Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Accidental Proposal

This is quite the worst I've read, in as long as I remember. Yes, worse than the worst of the Twilight books, which I consider one of my most regretted impulse purchase.

Taken from the back cover of the book:

Ed Middleton's just got engaged. At least, he thinks he has.

The thing is, it was his girlfriend Sam who did the proposing, and the more he thinks about it, the less he's sure that she was actually asking him to marry her. She could have just been asking the question, you know...hypothetically.

As the wedding day approaches, Ed becomes more and more uneasy. Sam keeps disappearing off for furtive meetings and private phone calls, and when he spies her going into a pub with a man he's never seen before, all his old jealousies and insecurities threaten to re-surface. It's the perfect time for Ed's unhinged ex, Jane, to show up on his doorstep.

Meanwhile, best-friend and soon-to-be best man Dan is determined to make Ed's stag night go with a bang. And when a severely hung-over Ed wakes up the morning after to see a second dent in the pillow, it seems as if that's exactly what happened.

Will Ed manage to find out the truth about his stag night as well as the identity of Sam's secret man? Or will an accidental proposal lead them both down the aisle to a wedding neither of them ever imagined?

Guess what... that's the entire story! Not pretty much the entire plot, but the actual entire plot, minus the conclusion, which by the way, became quite clear way too early. And the answer is yes. Both "Will Ed bla bla bla...?" and "Or will an accidental proposal bla bla bla...?" - yes. I hope by spoiling it for you I'm saving you the hours you might spend reading Ed's endlessly obsessing about Sam's mystery man, his ex, and his mystery dent-in-the-pillow. That's four hundred pages of the obsessive thoughts in Ed's head, followed by a repetition of those thoughts in form of conversations with Dan, repeated in an outer loop until the end.

Basically, this is a book of no substance. There isn't much of a storyline. There is no notable character development. In fact, there are no notable characters in addition to the few already mentioned in the back cover write-up. These (I think there were only two or three) were so trivial and inconsequential that honestly, only after a couple of weeks since finishing the book, I can't even recall their names, or how they relate to the "main" characters anymore. As if all these aren't enough, a part of the repetitive text is the super annoying reminder (by Ed, as the narrator) of how intellectually-challenged his best-friend is, and how his ex cheated on him. Continuously. On loop. 

So, in contrary to the Sophie Kinsella quote printed on the front cover, Matt Dunn's writing makes you want to roll your eyes inside out. The only reason I read it to the last page is I'm out of my mind. I finished an awful book, rolled my eyeballs till the extraocular muscles hurt, just so I can write a negative review of it. I'm so out of my mind.

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