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Slacker Noir - Book Review

Slacker Noir


Author: Benjamin Chapman
Genre: Fiction - Mystery - General
Date Published: September 13, 2018
ISBN-10: 1684331315
ISBN-13: 9781684331314

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GoodReads Rating:
5.00

Book Review of :  Slacker Noir



Slacker Noir written by Benjamin Chapmen is a comically told story about Aiden S. Scholl’s search for a long lost friend turned musician. It’s a mystery, thriller, and suspense piece with a side of humor tossed-in to make reading fun. Scholl is habitually high and finds any other state of mind not natural as in Chapman’s contradictorily statement about Scholl, “smoking a joint and trying to clear my head,”  highlights the fact that Scholl is habitually in a haze but still functional.

Scholl tells his story, and as it opens, he meets a tall, dark, and mysterious woman in his filthy apartment. She’s dressed in business formal, sexy stockings and high heels. In my mind, they are blood red, and her name is Melanie Rabbit. Could this be a nod to Jessica perhaps? She wasn't bad; she was just drawn that way. Scholl is not sure what he was wearing, and has to look to make sure he has trousers on.

When this femme fatale of this Noir tale appears before him wanting him to help find a guy named “Bobby McDoogal,” he realizes through his THC infused mind that it is the one and same “Bobby” he knew back in his college days.  But why did Melanie come to him because Aiden is not a detective but just a perpetually stoned apartment manager?

In a short amount of time, we find out a lot more about Aiden.  Aid, as his friends call him rails against the societal norms of the day, locking or not locking his front door, commercialized pot wrapped in cellophane (it's legal in the 30's), against the corporate government, pants or no pants. These are all part of his slacker psyche. Chapmen makes it clear that Aid has a penchant for smoking "the weed." I love Chapman's nod to the My Little Library/Lending Library groups. I hope My Little/Lending Library is really still around in 2030’s. Chapman uses Aid's constant toking as a clever convention for the characters to flashback and gives the reader greater depth to the storyline.

By chapter three I am completely hooked. This has become a fun poke at the underside of a futuristic utopian society. Aid has a cadre of colorful friends, two of them we meet early, Crispin, who has given into the man, and Bundry, a sort of bumbling ne'er-do-well who also has a fond appetite for smoking "The Weed."

Though the mental fog of enhanced 2030 something weed Aiden and his friends fondly look back and reminisce about the good old days; the Obama campaign of 2008, cool rock bands, hipsters and their clothing, and medical cards for purchasing marijuana also known as medicine, all from the "teens." What the characters are actually referring to is the twenty-teens. Readers may find it humorous to put themselves into the future and then take a look back at how we currently live and what "cool" is now or was way back then.  Chapman cleverly leaves clues throughout the story and adds twists and turns one would expect in a great noir novel. Ricky Cruiser, a greedy real estate developer, is probably a guy you are not going to like.

Aiden expresses some very sober observations about life and money to his friend Chispin:
“Money sets you free. You need money,” Crispin added. “Ricky Cruiser is the most free. He has the most money.”

“Don’t mistake being an asshole with being superior,” I said. “Besides, he’s so not free. He has to go into his office seven days a week, sixteen hours a day.” I laughed at Cruiser. “He’s a slave of The System! They all are slaves of The System.”  
What happens to Aid and his buddies as they investigate the disappearances of Bobby M, and consume bag after bag of weed during the search?  What about Melanie and the Big Corporation with a smiley face logo? How does it all fit together? Grab yourself a big cup of Joe and read the book you will not be disappointed.


About Benjamin Chapman





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