Book Review: Gutmouth

GutmouthGutmouth by Gabino Iglesias
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Welcome to the future! Consume!

Gutmouth by Gabino Iglesias takes place in a future where everything is run and mutated by Megacorp, a huge corporation that took over from the government by releasing a biological agent that created mutations and only they knew how to control them. Insert Monsanto joke here.

Our hero (as it were) has a particular mutation that caused him to grow an obnoxious talking mouth in his gut. Actually, the author seems to have put a lot of thought into how this could physiologically work. That’s a little more disturbing than anything else.

When his hooker girlfriend cheats on him with the mouth, he decides to exact revenge on her. But how can he do this when everything is watched by Megacorp? How does one take out a potentially valuable consumer without notice?

I found this book surprising in more ways than one. To start, the editing is actually quite good. Editing problems are a common complaint I’ve had with bizarro books, and so far this year’s class of the New Bizarro Authors Series, of which this book is a part, has been surprising me in this regard. It bodes well for the future.

This book is bleak. I mean really bleak. It depicts a heavy dystopian future that may turn some readers off. Still, if that’s your thing, you’ll probably like this book. It’s really a matter of taste.

A complaint I do have is that there aren’t many surprises. Most of the book is told as a noir-style flashback. We sort of know what happened, but we’re watching it carried out. And it sort of plays out the way you would expect. Up until the end (and there is a bit of a surprise at the end), it felt a bit like the movie “The Man Who Wasn’t There.” But there’s not a whole lot else.

In short, the descriptions and imagining of the world are great, but the plot itself leaves a little to be desired and doesn’t leave the reader with many surprises or mysteries, which is surprising given the noir-style the author uses.

As I mentioned earlier, Gutmouth is part of the 2012-2013 class of the New Bizarro Authors Series, which means that this is Gabino Iglesias’ first published novel. It’s a good effort, and it did keep my interest, but by the end I felt a bit deflated. Still, I look forward to his other work to see how he grows as a writer.

Gutmouth by Gabino Iglesias earns 3.5 klepto-roaches out of 5.

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