It’s Wednesday! I might be a little bit giddy today, but only because yesterday was my nadir. My personal black moment. My low point for . . . let’s hope the entire year of 2013, okay?
But today I have all these things going for me: (a) I got an (almost) uninterrupted night’s sleep; (b) My cold is gone; (c) My son is not clinging to my neck while whining, crying, or screaming; (d) I went for a walk; (e) The babysitter is here; (f) While I was on my walk, “Call Me Maybe” came on, and I was so happy, I actually skipped. For realz.
So basically, I have no complaints. Life is great. I am going to get so much work done today, alone in the sanctum of my office, and OMG THANK YOU UNIVERSE.
Moving on, this week’s book rec is Carolyn Crane’s Mr. Real, which was the thing I read over the holiday break that I enjoyed the very mostest. I heard about this book when Amber Lin interviewed Crane at Wonkomance, and I have to warn you right now, it’s a great interview. I bought two books while I was reading it. That’s an impressive interview, folks. But this is the part that grabbed me:
Amber: Mr. Real is the story of a spy character who comes to life and sexes up the woman like whoa. I made up that last part because I haven’t read it yet but I’m super hopeful that’s how it goes. I believe it is your wonkiest work to date? Please explain. Lists are acceptable; no, preferred.
Carolyn: You must be a psychic, because that is exactly how it goes! A woman brings a spy character to life. Except then the fighter from L.A. who plays the spy character on TV (and hates the character) comes along and is none too happy about him being magically brought to life for sex by some woman.
Top three wonkiness aspects of Mr. Real:
1. Heroine and friend invoke a Star Trek episode and the tale Pinocchio in trying to decide if a character brought to life by magic is a valid life form with a right to exist.
2. Villain consumed by existential questions and spends a good deal of time marveling over the veins of a leaf when not plotting to torture and kill the heroine.
3. Vampires and werewolves? er, no…the paranormal powers of the villains in Mr. Real are based on E.M. Forster’s theory of homo fictus.
How could I resist that? I COULD NOT. Here’s the blurb—
Alix Gordon is a woman who doesn’t take life too seriously. What’s the fun in that? So when she stumbles across occult software that can bring any computer image to life, she conjures up lots of awesome outfits and accessories. And then, on one drunken, horny night, she conjures up Sir Kendall, the sexy TV ad spy . . . who looks exactly like Paul Reinhardt, the super-sexy martial arts teacher who kicked her out of class three years ago.
Fighter Paul Reinhardt has good reason to hate Sir Kendall, the character he brought to life to land a part in a TV ad; he’d do anything to forget him. A cross country road trip seems just the thing . . . until Paul finds himself inexplicably drawn to Minnesota and is shocked to discover Sir Kendall – in the flesh – with the girl he’d once loved from afar. He barges into Alix and Sir Kendall’s love nest, determined to stop the madness – somehow.
But is superspy Sir Kendall transforming into something more dangerous anyone can imagine? And what will Sir Kendall do when Paul and Alix finally give into their mad lust for each other?
So, let’s make sure you got all that: Heroine acquires magical power to make things come to life from still images, so she uses the power to bring to life a spy character from a liquor commercial who is played by the real-life MMA instructor she has an unrequited crush on. She expects the spy to wink out of existence after a day or so. He doesn’t. The spy thinks he’s real, see, and OH, how I loved the scenes written in Sir Kendall’s point of view. Then the actual guy who played the spy in the commercials shows up — his name is Paul — and Paul is none too happy, because (a) Alix has brought to life a fictionalized version of him, (b) Alix is sleeping with the fictionalized version of him, (c) The fictionalized version of him is linked to childhood trauma that left deep scars on his psyche and basically Paul can’t even look at Sir Kendall without wanting to throttle him to death, and (d) oh, also Paul is inconveniently in love with Alix.
If it sounds funny and odd and convoluted, with characters who are both irresponsible and lovable, yes. It’s all that. Also smart, experimental, and totally enjoyable. I bought a copy for my parents after I finished it, because I liked it that much.