REVIEW: The Boring by Chad Corman

Thursday , 4, September 2014 3 Comments

coverWhat if the Earth was invaded by aliens that fed on human emotions and the only people safe were those with boring lives? My first thought was that just by trying to stay alive in such a weird world their lives would no longer be boring, and thus no longer safe, so… game over for everybody. I’m glad that the unusual ‘heroes’ avoided that fate, though.

It’s up to despicably boring and useless people to save mankind while interesting people become alien-controlled puppets. This reminded me of a beloved Spanish poem from my childhood about “a good little wolf that all lambs mistreated. There was also an evil prince, a beautiful witch, and an honest pirate. There were all these things, once upon a time, when I dreamed of a world upside-down.”

The protagonist narrates the story in first-person present tense. He is an antisocial introvert with a boring office job that just wants to be left alone and fade into the wallpaper. But the nosy people around him, he thinks, just won’t stop invading his precious bubble of solitude.

As the invasion begins we meet two more boring people. One is a very fat kid who wastes his life playing games on his computer and seldom leaves his bedroom. The last weirdo of the trio is a nasty feminist blogger.

Many dismissed her as an angry lesbian. She only admitted to the angry part. She insisted that women had been one-thousand-percent objectified by men over the years so that nothing truly feminine still existed.

Mr. Corman has earned my stunned respect by making this obnoxious character pleasant to read. Not quite a beautiful witch, but still.

So the entire planet is invaded by evil monsters that turn people into useless zombies and only those who never got a life have a chance to save mankind. And my only problem with the story is that it’s overoptimistic, because the protagonists are “outnumbered seriously, like millions to one.”

That’s over-the-top optimism if you ask me. The person with a boring life is a one-in-a-million case? But “people with happy family lives who did fun things all the time” are the 99.99%?

Because of all these things the story is very enjoyable if you take it as a brutal satire. Otherwise, it’d read as the nihilistic rant of a hopeless introvert. On the other hand, perhaps I’m overoptimistically overestimating the author…

RATING: 8/10

3 Comments
  • Chad Corman says:

    Thanks for the good review of my story “The Boring”! Just so you know, it was inspired by the Golden Age science fiction book “Sinister Barrier” by Eric Frank Russell — that’s why there are characters named Eric, Frank and Russell in it. I appreciate your kind words!

    • Mascaro says:

      I wish I had realized that it was inspired by another book, it’s always interesting to analyze the similarities and differences in a review.

  • Chad Corman says:

    Well it’s just very loosely inspired — not the same characters or even the same world. But it’s a great old book. I’d like to ask a favor: I don’t have any reviews on Amazon for this story. If you could just post your same review there, it might help me in attracting more readers. If you can’t, that’s fine. I just thought I’d ask. Thanks.

  • Please give us your valuable comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *