Monday, September 22, 2008

The Swap--Antony Moore (book review)

If you're a fan of the unlikeable-character-makes-stupid-decisions-and-winds-up-in-deep-trouble genre, this may be the book for you. Plot-wise, it works. Alas, I found comic store owner Harvey Briscow's hatefulness toward everyone and everything tiresome. I didn't care whether he got his old comic book back or what else happened to him, and I'm not convinced the author did, either. (He was popular in high school? Because of comics? Really?? Hmm. Maybe things are different in England.)

Periodic point of view shifts provide brief breaks from him, but the first shift appears out of nowhere on page 113 and so seems almost accidental. Moore does a stand-up job with the lesser characters, however. Bleeder Odd, the bullied boy, is fascinating, as is former schoolmate Jeff Cooper. Harvey's parents are something out of a British sit-com (and I mean that in a good way). Heck, I would read a book about the two cops investigating the murder. Maybe Moore will write that one next.


  1. Interesting how an author can sometimes get the minor characters so right and yet not the major. As you say, it least it shows hope that he might have another, better book in him.
    Not really something that would seem like my sort of book, but this decides me for sure!

  2. No - I can't stand it when the plot hinges on someone doing something stupid. Like Dante's Peak. There would have been no movie if stupid grandmother had not decided to stay on the volcano and if the kids had not decided to steal the car to "save" her.

  3. Of course, movies are often more stupid than books.
    Because books are better. ;-)