing in the background. I kind of got the feelings that the author may have had the movie “Last Action Hero” playing in the background while writing this novel, or was at least inspired by it. At the same time, I found myself identifying with Chip in a way. I mean, who hasn’t wanted to snap after having a really bad day and go on a rampage through the city? Anyone? Anyone? Just me? I’m not sure if I should be concerned about that.
If I have any complaint, it would be the ending, but it’s a big enough complaint to detract a full star and left me a little cold. For obvious reasons, I won’t divulge the ending, but suffice to say that it was disappointing in the least. Not surprising, just disappointing.
Overall, though, it’s an enjoyable and downright fun read that still gets a recommendation. It’s a fun journey, but the destination is ultimately more like Grimsville than the Carribean.
Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You by Bradley Sands earns 4 out of 5 stars.