Dr. George Washington Carver, understandably nicknamed “Peanut”, was once a physicist who created a device called the Prophet, which created a rift in spacetime and received a message from the future. As a result of this message, war broke out between the “Carnies” and the “Vegans”, finally ending in the death penalty for killing an animal or consuming meat. The resulting chaos also cost Carver his arm and his pregnant wife, who absconded with her lover, a leader of the Vegan party. In shame at the loss of so much life, he left physics and became a veterinarian – who cannot resist eating the flesh of his deceased patients in secret. But when his ex-wife returns, with the news that her daughter (whom she claims is his, despite previous denials) has been kidnapped, he is launched on an adventure that sends his life in surprising directions.
The story is entertaining, with a mischievous premise and a twisted perspective on reality. Peanut is appealingly put-upon, and his adventures are lively and diverting. The book’s cynicism never crosses the line into bitterness, and the final resolution is satisfying, if somewhat bloody. The plot bounces along from event to event, leading the reader little time for boredom or nitpicking. And the author should probably receive some sort of award or other for “The Most Eye-Catching Title of the Year”.
This is not, however, a book for the squeamish – there is a great deal of violence and some disturbing bloody and/or sexual images. The author sometimes falls into the trap of assuming that the grotesque is automatically funny, which can leave the reader feeling more ill than amused at times. The premise, while entertaining, is somewhat far-fetched, and the relationships between the main characters are not terribly plausible.
If you’re willing to suspend disbelief and go along for a (frequently rollicking) ride, and you have a strong stomach (especially one that likes meat), this book might very well provide you with an entertaining read.
Reviewed by Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader