I'm a big Rick Springfield fan, but I have to admit, I wasn't so sure about reading a novel written by him because, well...you know, really, what sort of writer would he turn out to be? So with my sights set low, I dived into a novel that has our main character conversing with a God who texts and answers the phone. And then...surprise of all surprises...I found myself sucked into the story and actually enjoying it. Really enjoying it. Who woulda guessed?
The basic story revolves around Horatio "Bobby" Cotton, and his unlikely conversations with a God who is at times irritating and very oblique. Through flashbacks, we get the story of Bobby, as told in the book Magnificent Vibration (which he stole from a local shop). Life wasn't very pretty for Bobby, with parents who were mostly cold and whose sister has a myriad of emotional issues. Bobby tries to hold it together, even if he is inordinately obsessed with sex and his penis (but then again, maybe not...teen boys are notorious). As the flashbacks continue, we find Bobby as a young adult adrift and not particularly motivated, who marries badly and ends up worse. Meanwhile, there's the present day version of Bobby, who finds a hot, almost-ex nun, and a rather beefy man and discovers they both have the same book. As the story progresses, some very surreal moments take place as the trio tries to figure out what the meaning is of the strange coincidences that have brought them together.
While the premise is odd, it is oddly compelling as well. Vulgar? Yep. Intriguing? Yep. I was totally drawn in by the hapless Bobby, especially in his teenage form. Springfield has a way of pulling the reader so that the oddness becomes something to be dissected rather than puzzled by. While I wasn't so crazy about the ending, I did enjoy the references to the Loch Ness monster, the deep bond of a brother and sister, and the funny view of life as evidenced by our sort of hero. Definitely worth a read and pretty interesting to boot.