Just getting around to posting a follow up about the Chris Genoa novel, Foop
that I finished a couple weeks ago.
I generally enjoyed Foop. The narrative style was amusing in a Vonnegut-rip-off kind of way. Set in the not-too-distant future, the premise - a poor schlub doing his 9-5 at a time travel agency is sent back to 2001 to prevent nasty things from happening to his boss - is fun even though it's out there.
It pokes fun at new age religion, entrepreneurial zeal, and the blank-stare detachment of big city living. The protagonist is, for lack of a better term, a mess psychologically. He longs for corporeal contact rather than emotional connections. He is fully isolated from others. Regardless of his own efforts, he cannot connect with others, get along with others, or even interpret the speech/language of others.
There are numerous typos and font-size changes within the text that I think are there to level the reader (misspelled character names, verb tense changes, phonetic spellings, and alternating paragraphs of larger typeset). Either that or Genoa has a poor copy editor.
I was disappointed by the ending, which I thought was preachy in a slap-you-in-the-face way. It the same old story of humanity's preoccupation with material pursuits or pop religion or big business that leads to its basic wickedness when viewed from a distance. The funny twist is that the protagonist is so detached from his fellow human beings that he, too, is engaged in trying to prevent humans from evolving from apes.
It borrows/pays homage to themes in Sirens of Titan, Cat's Cradle, and even stylistically to Breakfast of Champions (e.g. it has illustrations and an unreliable narrator).
Bottom line is it was a good debut novel for Genoa, a quick and amusing read, but the ending seemed rushed/revised and didn't really fit with the playfulness of the rest of the book. This would be good for a plane trip, and would be good company for Tony Vigorito's Just a Couple of Days