Book Review

Book Review

A belated happy new year to Harry’s Place readers. I’ve had very little opportunity to access the internet for the last few weeks, for a variety of reasons chief among which are the fact that it was Christmas, and the fact that NTL are the most catastophically inept providers of broadband in the universe. Oh, and I was busy moving house. I’m currently having to use a dialup service, which for younger readers is type of internet access from the Olden Days, where it takes nearly 15 minutes to log into your Yahoo! account. Looking on the bright side though, this has given me lots of time to devote to my two favourite pursuits, which are drinking wine, and sitting down. I’ve also been reading lots: Richard Usborne’s excellent Plum Sauce: A Wodehouse Companion, Robert Conquest’s The Dragons of Expectation: Reality and Delusion in the Course of History – of which more another time, possibly – and a book entitled “When the Angels Have Risen” by Andrew Feder. If you haven’t heard of Andrew Feder, neither had I until he emailed me suggesting that this very website site might be interested in his book, and would I like a free copy?

Helpfully he included a link to his website, where I was able to read the book’s blurb:

Jerry Fletcher is a down-on-his luck man from Los Angeles who, after unpleasant clashes with government suits and contemptuous authorities, has become decidedly bitter against the establishment. During a trip to Las Vegas, he is mysteriously transported to an alien spaceship. On board, he meets an otherworldly being named Yoshu’ah, who confides that many of the Judeo-Christian teachings were actually provided by the alien angels. In addition, Fletcher learns that an alien war has been waged for thousands of years for control of Earth. The aliens send him home to explain his new knowledge, and the previously apathetic man assumes the enormous challenge of spreading this important message.

Aliens! Conspiracy theories! Religious mumbo-jumbo! Of course I was interested. The real clincher was when I learned the name of the evil President who tries to silence Jerry Fletcher’s message: President Halliburton. Why, I wondered, had I never heard of Andrew Feder before, when he was capable of coming up with this kind of biting political satire? Well it turns out that he’d been a grape farmer for 6 years in Israel, before becoming a contractor in a construction company, and then spent a year in telemarketing in before qualifying as a graphic artist, so this is his first novel.

The hero, a man of similar age to the author, is one Jerry Fletcher. Jerry Fletcher had lived in Israel raising grapes and fruit on his farm before becoming a contractor repairing homes and commercial buildings, and then worked as a telemarketer for a year before qualifying as a graphic artist. Where these authors get their ideas from I’ll never know. The story begins with Jerry driving to Las Vegas, and needing to use the bathroom:

Oh, man! My bladder felt like it was about to burst. Thank God for the small town of Baker, known for its big buns, a crazy Greek, and you guessed it. This town has the largest thermometer in the world, and should I say more. Ouch, my asshole hurts just from thinking about it. So I pulled off to relieve myself. In other words, I took a piss…my fucking bladder was about to explode, so I really, I mean that I really had to TAKE A FUCKING PISS!!! After pissing like a racehorse, I hopped back into my old, beat-up 1978 black BMW, and continued on my journey to the oasis of Las Vegas.

I won’t spoil the ending for you, mainly because I didn’t manage to read that far, but having skimmed through some of the remaining pages I learned that Jerry makes some sort of momentous speech – “Not just your speech, but the timing of your speech is what literally ignited the massive revolt that would change and liberate the world. I know it’s hard to believe, but today in the era of fast information and the Internet, your speech went quickly around the world. It’s like you heard of how ‘the shot that was heard around the world’ in the American Revolution. In this case, it was how your speech was heard around the world” – and as a reward for changing and liberating the world gets a blowjob. Well it’s the least he deserves:

Kelly immediately climbed on top of me. With a passionate glaze upon her face, she restrained my arms with her legs. Kelly then smiled, “Don’t you think it’s time we quit child math and we move on to calculus?” And with that she leaned over and placed her lips on mine. Kelly and I passionately kissed. All the while, I responded to each of her sensual attacks with an equally sensual response. Our bodies mashed into a continuity of carnal erotic moments. Our bodies gyrated in an ecstatic rhythm as we continued our lip dance…Kelly frantically began kissing, licking, and biting my chest and stomach. While she continued caressing her lips and tongue against my exposed skin, she softly caressed my genitals. You know, my “cock and balls”.

Oh, those genitals. You can hear Andrew Feder being interviewed by the psychic and “divine healer” Rebecca Jernigan here. I didn’t manage to listen to all of that either, but I did get to hear her describe When the Angels Have Risen as “a great book”, and say she was “absolutely entranced” by it, then spoil everything by saying “I didn’t quite get all the way to the end, but let me tell you it’s a page turner”. Sadly not for Rebecca Jernigan, and not for me either. Andrew Feder joins the esteemed company of Marcel Proust, Alexander Dumas, Georges Perec, Cervantes, and Richard Littlejohn, all authors whose books I’ve started but not managed to finish.

If any other budding authors want to send me free stuff only for me to express ingratitude by being rude about their books on Harry’s Place then please drop me a line.