1 out of 4 stars
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Misery Loves Company by Paul Marino was nothing like what I expected when I read the description. I have always been a big fan of Greek myths and legends, so I was excited to see that the blurb called it a "Beatnik's take on the Orpheus myth". However, the book ended up unrelated to the Orpheus myth and was something that I didn't enjoy.
In the myth of the hero Orpheus, the title character experiences the tragic death of his wife. Unable to bear being without her, he goes to the Underworld to ask Hades to release her. He plays music for Hades, who agrees to let her go, on one condition. If Orpheus can make it back to land without looking back, then his wife will live. However, if Orpheus looks back before they are both free, then he will lose her forever.
I don't feel that Misery Loves Company is related to the myth of Orpheus at all. In this book, it begins with the character talking about how a coworker found something online that they thought was a joke. After a few pages, the reader finds that this is a group called Serial Killer Anonymous, where local killers meet weekly to overcome their addiction to murder. The members include a man with a mustache, identical twins, a Native American chief in full war paint and headdress, and a redhead in a Hawaiian shirt. They spend their meetings talking about their crimes, like the Coat Hanger Man, who gains his name from killing prostitutes with a straightened metal coat hanger. Through the book, one of the crimes of the main character is detailed as he kills a woman with chloroform. It turns out that the Serial Killer's Anonymous is all a front for a scam and it leads to the death of one of the characters as the chief reveals how he got his name. I tried to avoid giving any spoilers away about the ending!
There were some grammar errors in the book. Since the book was only 27 pages long, I expected it to be edited much better than it was. On page 1 there is an error where the main character is talking about the members of the group. The sentence is " Across from some with a pencil thin mustache..." but it should use the word someone in that sentence. I also noticed that the author heavily relied on partial sentences. Some examples just from page 1 are: "Found it hilarious." "In through the back entrance." "Through the kitchen." These partial sentences can make it hard to follow along with what is going on and really made me wish for more detail. Also, on pages 26 to 27, there are about four paragraphs dealing with the chief that repeat, almost word for word like they have been copied and pasted into the book. However, these paragraphs shouldn't repeat.
I rate Misery Loves Company 1 out of 4 stars. This is due to the need for more edits and because of how different the book was from the description. This book wasn't one that I enjoyed. I feel that with more edits and more descriptions, it could be improved. A lot of quality was sacrificed to make this book so short. I would recommend this only for adults because there is a lot of mention of prostitutes, murder and genitals in this book.
Misery Loves Company
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