Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I felt thoroughly bored for most of “Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt and at no point does it really get any better. Everything is extremely predictable, stories like these have been told a gazillion times, everyone (down to their cat) is annoying and things are so unbelievable, only pure stubbornness made me finish this one.

If you want the details, read on but beware of the huge spoilers ahead!

Cameron, whiny man-child of 30 years, cannot hold a job for more than a few days, gets thrown out by his girlfriend Katie (whom he will later despise for moving on – which is exactly what he did, too), gets a loan by his aunt and goes on a wild goose chase for his father whom Cameron believes is a hot-shot millionaire and whom he intends to “milk” thoroughly for years of “abandonment”…

But wait for it, it gets better yet… Once Cameron arrives in Sowell Bay (the author seems to have refrained from more aptly calling it “Sobwell Bay”) he meets Ethan, proprietor of the local supermarket, creatively named “Shop-Way”. Ethan is the local gossip mill and sends our hapless hero to the local aquarium to try to get a temporary job as a cleaner there.

At the aquarium, Cameron meets Tova who doubles as Ethan’s love-interest upon whom Ethan would never make an active move. Tova ultimately goes on to triple-star as Cameron’s long-lost grandmother whose long-lost son Erik (drowned in the eponymous bay!) rests with the eels. Whereto Marcellus is going as well in order to rest as Tova’s “adopted child” with her biological child…

Then there’s Avery, Cameron’s love interest, who once talked Cameron’s mother out of suicide and potentially enabling Cameron to meet Avery in the first place… In the “supporting cast” we find the “Knit wits” (aptly named!), Terry, the ever-distracted head honcho of the aquarium and, of course, Marcellus, the Giant Pacific Octopus, who can’t resist meddling in human affairs: Marcellus is so smart (he can read English!) and self-aware he’d proudly blubber “Cogito, ergo sum!” if only Descartes’s book was water-resistant!

Two out of five stars!

Ceterum censeo Putin esse delendam

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