Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Book Review: 'Bob' by Tegon Maus


Every journalist longs for the day when he or she stumbles across the story of the century. Has Peter found his?
The characters in this novella were well-developed and memorable. I was especially interested in seeing what was going on with Bob because Mr. Maus dropped some tantalizing clues about him early on. Bob’s tendency to understate important things and overstate the trivial stuff was as as it was descriptive of who he is as a man. He and Peter had personalities that were about as diametrically opposed to one another as you can get, so it was amusing to see how they interacted in stressful situations. Peter was a little harder to read, but I soon came to appreciate his calmer and more reserved approach to life as the plot thickened.
Extra spaces were added before and after words that otherwise should not have been strung together with more punctuation marks. I don’t know if this is what the author intended, but I assumed those spaces were supposed to represent pauses in the dialogue based on the fact that English is not the first language of certain characters. They often omitted words or rearranged the order of them while attempting to communicate in it. Everything made perfect sense once I looked at it through this perspective, although it would have been really helpful to have this theory officially confirmed. Had this occurred, this book would have easily earned a much higher rating.
One of the things I enjoy the most about Mr. Maus’ writing style is how much energy he puts into describing his settings in great detail without slowing down the plot at all. Instead he sprinkled mesmerizing imagery into everything else that was going on. Sometimes the descriptions were funny. Other times they were eerie or mind-boggling. Peter visited some truly incredible places during the course of this tale, and I felt like I experienced them alongside him.
Bob was a wild ride. This is a great choice for anyone who likes speculating about the real origins of Unidentified Flying Objects.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.