So Charlie comes over to my house to pick up a ‘zine and he looks at me and Charlie says “Nick, you gotta read this book.” He plops a book down on my couch.
So I says to Charlie, “Really? I do? Why is that?”
To which Charlie says to me: “Nick. You must read this. I read it in a day. Then I gave it to Jay and he read it in a day. I got it back from Jay and gave it to Kate and she read it in a day. Kate gave it back to me and I gave it to Zach and he read it in a day too.”
So I says to Charlie: “Well, that really leaves me no choice in the matter does it?”
So Charlie says: “You’re right it doesn’t. I’ll come by tomorrow to pick it up.”
The book in question? The superbly titled I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President by Josh Lieb. Now this is Melville by no means. You won’t find any high brow poetic waxing on the inherent loneliness of the human condition. An epic struggle of man versus nature? Nope, better look elsewhere for that too. Themes of existential doubt or what it means to connect and love another human being? Ehh…maybe a little of that.
What you will find here are laugh out loud selections told from the perspective of that little squirt that everyone used to pick on. But did people know that the little squirt in question is actually a monomaniacal genius capable of great evil and power? Probably not. That the little tubby smelly kid actually has henchman at his beckon call who will carry out his (mis)deeds without hesitation? It’s true. Whether shooting darts filled with Lazopril, (a sedative created with a home chemistry kit that causes feelings of relaxation but has a side effect of noxious gas-passing), or toppling African regimes simply to obtain a rare Star Wars action figure; the little squirt has a veritable army of ‘yes men’ and highly skilled bodyguards.
This book was written for anyone who got a swirly from Johnny Quarterback, or had a crush on Suzie Cheerleader and couldn’t find the wherewithal to approach her. For the asthmatics and the eczema-rashed. For the kids who retreated into their heads and cooked up wild fantasy rides of revenge to be perpetrated on all those who wronged them.
Pick it up, you’ll probably end up reading it in a single day.