Avoiding Mortimer by J.W. Wargo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mortimer, a man who's been avoiding life his entire... life, rejects undeath and runs away from home. When his life consisting of working at the aglet factory and playing with his ant farm proves to be too much, he kills himself, only to find the afterlife isn't all it has been cracked up to be. Can he avoid an eternity of servitude as he avoided everything else in his life?
First off, it's Mortimer that's doing the Avoiding. We are not meant to Avoid him.
In this entry in the New Bizarro Author series, J.W. Wargo tackles a familiar subject, the afterlife, and turns it on its ear in a way I've pondered more than once. Considering the afterlife is going to be populated by the same jackholes we deal with every day, why would it in any way resemble paradise?
Mortimer is an Arthur Dent-style protagonist, taken to the nth degree. His life consists of avoiding pretty much everything. He goes to work, comes home, and goes to bed. He has seven identical suits and does everything he can to avoid being noticed. Death almost seems like a mercy at first.
Wargo's afterlife is one of servitude if your life's worth is low or lounging if one's life worth is high. Mortimer soon rejects his new job at the earlobe factory and meets other avoiders, these intent on avoiding participating in the afterlife. Mortimer proves himself to be the avoidingest avoider that ever avoided and saves the day. Oh, and god is a hobo. And there's a character called Ant Blob. And some sentient dreadlocks. All of that is true but it's a Bizarro book so I can pretty much say anything and you'd believe it.
Any complaints? Not a one. This is my favorite book in the 2012-2013 New Bizarro Author series so far.
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