By Its Cover is my completely independent 2-part book review column. Selections are made based entirely on the book's cover. I'm testing the old saying in my quest to find new authors.
Title: Love and Other Near Death Experiences
Author: Mil Millington
He could have died, Rob, the main character. But he didn't. He had to return towels and got tied up in traffic. So he was late to the pub, that ended up getting smashed to bits...hence the traffic. That he 'missed' death, by a set a fluke-ish missteps, sets him to wondering just how much weight he should put on the mundane everyday decisions. It hampers his relationships, his work, his life. So he sets off on a journey unto himself with an ex-Marine (yeah, it's a British book, but the guy comes over from Nebraska...long story).
That's the plot.
My opinion is that it kinda was pithy. Maybe I expect too much from books. Maybe I'm too geared into literature to give modern fiction any props. Maybe I don't get British humor. Maybe I'm out of touch with how people act and think in the world. Maybe it just wasn't good. Maybe one of the secondary characters was enormously grating. Yeah, a pointless cruel character, one that is supposed to multi-dimensional and yet just refuses to submit to change, can ruin a book. The kind where, when someone asks what you think of the book you say, "It would have been better if so-and-so hadn't been in it." This had one of those...and a whole lot of cussing. (again, call me a prude but I'd feel wrong if I didn't let you know.
Mr. Millington redeemed his book some by mentioning Jane Eyre, one the books I love more than any, near the end. And there was a Mansfield Park shoutout. Still...I'll pass on his other books.