Checking Out by Nick Spalding

Genre: silly humor. ⭐️Stars from Goodreads: 3.97 (😯). ⭐️Stars from me: 2.

I found this book on my quest for more books by male authors. I’ve noticed that female authors prevailed in my recent reading list and I wanted to balance this out. Checking Out also promised to be lighthearted and fun while at the same time focusing on a deeper theme of a terminally ill person who’s readjusting his perspective due to the diagnosis.

In reality it was the silliest book I could possibly stand. Slightly sillier than that and I wouldn’t have been able to read it at all. In fact, had this book happened at a different time I would have deleted it straight away. This time though it functioned as a sitcom some people watch when they want to de-stress and distract themselves.

The book is a very quick read. It took me just several hours to finish it. My eyes easily hopped along the lines, unhindered. The writing is all right.

The characters are comfortably predictable silly dummies. They behave as if they had been given a storyline to follow but weren’t shown how to, so they improvise the best they can but fail. Everything about them feels overplayed and artificial.

There’s lots of humor in this book, but it is all quite shallow, the cake-in-clowns-face type of humor. Also, I had a feeling the jokes would be better in a movie but didn’t work as a text. The same way Charlie Chaplin wouldn’t work as a text.

The plot is absolutely transparent, although the protagonist is in denial about it, which becomes obvious when he starts talking to the reader:

“Surprised?”, he says

Nope.

“I bet you were expecting a different ending to this story, weren’t you?”

I wasn’t.

“My life […] is not predictable”

Yes, it is.

“Not in the slightest.”

It is! Sorry mate but you are a character in a very predictable book, so you are predictable like an alphabet. But hey, the world needs that sort of characters too. Everybody needs to unwind sometimes and that’s when you come along.

I can’t give more than two stars to Checking Out even though it served its purpose. If you are looking for a super light reading this might be the book for you.

 

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