Last weekend brought prime pleasure reading weather. It was rainy and chilly, and I was spending a long weekend on a ranch. In between watching San Andreas and Fury Road, I read Bryn Schurman’s Further Complications. It was the right choice for an enjoyable “beach” read.
Further Complications bends genres at will. It’s funny, tense, and mysterious without taking itself too seriously. Think Pineapple Express, or pretty much any Tom Cruise movie from the 80s or 00s. Since it is has a lot of mystery and thriller elements, I don’t want to give up too much of the plot. In short, Marty works at a movie theater and is restless. He wants to be in a band, or do something more meaningful with his life. He’s got a girlfriend that he loves, but things have gotten unromantic for them as of late. One night, after the theater closes, Marty agrees to give his work crush (Jolene!) a ride home. On a whim, he grabs some lost keys from the theater’s lost-and-found box and pretends it’s his own muscle car to impress Jolene. Unfortunately for Marty (and maybe everyone else in his life), the vehicle’s owner is unhappy with his joyriding. To make things right, Marty has to rely on his shady friend Jerry to help him navigate the south Florida underworld. (Jerry, who also works at the theater with Marty and Jolene, is a philosophical drug dealer. He is someone that I wish I knew. As I was reading, I pictured him as Jerry van Dyke, which is completely wrong but made him much funnier to me.)
While I enjoyed the book, I am giving it 1.5 stars off just because of how it matched my personal tastes. The humor at the beginning is a little more crass than I like (think of an unedited version of This is The End), and some of the author’s influences seemed a bit cobbled together. However, I rounded up because the pacing was good, the twists and turns were enjoyable, and I didn’t quite see the end coming until – the end!