Top critical review
Exhausting, overwritten, and poorly edited. I couldn’t finish it.
Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2020
The conceit here is that, in the future, a man can define a spouse as he chooses and thus when a new neighbor moves next door to our hero, Ace, comes to dinner with his sex doll, who he pretends is his wife. When said neighbor asks Ace to “watch” his wife, Ace takes the doll and destroys it. That the neighbor is clearly mentally ill is played as a joke, or as an example of how our culture has failed.
The book’s title, taken from an old rock and roll song, comes from this scene - the doll makes a suggestive comment and Ace quotes the song while destroying the doll.
This anachronism- a kid in 2024 quoting a 60’s rock song- sums up this book. It is written as an argument, not as art. The writing is smugly self-assured; I couldn’t tell why the narrator is omniscient yet makes snide comments. Italics are used to express narrative asides, changes in tone of speaking characters, and stage direction.
There is no empathy for anyone but Ace - even the lawyer lured back into taking a stand learns from Ace, instead of the other way around.
It’s not satire. It’s not humor. It is a wish fulfillment imagined by someone who doesn’t like the world he is writing about or maybe just the people in it. I don’t know, but I felt numbed after 60 pages so I quit.