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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

***** A Certain Chemistry by Mil Millington. General fiction.

Humor is so subjective. Remember my rant about cheating? Well, A Certain Chemistry is about cheating. Nevertheless, it had me laughing aloud.

It's the second book by the author of Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About (fourth book on my May 2005 list), which I loved, but I think I liked this one even more.

There are fewer laugh-aloud bits, which is perfectly understandable--the first book had me laughing aloud on pretty much every single page. A Certain Chemistry has a more engaging plot, in addition to the humor.

I'm still trying to figure out why I was actually rooting for Tom, who's cheating on his girlfriend of five years with an actress. I'm guessing that a lot of it is the voice and the first-person POV. Tom doesn't cut himself any slack, and even when he's rationalizing his behavior, he knows he's being a shit. It's true that everyone is the hero of their own story (curse English's lack of a singular gender-neutral pronoun!) and that's amply demonstrated here. The self-deprecating wit, and his utter inability, even when he knows he's about to do something amazingly stupid, to keep from doing it anyway, are... well, if not endearing, at least something close to it.

And the periodic interjections from God, explaining how what we describe as "love" is really just a matter of chemistry and His attempt to ensure the continuation of the species provides an entertaining framework for the story.

Millington's 3rd book is in my TBR pile. I'm looking forward to it.


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Mil Millington writes for the Guardian, where I think his articles about his quarrels with his girlfriend first appeared. Here's the link for the Guardian: http://browse.guardian.co.uk/search?search=mil%20millington

I didn't find them at all funny, so I must have a different sense of humour. It just made me wonder why, if they argued so much, they were still together. What was it that they didn't argue about?
Yes, humor is very subjective. I was in stitches about his quarrels with his girlfriend.
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