The Lazy Boys

Carl Shuker, Author . Shoemaker & Hoard $15 (295p) ISBN 978-1-59376-123-3

Richard "Souse" Sauer, the 18-year-old antihero narrator of New Zealand writer Shuker's second novel (after Method Actors ) is on a violent behavior jag that would make American Psycho 's Patrick Bateman proud. Souse is a sensitive, self-destructive kid made uncomfortable by his first contact with independence as a marketing student at the University of Otago. Unofficially, he has switched to the more congenial discipline of beer guzzling, with a minor in bong hits; one beer-drenched night he does some awful, sexually abusive thing that he can't quite remember to "this blond chick" at a party. Early on, Souse is revealed to be both a sadist (he tortures Snoopy, the family dog, and reads serial killer stories for inspiration) and a sensitive soul (he has a Sylvia Plath poem tacked up in his dorm room). After he leaves college and moves in with some similarly disaffected friends, Souse's days are foggy with parties, bars, self-pity and introspection—the latter two being pretty much identical. Unfortunately, the numbing regularity of Souse's days and nights (party, stupor, self-loathing) diminish the reader's interest long before Souse's final plunge into mayhem. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/14/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
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