“They forget that the CIA is all about collecting information. Information for other people to act on. If you join the CIA expecting a life of laser guns, ju-jitsu and exotic STDs, bear in mind that your only contact with them may come through the pages of The Lancet and Popular Mechanics.”
*** A copy of this novel was kindly provided to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
I was asked to read and review Breakfast At Cannibal Joe’s a little over two weeks ago and it sounded like a very entertaining read. Now I’ve read it, I can’t deny it is a highly original, unique and creative story with matching prose, but I’ve also came to realize this kind of humor just isn’t for me. I’ve had similar problems in the past (with The Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy and A Dirty Job to name a few) where a lot of people seemed to appreciate the novel a lot more than I did, so maybe me and this novel just weren’t ment to be? Like I said before, the prose is without doubt original and interesting, although it does include a lot of strong language (swearing, sex, drugs). If you are easily offended or don’t appreciate dark humor, this might not be the perfect read for you. I liked the general storyline with the CIA agent Joe Chambers as a main character and the setting in a slightly dystopian Dublin, but I did have a hard time following the plot mostly because of the random bits of information in between the main story. Those paragraphs are also part of the uniqueness of Breakfast At Cannibal Joe’s, so it’s easy to say I had a hard time rating this novel…
CIA agent Joe Chambers screwed up in the past and is sent to Dublin to oversee a CIA front company since they can’t get rid of him in another way. While it’s not the most beautiful place to be stuck in, Joe is quite content with his current situation and is willing to do a lot to prevent the CIA from sending him back to the USA. He will have to find a better way of maximizing profits of the Whetstone Publishing company to save it, but Joe has other problems in his life as well. A MI6 agent keeps breaking into his apartment and stealing his booze, he might need to actually start selling drugs to keep the profits up, he has a tapeworm named Steve after his wife’s lover in his guts… Joe Chambers’ life is nothing close to ordinary. Will he be able to figure out his mess?
There is no doubt that Breakfast At Cannibal Joe’s is an unique story and I really appreciated that. The main characters aren’t exactly likeable, but they are not supposed to be in this story. I wasn’t completely convinced by the humor and plot myself, but that mostly be because this kind of dark humor simply isn’t for me. If you like the genre and don’t mind the use of strong language and graphic scenes, give this novel a chance!