Elliot Allagash by Simon Rich

This is my latest Kindle acquisition: book #617. To tell you the truth I don’t know a whole lot about it. However, I concluded that I might like it because of the following:

  • Whenever I see a list of the funniest novels of the year, there’s almost always a Simon Rich entry. He must be doing something right.
  • This one appears to be a cringey, uncomfortable school story, and I’m always a sucker for the cringey, uncomfortable school stories.
  • The blurb at the top of the cover says “An enjoyable little dose of poisonous cynicism.” Yes! I’m in.

Plus, it didn’t hurt that the price is $2.99 for Kindle. I’m not sure if that’s the everyday price, or a temporary situation. But I snagged it. In fact, I snagged it for the second time. There’s a paperback version — with a different cover — kicking around here somewhere. I’m now re-buying books I already own, because I prefer reading on a Kindle.

You’ll notice that the novel has mixed reader reviews at Amazon. That would concern me, and probably dissuade me from buying it, if it were in a genre other than humor. You can always count on humorous fiction receiving too many negative reviews. I think it’s the people who are really good at math who have a problem with subtle comedy. It’s just a theory. Indeed, two of my favorite humor novels, A Confederacy of Dunces and The Dog of the South, receive an inordinate number of one-star reviews. How anyone could trash those true works o’ genius is a mystery to me. It’s gotta be the fucking mathematicians, right? I can think of no other explanation.

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