by Brian Martinez
Overview (from B&N.com): “Welcome to the Parts Department of the great city of Smoke.”
These words greet Tuxxel on his first day at the warehouse, a building so massive the ceiling can’t be seen, yet what follows is anything but welcoming. An Exterminator in the city of Smoke, he finds himself leading a life of violence and subservience. Picked on and abused by his supervisor, he has little choice but to do the dirty work Smoke demands of him. As the days pass and he learns of his city’s horrific treatment of its citizens, he finds it more and more difficult to listen to the orders given to him. He must do what feels right. But disobedience has its consequences.
De-Partment is a dystopian novella about the struggle to maintain one’s sense of self, set in a world both recognizable and entirely foreign. Included here, “The Capsule”, a never-before published short story that fuses poetry with prose to create a unique literary experience.
Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author, via LibraryThing, in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts: Who doesn’t like a dystopian novel right now? They’re ridiculously popular and I’m without a doubt one of the people who get completely sucked it. It’s like a reading vortex that you never really make it back out of again.
De-Partment was legitimately disturbing. In the beginning I just kept reading because I kept thinking to myself that it can’t possibly get worse or more graphic. Well, I was wrong. It continued on a very messed up path and never veered into normal territory. It definitely made this a very unique book though. It was like a horror version of The Hunger Games meets The 13th Prophet and a little Repo Men thrown in.
The writing was good, although extremely graphic (I don’t even really mean that in a sexual sense). You have to give an author credit though if they can make you picture things that you’d never come up with on your own.
Most of the characters were terrible and I didn’t like them. In my defense, I’m fairly certain you weren’t supposed to really like anyone. The main character, Tuxxel was okay. There wasn’t anything extraordinary about him, but he wasn’t a terrible guy either. He just seemed like your average, run-of-the-mill guy living during hard times in a dystopian universe.
Now it comes down to whether or not I would recommend it. As long as you’re going in with eyes wide open to the idea of some unpleasant and even unsettling imagery, you’ll be fine. If that’s your kind of book, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, I would skip De-Partment.
3 out of 5 Bookmarks = It was disturbing to the point that I’m not actually sure if I liked it or not.