Irreverent, interesting, odd, A Meaningless Sequence of Arbitrary Symbols starts with a graphic novel chapter of quickly drawn images and widely ranging symbols, from the Christmas manger to cult TV series such as The Prisoner (though the balls in question might seem more anatomical), and from politics (ah the joys of being misunderappreciated!) to Hollywood (which may be the same place). Then a singularly unreliable narrator takes over from the Insane Asylum. The text is illustrated in full color (not so effective on my kindle but great on the computer), and computer-illustrated with games at the related website. (Did you know books kill people?)
Read this story in a nutshell, not a bookstore, and be ready to be informed, confused, and maybe even encouraged to wonder why villain-triumphant stories sell so well, not that this is one, mind you, but it’s a story about… well, you might figure it out. Movie and computer game references abound, together with various books, bits of history, statistical quotes, even Global Climate Change, plus oddly episodic side-tracks and paragraphs or “off-train-tracks”…
No, you won’t curl up with this book. It’s not a comfortable bedtime read, but it’ll keep you awake on the plane and have you smiling, frowning, pondering, agreeing, shouting “No,” and, like, totally finding your own way to the Insane Asylum, especially if your girlfriend dumps you “cause, the whole freakin world is majestically screwed…” as the protagonist proclaims, a little while before he learns to bemoan the spelling of lose (or is it loose)?
He’s “just, like, a Gen-Z slacker-dood or sumthing,” and he’s oddly addictive, like the videogames he plays, so, if you’re “just a young man of 18” or young woman, or not 18, or just curious, this is an odd, off-beat, off-the-wall, off-the-cuff kind of book that just might appeal. Meet Wolfy. Encounter black holes. Set up a “UFC title-fight – between all the Gods and all the Devils.” Analyze those symbols. Learn to be a game designer (yeah, seriously, and “does the writer get paid, like 2% of the budget?” Read it and see). And enjoy.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.