Title: YOU comma Idiot
Author: Doug Harris
Publication Year: 2010
Source: Review copy from the LibraryThing EarlyReviewers program
From the cover:
“You’re the kind of guy who falls in love after one date.” Marginalized and alienated, perennial fuck-up Lee Goodstone is a resounding zero: a low-rent hash-dealer with delusions of inadequacy. He’s content to while away the hours of his life drinking, smoking, hanging out, playing the occasional game of hockey, and generally ignoring the world outside his tiny neighbourhood. But Lee’s near-idyllic existence is about to grind into second gear. His friend Henry has been accused of kidnapping and Lee’s been cornered by the local media. Another friend has decided to shoehorn his way into Lee’s drug business. And he’s just made it with his best friend’s girlfriend. Clearly, Lee needs a Plan B – not easy for a guy who long ago decided that the correct plan of action is to have no plan at all. A hip, comedic novel, Doug Harris’s YOU comma Idiot is a dark, demented, deeply delightful excursion into youthful alienation and ennui.
Yanno, this book was a much more interesting read than I originally expected it to be.
At the beginning of YOU comma Idiot, I didn’t really feel any sympathy for Lee. In fact, he kind of annoyed me. He made some funny comments and observations, and the actual narration of the text was interesting, but he as a character just pissed me off. He was lazy, unmotivated, and seemed to revel in it – definitely not the kind of person who would interest me in real life.
But there was also something about him – not an innocence, really, but a sort of friendliness, that made me want to keep reading. And I’m glad that I did; the plot picked up fairly quickly, and I found myself more and more interested in the goings-on of Lee and his small group of friends.
Now, I’m not exactly saying that this is a high-energy, action-packed adventure story (because it’s not), but I found myself more and more engrossed in the story the farther along I got. Harris writes with just enough of that “Canadian” feel for me to enjoy reading about his characters and what they go through, but it also has a bit of a darker, more contemporary feel.
YOU comma Idiot isn’t going to win any awards or become the “next great Canadian novel”, but it’s fast-paced, quirky, and entertaining.