Catastrophically Consequential

Catastrophically Consequential - Stephen C. Bird I received this book for free as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

I'm going to be 100% honest here, if I hadn't won this book in the giveaway and subsequently felt that I should review it- I probably would have never picked it up.

I started reading this book on April 20th and managed to read two chapters that day. I then attempted to read the third chapter and felt so overwhelmed that I had to stop. I didn't pick it up again until the 24th of April. For four days I stared at [b:Catastrophically Consequential|13498101|Catastrophically Consequential|Stephen C. Bird||19042813] and for four days I felt extremely frustrated. I'm not usually one to not finish a book, even if I don't really like it, and I didn't want my first Goodreads First Reads book to be one of them.

Once I picked it up again, this time focused on getting through the book, understanding as much as I could, I managed to make it through.

If you don't want spoilers I suggest that you don't read the next part.

For those who haven't read this book--or at least attempted--you won't fully understand what I'm talking about when I say that the majority of the book was written in what I can only describe as if a drunken German hill-billy was speaking.

Heahz uh last-minute reminder: we takin our gun-siez case dey any Druidyck-Wyckan-Pagan woship-pers down at duh Fyremenziez Fieldie; themmerz duh worst kind uh heatheners.

This quote is surprisingly not from the chapter that was hardest to read and from what I understood the narrator is talking about bringing their guns to a fire where they were burning the Cora-Ann (Qur'an)and were 100% okay with shooting (and killing) anyone who tried to stop them.

In terms of clarity and ease of understanding I would give this book half a star if I could. It honesty was the most annoying book I've ever read when it comes to the actual reading aspect. There were multiple times that I had to sit and think about the words just to figure out what [a:Stephen C. Bird|3087044|Stephen C. Bird|] was trying to convey.

There are words such as szcztall (stall), kulchural (cultural) and mythologistickal (mythological) that require a double check to make sure you've understood and then there are the words such as themmerz (them{they} are), heahz (here is) and deah (they are) that you need to understand the rest of the sentence to fully understand them.

On top of all the 'normal' words that have been given a weird German-hill-billy twist there are tons of people and places that are well known that also have new spellings. Jeh-Hee-Zeus (Jesus), Mecks-Sicko (Mexico), Kanadyans (Canadians) and Two-Tank-Amen (Tutankhamun). Though, to be honest I though these were pretty clever.

The story itself is quite hard to follow, the timeline is quite scattered and some of the chapters just didn't fit into the story. More specifically the first, second, and last chapters have the same 'the world is f*cked up theme as the rest of the book, but from what I understood they don't fit into the story.

Despite the numerous characters and plot lines the general idea of the novel remains the same. Most of these characters are involved in an alternative lifestyle. Either one of sexual nature that is 'different', whether it be part of the LGBT community, the S&M community, incestual relations or weird fetishes (such as being urinated on). Or one that involves excessive use of hallucinogenic drugs. Those characters as well as the few that don't fall into one of those categories all share a hatred for minorities-- even when most of them fall into one themselves. Leading them down a path of self-hatred.

The minorities that are hated on in the novel are mainly the poor, the people of middle-eastern decent, the sexual deviants and drug addicts (including food as a 'drug').

In my opinion this novel is a commentary on how damaged our world is and how hypocritical we are. No one group of people are 'perfect', each of us has a different view of the world and unless we stop judging others for their choices, no matter how weirded out we are by them, we will continue to fall in a downward spiral.

Maybe I missed the point of the novel completely, but I think that the title [b:Catastrophically Consequential|13498101|Catastrophically Consequential|Stephen C. Bird||19042813] refers to how messed up this world is and how much human kind will have to pay for the way we have treated each other and the planet itself.

My half star for the writing aspect of the novel combined with the four stars I want to give [a:Stephen C. Bird|3087044|Stephen C. Bird|] for the main concept of the novel makes it hard for me to decide between a four and a five.

However, given the fact that I thought I was going to hate the book, after reading the first chapter, I'm going to round up to a five for surprising me with how much I actually like it.