Sunless by Gerard Donovan

Bereft and aimless, an ex-meth head signs up to test a new drug promising to cure anxiety of all kinds.

I picked up Sunless because it promised a Chuck Pahlaniuk-esque satirical romp through all the woes of our modern age, dressed up in off-kilter post-apocalyptic trappings and with an addictive prose style.

Instead, I suffered through a lazily written, incoherently plotted, almost aggressively aimless stylistic exercise that I had to force myself to finish reading. Thankfully it’s not very long, so I could get through it in a subway ride. There was no forward movement in the plot, and since there was a plot, author Gerard Donovan can’t hide behind the “it’s about character” defense. Nor was the prose such that I wanted to keep reading just to see what he’d do with language–while that’s not my favorite kind of read, I can at least appreciate someone who loves words and wants to push them to the limit.

No, Sunless wants to be what I initially hoped it would be, and fails miserably.

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