Mr. Booker's Summer VacationMr. Booker’s Summer Vacation
Year: 2017
Author: Mark Lages
Length: 312 pages


Can we please stop using fiction as an avenue to whine and complain about the state of current affairs? Books like Mr. Booker’s Summer Vacation and Nobel Peace Prize do nothing other than highlight how broken society is, all the while never providing any actual solutions to these problems. The only way these authors think they can get away with it is by packaging it as “fiction.” Let’s face it, just title the book, Things are terrible and here’s why everyone else is to blame and put it in the non-fiction section.

Regarding Mr. Booker’s Summer Vacation, I couldn’t figure out who the target audience was. It’s written in a clipped, repetitive, redundant, and childish prose that makes me think it’s targeted toward children. However, with sexual situations (including a story about rape), violent and unnecessary subplots, and a sprinkling of profanity, I would never give this book to a child to read. If it’s supposed to be geared toward adults, then it’s a super-judgmental narrative that makes the author seem “holier than thou.” What bugs me the most about this is that it’s so American-centric. Why bash the USA so much, but fail to mention the Holocaust, or the genocide in Africa, or the rape of Nanking? If aliens are supposed to determine humanity’s fate, why focus on just one country’s terrible actions?

As far as the writing goes, there are plenty of amateur mistakes permeating the narrative. The framing device of the author telling this person’s story is unnecessary and pulled me out of the “story” more often than not. Furthermore, it’s hard to keep reading a story when it starts with “I want to keep this man’s identity a secret,” followed by tons of specific details about this man dropped in one huge exposition dump. The dialogue was flat, repetitive (as in, “is there an echo in here?”), and unemotional, even to the point where I thought all the characters (including the human) were robots. The flashbacks and flash-forward were unnecessary and never made me empathize with the main character at all.

A judgmental and poorly written book, I give Mr. Booker’s Summer Vacation 1.5 stars out of 5.

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