In choosing to tell a police procedural from an attitudinal sock monkey‘s POV, Penn Jillette makes novel’s promise disappear:
On some level, the story has potential. Sock isn’t a standard police procedural, because the Little Fool isn’t a cop; he’s an obsessive, unhealthy outsider, redefining his relationship with a dead woman in order to give his life meaning, and in the process, reconstructing his perspective on the world in potentially revelatory ways. But the sock-monkey-protagonist gimmick twists his perspective from intriguingly off-kilter to disturbingly off-kilter, and throws almost as much obfuscation into the mix as the punchy writing style and the song lyrics and movie quotes that pop up in nearly every paragraph. Rather than giving Sock a place in the pop-culture lexicon, the nonstop referents and endless rabbit trails feel like meaningless noise, a magician’s distraction from the real sleight-of-hand going on under the table.
Rake sez: Still easily the best sock-monkey-protagonist novel of the last few years…except for this one.
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