cover image Beta Test

Beta Test

Eric Griffith. Hadley Rille, $28 (278p) ISBN 978-0-9839531-1-1

Griffith offers up an unusually lighthearted apocalyptic tale. Thousands of people around the world abruptly disappear, including Sam Terra’s mother and the woman he thought he could love. Sam seeks answers, accompanied by his obnoxious friend Melvin and his childhood pal Paulie, and gradually uncovers secrets that in other hands could have led to a deep philosophical exploration of humanity’s place in the universe. Instead, Sam’s adventures border on the absurd as he travels from New York to California to Australia while the world at large inexplicably ignores the insanity thrust upon it. The humor can’t quite hide the lack of finesse in the writing, but with the focus on escapism, Griffith’s stylistic awkwardness isn’t as big a stumbling block as it otherwise might have been. (Dec.)