From Andrew Leon, author of "The House On The Corner:"
If you've ever wondered what Douglas Adams would have been like if
they'd locked him in a room for weeks at a time to get him to write...
oh, wait, they did lock Adams in a room for weeks at a time to get him
to write. Okay, if you've ever wondered what Adams might have produced
if he'd been locked in a room for weeks at a time with only Twinkies and
Jolt cola, you should read "Santa, Godzilla... You know, that's just
too long to keep typing; let's just call it SGJWIB. It has that same
frenetic energy that Adams has only weirder. Yeah, I know; how can you
get weirder than Adams?
Does SGJWIB have flying couches or
falling whales? No, but it does have carnivorous trees, and that's
saying something. It's also saying something that it really is a
Christmas story. Or Xmas, as Briane says it. Or, really, an origin of
Xmas story. Except a sci-fi, futuristic story that somehow takes place
in the past so that it is an origin. You know, "A long time ago in a
galaxy..." No, wait. "A long time ago, right here on Earth..."
Mr. Pagel manages to weave all of the essential elements of our
Christmas traditions into a linear story. There are the trees,
mistletoe, Wenceslas... I think he missed the wise men, but he gets a
lot of it in there. No, it doesn't always makes sense, but, then, that's
why it reminds me of Adams. I mean, if I could fly because I somehow
got distracted from hitting the ground while falling, I would totally do
that! And SGJWIB has those kinds of leaps.
Here's the thing, if
you're not someone that likes Douglas Adams, first, "what's wrong with
you?" and, second, you probably won't enjoy Briane's... almost book.
However, if you do like Adams, as I do, you should definitely give
SGJWIB a try. At a buck, you really can't lose.
The story is wild
and crazy enough that there's not much you can say about it in a
critical way. It's one of those things you like or you don't like. I
happen to like. I'd give it an A except for one thing: the ending. It
felt a little like Briane decided it was just time to end the story and,
so, just did that. It's rather abrupt. However, he adds in a twist that
makes it (mostly) okay. It's one of those kinds of things that Briane
seems to like and leaves you wanting to say, "So... what actually
happened here?" But he doesn't answer those questions, so you'll have to
decide for yourself.
Anyway, it's a fun read, and I give it a B+
to an A-. I need to reread it before I can make a firmer decision than
that, but I'm in the middle of something else at the moment and don't
have the time. The link to make the purchase is back up at the top of
the post, and, like I said, if you like Adams, for a measly $0.99, you
really can't go wrong.