Good books (2.5 to 3.5)

The Decadents, by M.C. Schmidt

3 out of 5 stars. If you want to read a great story, stop reading after the first third.

3 stars
This book is set to be published on May 26th, 2022.

Phil Ochs is the founder and owner of Fry Buddies, a fast food franchise, and he has high aspirations – which are clearly not going to be met, that much is pretty clear to the reader right off the batch.

Besides trouble on the business front, he also has a son he thinks of as wimpy and a problem. And maybe their relationship isn’t the easiest. But you know what?

He’s a pancake.

Phil about his son

David Samuel is the far more likeable character. He might be a troubled young man, but he has a sharp wit and keen sense of intellect. He’s also part of the most hilarious dialogues of this novel, some kind of satirical sharp shooter.

The dialogues – this is where The Decadents stands out. Quick witted, really funny dialogues and a whole bunch of side characters that are reminiscent of the best of Philip K. Dick’s characters. At those times, Schmidt’s narrative shines like a bright new LED bulb in a dark and damp basement.

Sadly, the best dialogues are in the presence of David Samuel, and he’s only around for the first third of the book. Well, no, he’s also there for the rest of the book, we just don’t see much of him anymore. And that’s a pity.

Reading this book is like reading two books, really. A small one – the first third – that is kind of light-hearted, goofy, sarcastic and full of snark. It’s a great story.

The second book – the last two thirds – is a bleak tale of political grandeur and the downfall of a man. It’s not what the first third promises, although it could have been, if those parts of the cast that were likeable had played a greater part. See the fall of Philip Ochs through the eyes of his son, complemented with sassy remarks – there is a whole world of entertainment lost right there.

In the end, this is a very mixed bag. 2 stars for the last two thirds, 5 for the first third, let’s call it a 3. The middle ranking, and we all know – in the middle of the road, there’s just a white line and a dead skunk.

And the carcass of a story that could have been so much more.

Disclaimer: I’ve received a free Advanced Reader’s Copy and am leaving this review voluntarily.

By Stefan

father of two, not enough time to read everything I want to read

2 replies on “The Decadents, by M.C. Schmidt”

Sounds like a very uneven writing style. Maybe the author pieced together the story without worrying too much about flow or coherence? Loved the pancake reference, had me chuckling into my coffee. You made me break my diet! I made some tea biscuits instead, but still….! Ah well, it is the weekend… Hope you are having a nice, relaxing one, Stefan!

Liked by 1 person

Incoherent is maybe the best way to explain it! He started out with a lot of humour, up until it seems he ran out of humoristic fuel. There are still some moments in the second part that are really funny, but those are far and in between, and the first third called up some expectations that sadly weren’t met by the rest.


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