I am not a huge Sci-Fi fan, but I love a good story regardless of the genre. Because of this, I want to say that I am happy that I was the one from the Reading Badger magazine who got to read Michael Strelow’s “Some Assembly Required” novel. The book has as its main character a journalist named Jake James, who presents himself as a person who hears voices, but it is not a mentally sick person.
Even from the beginning, the author has a great way of inducing you the thoughts and feelings of the character. When you read the book, you have the feeling that you are connected directly to the mind of a schizophrenic. Because of this, you cannot figure out all of the time, if some of the conversations are really happening or they are just in Jake’s mind.
“Life was just a package of information and was infinitely extendable”
After Jake assists at an Artificial Intelligence presentation made by Dr. Sewall, he searches the doctor to interview him. He discovers that the doctor has done an experiment and transferred a form of AI to a bowl of oatmeal. From this point, all the book’s action escalates. The bowl of oatmeal, called by the name of Rex, evolves and learns how to communicate and other cool stuff (that I am not going to spoil).
Michael Strelow amazingly presents the conversations between the characters and creates a not so easy to read book, but nevertheless one that will stick to the reader’s minds. I don’t usually add quotes to my articles, but in this case, I don’t know what to say that will do justice to this novel, without spoiling the future readers the pleasure of discovering this story, so I will let you read my favourite paragraph:
“Mitochondria, for instance, was once a free-range critter that for some fortuitous reason found a home in the human replication system. Now it goes to work schlepping materials…never stopping for lunch. Be sure to feed your mitochondria – keep them happy – so the rest of the system can get reproducing.”
This Reading Badger’s final thoughts about this novel
My honest belief is that this novel deserves to be a bestseller of the genre, so stay tuned for its December release. Even though I have already read the digital edition provided in advance on Netgalley, I liked the story so much that I will order the paper print version for my collection. Usually, I finish each article with my own opinions and feelings, but in this case, I cannot think of another conclusion better than an excerpt from the book:
“Rex out playing actually made more sense of the world than considering the world without Rex.”