Sunday, 29 September 2019

The Introvert - Michael Paul Michaud


A vacuum salesman by day, the introvert lives a quiet life alone with his dog until a work relationship and a dark secret from his past team up to create an uncomfortable imbalance in his otherwise ordered life, one that soon finds him squarely at the center of a murder investigation. With his thoughts continually urging him to make people “red and open” and to “achieve it” with his girlfriend Donna, what follows is a sometimes brutal, oftentimes hilarious, and absurdist account of the life of one very anti-social and unexpected anti-hero.


What did I think?

What a totally awesome book!  I love something a bit different and boy, was this different!  As a self-confessed introvert, I was attracted to this book by its simple cover as I've never been afraid to stand apart from the crowd, in fact I much prefer it!  Thankfully, I don't share any of the dark traits of our nameless anti-hero but, rather like my favourite serial killer, Dexter, he only makes people 'red and open' who deserve it.

I knew from the start that I was going to enjoy this book as the introvert comes up against bureaucratic red tape when he attempts to renew his drivers licence.  After queuing for 40 minutes he leaves empty handed but with dark thoughts of stabbing the clerk with her own letter-opener.  Don't get me wrong, this isn't a horror story; it's definitely more of a black comedy as I found myself giggling at the situations the introvert finds himself in, especially when he attracts the attention of his colleague, Donna.  He finds that although he can 'achieve it' on his own, it's much better when Donna helps him.

I suppose seeing the more human side of him as his relationship with Donna progresses made it easier to take his side when things go spectacularly wrong.  I actually found him a little na├»ve with almost a childlike innocence when the reasons behind his actions become apparent.  He does have a good heart but he can't control his impulses for making people who deserve it 'red and open'.

As a very literal person, which my family and colleagues will attest to, I found it quite hilarious to see how the introvert interprets things.  I don't think I'm quite as bad as him but there are some scenes with a police officer and police inspector that had me both sniggering at the audacity and silently applauding the literal brain of our anti-hero.

With an anti-hero you can't help rooting for and an intriguing storyline of a strange life and a murder investigation, The Introvert is impossible to put down once you pick it up.  At only 160 pages long, it's so easy to read this original and quirky book in one sitting, which is what I did, but I really didn't want the story to end.  Thankfully, it doesn't end there with Book 2: The Introvert Confounds Innocence already published and Book 3: The Introvert Bears Filthy Witness in the pipeline.  

The Introvert may very well be my new guilty pleasure and it's definitely a book I'd read again as I'm sure I have missed some of the nuances of this wonderful and darkly charming anti-hero.  It's the perfect book to pick up if you're at a loose end on a rainy Saturday afternoon.  Highly recommended for fans of Dexter and black comedy.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:


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