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e-males by Allen Jarvis - Book Review


Allen Jarvis
Pan Books

Fiction-Net Rating 1 Star Rated Book

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Cover Story

At age twenty-four, Damian Shaw's future now seems nothing more than a wreathing trek towards hell and damnation. And all because Jo has set him free.

Free to hurl himself into an orgy of laddish excess, necking vast quantities of Kronenbourg with his close firm of friends, popping all manner of pills and snorting lines of coke, drooling over his Anna Nicole Smith calendar collection, grabbing late-night taxis across London to mind-blowing parties, obsessively replaying New Order and Wagner on his Walkman, ogling bra-busting starlets in bootleg Russ Meyer videos, lusting after six-foot clubby blondes in their knee-length kinky boots.

Anything to keep remorseful thoughts of Jo from his mind. Meanwhile, one by one, his supposed friends contrive to defile Jo's memory with their careless remarks until, under his apparent nonchalance, Damian begins to seethe with an impenetrable hatred.

And wreaking vengeance on all of them becomes his new obsession.

We Say

I think Allen Jarvis has missed the point. It's all very well creating a leading character who is utterly dislikable (and he has), but at the very least we are supposed to actually like the book itself. I found e-males impossible to like.

The central character, Damian Shaw, goes from one party to the next, takes this drug then another, has sex with this girl then another, etc. which is all very well but e-males is simply a feel-bad book littered with repetitious and unimaginative writing. Damian Shaw will have you wanting to smack him by the second chapter and soon after you'll feel the same for every other character.

Granted, e-males eventually picks up the pace and a sense of tension appears during the final couple of chapters - unfortunately, by this stage you will likely have turned off.

Review by: Rob Cook

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