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Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 16 Sep 2017, 02:01
by Christina Rose
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Bad Choices Make Good Stories" by Oliver Markus Malloy.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Bad Choices Make Good Stories: Going to New York, is a dark and humorous novel written by Oliver Markus Malloy. Based on true events, this novel takes us on a fascinating journey through the life of Oliver. We meet him as a teenage hacker in Germany before he begins his life in New York. Once there, we join him in his adventures as a cartoonist, cab driver, production manager, and internet millionaire. His story is not one for the easily offended or the faint of heart. It includes sex and bad relationships, drugs and codependency, crime, betrayal, and abusive situations. It is told with a no-holds-barred kind of honesty.

I think the beginning chapter, titled “Prostitution,” is written to somewhat set the stage for the rest of the novel. Oliver Markus Malloy takes this time not only to grab our attention, but also to warn readers of the lack of censorship within his novel. He pokes fun a little at America and our tendency to over-censor things like “bad” language and harmless nudity. Oliver grew up in a much more liberal environment.

With the stage now set, the author takes us back to the 1990s. He was a computer geek and an internet hacker in the age of dial-up modems. Oliver and his hacking crew members weren’t hacking in the sense that people do today. They weren’t selling information to the mob or making online purchases. They were simply spreading their “cracked” games.

The hacking and computer scene has always been an interesting one to me, even though I couldn’t tell you the first real thing about it. From movies like Weird Science to The Net, Office Space to Antitrust, it is a topic I have always found interesting. So, Oliver Markus Malloy didn’t have to pull me in. However, he did do a great job of making the world of hacking sound interesting and even dangerous at times – the German FBI even raided his parents’ house on two separate occasions.

It was through the world of hacking that Oliver met Donna, and it was Donna who eventually led Oliver to New York. She was one of the only women in the hacking scene, and they literally spent hours on the phone with each other. In fact, the two were constantly connected (via land line, no less) until Oliver lost his phone privileges, at which point he began spending hours inside of a phone booth to stay connected.

With Donna in the picture now, Oliver began losing interest in the illegal hacking business, but continued to run his software company. With the money earned from video games produced through his software company, Oliver was able to fly to New York when he had the chance to spend more time with Donna.

So as not to give away any more of Oliver’s story, I will just say that it was one whirlwind adventure after another for him. Oliver was not only an entertaining character, he was downright likable. I did not always agree with him, the things he did, or what he did or did not believe in, but I found that I still wanted to learn more about him. I wanted to see where his life was headed, to see where he ended up. Sometimes he would make the same kinds of mistakes over and over, but I couldn’t even fault him that. I either chalked it up to his abusive biological father and the psychological outcome of that situation, or to the genuine love and care he seemed to feel towards some of the people in his life. Love can make us do some otherwise inexplicable things.

Regardless of the reason, I was enthralled. The reading was easy. I enjoyed the author’s writing style, and the quotes at the beginning of each chapter were a nice addition. I even learned a little on my journey. Aside from the ins and outs of the hacking business, and how that can be beneficial in various parts of your life, I also learned how easy divorce can be by signing paperwork from lawyers in Guam and enjoying a week-long vacation there – too bad I didn’t know about that when my husband was going through his divorce when we first met. It would have given us reason to visit my birthplace. - All kidding aside, though, I can honestly say that I think this book deserves 4 out of 4 stars, and I look forward to reading more from this author.

This book is not for everyone, though. If you are sensitive to triggers, or have the tendency to be offended by harsh language or actions that can be considered as unsavory or even immoral, then this is not the book for you. If you enjoy dark humor, and can handle reading about sex and drugs and the lifestyle that often accompanies those things, then you may find enjoyment in exploring the parts of Oliver’s life that he is willing to share with us through this novel. It was an interesting journey, to say the least, and I recommend Bad Choices to anyone who feels up to reading it.

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Bad Choices Make Good Stories
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Like Christina Rose's review? Post a comment saying so!

Re: Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 16 Sep 2017, 22:52
by juliusotinyo
I enjoy some dark humour and won't mind some harsh language in my books. Great review Christina.

-- 17 Sep 2017, 06:54 --

Btw, I understand your longing for your hometown. I too am stuck in my adoptive country.

Re: Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 16 Sep 2017, 23:02
by mumoscar
Oliver is definitely a "jack of all trades". I would really love to follow him up. The dirty language may keep me at bay but i won't mind reading this book. Nice review.

Re: Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 17 Sep 2017, 00:17
by Sabina G
I like the way in which the author wants the audience about this book not being appropriate for everyone. I also liked that even though the main character was kind of messy, you could empathize with him. That speaks very well of character development.
Thanks for your review.

Re: Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 17 Sep 2017, 00:54
by Christina Rose
juliusotinyo wrote:I enjoy some dark humour and won't mind some harsh language in my books. Great review Christina.

-- 17 Sep 2017, 06:54 --

Btw, I understand your longing for your hometown. I too am stuck in my adoptive country.
Thank you! If you read the book, I'd love to know what you think.

Thanks, also, for your understanding … it's good to know someone can relate. Traveling to Guam right now just isn't feasible … it's far too expensive to go with the whole family, but it isn't something I'd want to do without them. I hope you're able to visit home soon!

Re: Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 17 Sep 2017, 01:02
by juliusotinyo
Christina Rose wrote:
juliusotinyo wrote:I enjoy some dark humour and won't mind some harsh language in my books. Great review Christina.

-- 17 Sep 2017, 06:54 --

Btw, I understand your longing for your hometown. I too am stuck in my adoptive country.
Thank you! If you read the book, I'd love to know what you think.

Thanks, also, for your understanding … it's good to know someone can relate. Traveling to Guam right now just isn't feasible … it's far too expensive to go with the whole family, but it isn't something I'd want to do without them. I hope you're able to visit home soon!
I was in Chad last November, despite the negative press it's really a beautiful place. It's also a desert country but the people are so friendly and warm. I intend to relocate with the family in less than 10 years. At least I already have a home there.

Re: Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 17 Sep 2017, 01:10
by Christina Rose
mumoscar wrote:Oliver is definitely a "jack of all trades". I would really love to follow him up. The dirty language may keep me at bay but i won't mind reading this book. Nice review.
Thank you! I definitely found Oliver and his story interesting, and if you can get past all that is potentially offensive, I hope you enjoy the book and find it interesting as well. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you read the book!

-- 17 Sep 2017, 01:33 --
walkingfreckle wrote:I like the way in which the author wants the audience about this book not being appropriate for everyone. I also liked that even though the main character was kind of messy, you could empathize with him. That speaks very well of character development.
Thanks for your review.
Yes, it's definitely a good thing for the reader to know ahead of time that the novel isn't suitable for all audiences. I don't know if it's easier or more difficult to properly develop your characters when your book is based on actual events. Either way, Oliver does have a way with words, and that did seem to help me empathize. Thank you for your thoughts!

-- 17 Sep 2017, 01:46 --
juliusotinyo wrote:I was in Chad last November, despite the negative press it's really a beautiful place. It's also a desert country but the people are so friendly and warm. I intend to relocate with the family in less than 10 years. At least I already have a home there.
It's great that you have a timeframe for your goal of relocation. And, having a home already is definitely helpful.
My Dad has land in Guam that will stay with the family. There's no house on it as of yet, but we may collectively put a vacation home of sorts there at some point.

Re: Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 17 Sep 2017, 07:52
by kandscreeley
Sounds like a very funny book. I'm glad you enjoyed it, but I don't think it's for me. Thanks for the review though.

Re: Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 17 Sep 2017, 10:15
by Christina Rose
kandscreeley wrote:Sounds like a very funny book. I'm glad you enjoyed it, but I don't think it's for me. Thanks for the review though.
It's definitely not for everyone. Thanks for stopping by to read my review and comment!

Re: Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 18 Sep 2017, 12:40
by geoffrey ngoima
Yeah, from the book title you can guess it has all the graphic stuff, .. Hacking is a real thriller. It reminds me of the TV series Mr. Robot, great review.

Re: Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 18 Sep 2017, 22:33
by Ngabirano Winston
The title itself is an attention grabber, "bad choices make good stories" would definitely prompt many to seek to find out the hidden truth in this book, and true the review has summarized it all.

-- 18 Sep 2017, 22:41 --

The title itself is an attention grabber, "bad choices make good stories" would definitely prompt many to seek to find out the hidden truth in this book, and true the review has summarized it all.

Re: Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 19 Sep 2017, 07:39
by Christina Rose
geoffrey ngoima wrote:Yeah, from the book title you can guess it has all the graphic stuff, .. Hacking is a real thriller. It reminds me of the TV series Mr. Robot, great review.
Thank you!

-- 19 Sep 2017, 07:41 --
Ngabirano Winston wrote:The title itself is an attention grabber, "bad choices make good stories" would definitely prompt many to seek to find out the hidden truth in this book, and true the review has summarized it all.

-- 18 Sep 2017, 22:41 --

The title itself is an attention grabber, "bad choices make good stories" would definitely prompt many to seek to find out the hidden truth in this book, and true the review has summarized it all.
I agree about the title grabbing your attention! Thank you for your thoughts!

Re: Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 20 Sep 2017, 11:53
by Kelebogile Mbangi
Yikes, I fall under the category of faint hearted and I feel the hacking concept is a bit too complex for me. So I will skip this book. Thanks for the review though. :)

Re: Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 20 Sep 2017, 16:50
by Christina Rose
Kelebogile Mbangi wrote:Yikes, I fall under the category of faint hearted and I feel the hacking concept is a bit too complex for me. So I will skip this book. Thanks for the review though. :)
Thanks for stopping by! It is definitely not for everyone. :)

Re: Official Review: Bad Choices Make Good Stories

Posted: 21 Sep 2017, 01:34
by kislany
Enjoyed reading your review. The book seems a bit heavy for me. I am (depending on my mood) slightly offended by harsh or explicit language, so I might have to pass on this one ... Although it does seem intriguing enough.