4 out of 4 stars
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In a new genre of literature, the author categorizes his book as a ‘Political Erotica’. Largely due to the author’s unique writing style, The Outlandish and the Ego by O. Ryan Hussain is like nothing I’ve ever read. Much more than a political satire laced with lewd humor, the narrative takes aim, filled with harsh truths, at the political system, electable figures, the media, mental health, and policing that affect the world today.
On the Outlandish front, Samuel’s mind is haunted by demon gnomes who terrorize him, chipping away at the little sanity he has left. His friend, Roger, on the other hand, is an Indiana-bred pseudo-Russian who genuinely believes that he can turn invisible at will. With the spies and the demon forces’ bombs closing in on them, they set out on a mission to locate the Signal and obey it, believing that this would earn them their freedom from the evil dwarfs.
On the Ego’s plane, senior advisers (the Aide, the Press Secretary, and the Campaign Manager) to the President employ ruthless and underhanded tactics toward deals that would ensure four more years for their candidate. However, secret dealings among the group with outsiders cause strife within the team. Unperturbed to changes on his playing field, the Aide remains determined to have his president reelected. He does all he can and puts everything on the line through his drastic actions to hold on to the strings of power.
This is a masterfully crafted narrative full of twists and turns that kept me turning pages with bated breath for what would happen next. The author’s impeccable writing style, the characters eccentricities, and extremities – coupled with the hyperbolic situations the characters would often find themselves in – fascinated me. The underlying mostly political and some social commentary intrigued me as well. All these elements made this novel a fun, entertaining, and exciting read. In addition, the sarcasm and endless humor in the dialogues and situations made for many laugh-out-loud moments, while certain aspects of the story inspired deep thought and reflection, which made this novel a total win for me.
The narrative alternates its focus between the President’s team and Samuel and his friend, Roger, interchangeably. I love stories that switch focus because for me (when done right), it almost always builds suspense, keeping things interesting. The choice to use third-person for this story worked well because it gave a wide-angle view on a number of the characters’ persona based on their relation to other characters. Towards the end, the two stories came together in the most unexpected way, leading up to a brilliant and explosive ending that left me in awe.
There were few errors found in this otherwise well-written impressive novel. The errors found consisted of a missing preposition, as well as several incorrectly positioned and missing pronouns. Nevertheless, the total number of errors counted were not enough to impact my final rating, which is why I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. This is an author I’ll be keeping my eyes on, and I can’t recommend this book enough. Those who enjoy political satire and effortless comedy will love and appreciate The Outlandish and the Ego.
The Outlandish and the Ego
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