Having received a review copy of Eric Shapiro's latest novel, I promised that I would read it and post a review for it before it was released. It's Only Temporary is published by Permuted Press (www.permutedpress.com).
The premise of the story is rather cliché: a giant meteorite is about to cause the end of the world. But Shapiro elected to write a different take on this old and overused theme. The book describes the story of how Sean, a young adult, decides to spend his final hours on this earth. Hours before the doom of humanity, Sean wishes to be reunited with his lost love.
It begins as a story which explores the repercussions facing a young man deprived of his future. But it rapidly degenerates into something I can't quite put into words.
The entire novella is written from Sean's POV. At the beginning, the narrative illustrates how society as we know it is unravelling around Sean. The book is only 100 pages long, so the pace is quite brisk.
But such a fast rhythm has one major drawback. The author doesn't have the chance to "flesh out" the characters and the world that is going mad. A few mad glimpses are all that we are offered. Which, in the end, is the reason why I was never able to get into the story.
Moreover, the story takes a spectacular turn for the bizarre in the second half of the book. Indeed, it becomes something akin to an acid trip gone bad. As Sean drives away from home to join his former girlfriend Selma, the story becomes at times absurd.
It sure looks like this novella was written for a younger audience. And since I'm not part of Generation X, I couldn't get fully into it. Lots of profanities, violence, etc. Having said that, I think that the right public would enjoy this novella. Younger guys, however, probably not girls. I'm convinced that many high school teenagers and undergrads would undoubtedly enjoy this wild ride through a surreal reality. With the appropriate marketing, this book could perhaps be successful.
Since I have nothing to rate it against, I can't mark It's Only Temporary the way I usually do. . .