Review: The 2011 Evgenievich Omnibus by E.D Evgenievich

The 2011 Evgenievich Omnibus is a collection of stories, Familiar Feces and Jehovah Rising, with a selection of short stories in between titled Chance Booty & November Ripples. Because it is three works in one I will be reviewing them each separately yet all in one post.

Synopsis

Two collections of outrageous postmodernist and science fiction stories; one philosophical sleazecore dystopian thriller. What more could one possibly want?

Ah yes: the worst joke in the world; the worst sex scene in the world; the worst conspiracy in the world.

Review of Familiar Feces

Not for the faint-hearted, Familiar Feces is mostly a crime novel and, as you can probably tell from the title, has a connection with faeces. I say mostly a crime novel because, like the majority of stories, there are a lot of issues touched upon including racism, politics, mental conditioning, and certain areas of the psychology of sex, all of which contributes to making this a very probing psychological read, leaving the crime as the background story.

As for the faeces side of the tale, this is where the faint-hearted comes in. Human beings are, for the most part, sexual and Familiar Feces shows the more fetid side of that sexuality with the aide of scat-play, without actually making it about being sexual or scat-play being considered as overly taboo. Rather the society Evgenievich has created is one coming to terms with, and encouraged to explore, its kinkier side.

Personally I would have preferred less description of character action, such as following all their movements when they arrive at their office, but in the same token Evgenievich was able to work more of the character’s sense of humour into the story and I appreciated that. It’s not exactly easy to get a chuckle out of me, but Familiar Feces was able to derive them from me, especially when the sections of pop music came along. I loved the pop music pieces and being able to read the very simplistic lyrics, which to me showed the absurdity of certain pop songs with their not so subtle sexual overtones, it added to the undercurrent of humour throughout the story.

I also didn’t find it necessary to have a character repeat what had previously happened, part of the story the reader would have already followed, in detail to catch another character up, even if we are able to read that character’s reaction with this process. I feel it drags the story down and slows the momentum when the usual gloss over scenario isn’t implemented, but it wasn’t something that happened often, just enough to notice.

All in all, I found Familiar Feces to be a refreshing crime story because the concept presented an element of newness and it was definitely a well-rounded mystery, but a warning must be expressed when picking up this tale, especially if you love bananas and have seen The Human Centipede. More so if the latter made you feel ill for this is not a tale for those who only ever read light to semi-light fare, but more for people who have been exposed to a level of disturbing discomfort in the past.

  • Genre: Crime-Mystery-Political It is bordering on bizarro, but only for the crime factor, rather it is far from bizarro because the story makes sense.
  • Demographic: Adult, adult and not squeamish
  • Rating Out of Five: 3*
  • Format: eBook, received with thanks from the author.
  • Find At: Smashwords & Amazon
  • Published: 2011

Review of Chance Booty and November Ripples

Chance Booty is a collection of short stories, which would be a great way for a reader to get a sense of Evgenievich’s writing style, and I found this selection to be a very entertaining read.

The stories are, to a certain extent, connected in some way. We’re introduced to a character early on with the beginning of Archie’s story, and while we are able to read other stories and come across different characters, we can also follow Archie’s journey till the very end of these tales.

I enjoyed Archie’s narrative being in the background and interwoven in the additional tales, as much as I enjoyed the variety in genres. There are dystopian tales, space based science fiction tales, less fantastical settings with a bizarro element, tales that touch on mental illness, homelessness, Western society’s inability to accept death, suicide, and more, all with Evgenievich’s probing psychological style to possibly make you squirm, think, nod your head in agreement, and question.

Several stories are connected to Familiar Feces and given certain parts of the content aren’t as unsettling at times a wider audience can enjoy Chance Booty, but there is still the factor of not being for the more sensitive or younger audiences.

  • Genre: Short Stories – Dystopia – Psychological Literature – Bizarro
  • Demographic: Adult
  • Rating Out of Five: 4
  • Format: eBook, received with thanks from the author.
  • Find At: Smashwords & Amazon
  • Published: 2011

Review of Jehovah Rising

Jehovah Rising is a piece of work I may be mulling over for awhile, waiting for a period of time to pass before re-reading it again, and possibly having to contemplate it some more. At times I’m not sure what to make of Jehovah Rising, but every so often I feel I get it, or at least on certain levels. I believe this is definitely a piece you have to read when in a particular frame of mind because it is not a light read, so far everything I have read by Evgenievich isn’t, but it’s not heavy like Notes From Underground for instance, rather I feel I have been psychologically probed to my limit.

I found Jehovah Rising to be an intriguing read and had the distinct impression after a few chapters that it wasn’t about the story or underlying messages, as you would expect, but more about the construct and influence. The author requested I read a section at the back titled style and source material guide before beginning Jehovah Rising and I’m glad I did. I recommend others read it too as it gives you more of an idea rather than going in blind so to speak.

Although I would have made quite a few connections myself without reading the guide, and did when I read at least ten pages into the narrative without it, I felt the guide made a difference and helped me to figure out what was going on. Well, at least to an extent. I rather enjoyed being able to see what materials the story was connected to while I was reading, sort of like a cross-reference and homage to well known media and literature.

I have a pet hate of repetition in what I read, I’ve mentioned this several times in other posts, but I discovered the repetition in Jehovah Rising was fascinating to me. There were several statements and phrases, mostly descriptive ones pertaining to what the character was doing or feeling at the time, which were repeated quite a lot. Normally when coming across repetition I’m accustomed to automatically accepting it as an element that should probably be edited, I make notes of repetitious words in my notebook, and I made notes of the repetitious phrases in Jehovah Rising.

Eventually it became clear to me that this wasn’t an accident; there was a purpose to it. I’m partially unsure of this purpose, but I found myself being impressed by how the repetitions could be used in several of the chapters and the exact same phrasing fit different scenes smoothly. You get pretty used to it when you’re reading the same writing style and I think this shows certain aspects of the human psyche, where we can be so easily attuned to something when we are exposed to it enough. This was only the beginning of my contemplation acquired from the act of repetition.

Jehovah Rising is also a sort of collection of short stories, but at the same time it is one continuous thread, not unlike Chance Booty and yet completely different. Another reason why I will be mulling over it for some time, I’m unsure of how to classify it. Is it a short story or is it a novel? There are so many elements I cannot convey; making Jehovah Rising a piece one must read for themselves.

  • Genre: Theology – Short Stories – Bizarro
  • Demographic: Adult
  • Rating Out of Five: 4*
  • Format: eBook, received with thanks from the author.
  • Find At: Smashwords & Amazon
  • Published: 2011

My conclusion of reading The 2011 Evgenievich Omnibus (link to Amazon) is to enjoy it when you’re in a particular mood, not expecting something light, desiring something different, are open to taboo ideals, don’t care if your mind is plundered, and be prepared for your thoughts to go in many directions.

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