By: Bruce Campbell
Genre: Fiction, Humor, Satire
In this novel, author Bruce Campbell uses himself as his main character, navigating the reader through a fictitious film shoot. Bruce has just landed a minor role in the film, Let’s Make Love! starring Hollywood A-listers Richard Gere and Renee Zellweger, and, pretty much from the start, everything is a disaster. All of his research leads him into sticky and often ridiculous situations – everything from wrestling a thief for a pickled penis (yes, you did read that correctly) and chasing down environmental terrorists in an exaggeratedly oversized Dodge pickup, to landing himself on the National Security Watch List. Also, he seems to be bringing a little too much B-movie technique to an A-list film. Is he leaking the “B-Movie Virus” or is someone on the inside out to sabotage his career?
I’m not really even sure how to describe this novel. It is definitely comedic, oozing a sense of humor distinctly recognizable as Bruce’s by any loyal fan (myself included). I loved that I could hear his voice running through my brain, telling the increasingly outrageous scenarios. At the same time, those scenarios are what kept me from truly getting into the book. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to reading books of a satirical nature, but the more ludicrous the character’s actions became, the less I enjoyed the story.
I felt that all of his travels for “research” were kind of tossed together, and each chapter was a different research session in a different part of the country. I found myself often asking, “When the hell did he get to Washington DC? Wait, he’s in California now, what? Nope, back in New York.” As laughable as these research sessions became, the jarring jumps between them confused me. The chapters didn’t really begin to flow together until the final eight appear and a real story gets rolling.
Bruce, the main character, gets rather annoying. He has the tendency to pull innocent people into the line of fire. He often has others go down for his mistakes, or drags them along on his crazy adventures, only for them to get into serious trouble for aiding him in some way. By the end I was like, “Dammit, Bruce, quit getting people into trouble!” Also, he’s arrogant, and even though it’s in a self-deprecating way, it does get a little irritating in places. I do love this side to him normally – both in his acting and on his twitter account, but in the book, it did tend to get on my nerves.
I’m not saying this is a bad book. It’s very funny – Bruce has a unique sense of humor that has been an obvious part of him since his early acting days. It also moves rapidly once you begin reading it, but it lacks substance to me. I could put it down for days and not feel the urge to pick it back up again because, personally, the story didn’t do anything for me. It was good for a one-time read, but nothing I’d visit again.
Overall – this is a humorous little jaunt through the making of a fictitious movie. It’s good mindless fun, best if read with Bruce’s voice narrating in your head, but overall, nothing spectacular. Still, I love Bruce, and I will seek out his memoir, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor in the future.