Monday, August 31, 2009

Bad Monkeys: The 100-Page Check-In

I actually reached page 100 a while back and am well on my way towards 200. I didn't have time to write about it when I got there, but I certainly didn't want to hold up my reading until I found time to post. Bad Monkeys is way too good. Way too addictive.

I love to read, but I have to carve out small chunks of time each day to do it. If I try to read too much in a single day, I can't fit it into my schedule and end up not reading at all. So, I limit myself to about ten pages of prose a day. That usually gets me through a novel in about a month, which is way slow, but it's what I can do.

Most of the time, ten pages is more than enough anyway. I often have to force myself just to read those ten and I'm ready to put the book away when I get them done. That's not how reading is supposed to be. What it's supposed to be like is what I'm experiencing with Bad Monkeys where I get to the tenth page and then sneak another page or two just because I can't freaking stop. It's torture pacing myself on this book.

The story opens in a police interrogation room. A woman's been arrested for murder and - based on what she told the arresting detectives - a psychiatrist is trying to figure out if she's just nuts or actually a member of a secret, evil-fighting organization called Bad Monkeys. The entire story - so far, anyway - takes place in the interrogation room with Jane Charlotte telling her story.

You might think that sounds dull, but thanks to Ruff's voice and pacing, it's not. At all. Ever. Charlotte's narration is descriptive enough that it takes you out of the room and into the events she's describing. Ruff keeps the psychiatrist's questions from distracting us by simply inserting them in italics between Charlotte-paragraphs. The result is a fast, fun, engrossing read.

I was a little disappointed once when I thought that I'd figured out a plot development before I was supposed to. But a couple of pages later Ruff let me know that - no - I figured it out exactly when he wanted me to. I was still disappointed, but now it was in me for getting cocky.

Rating so far: Five out of five dead serial killers.

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