I need to preface this by saying I liked it, but not as much as the tags might suggest. That said, I don’t think anything could live up to the premise – in the near future, aliens visit Earth and select an unlikely candidate for the singing competition that determines our fate as last place in the galactic showdown gets obliterated.
As Yoko Ono is deceased, they settle for their only available choice – Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeros, only two of the three being alive, and the remaining members not exactly being on great terms. Decibel is in the Peter-Pan never-gonna-grow-up mold, and Oort St. Ultraviolet has gone back to calling himself Omar and taken great pains to become wallpaper (in a book this weird, I should specify that I don’t mean this literally. He’s just an everyman). Will they be able to negotiate their shared past conflicts as well as some very strange aliens to save the world?
I mean, spoiler alert, yeah, but that’s not what you’re reading the book for.
We have falsely modest aliens who drag humanity with backhanded praise, we have zombie consciousness, we have a space-roadrunner, and a detached cat granted speech whose inner thoughts we were better off not knowing. We have similar-to-but-legally-distinct-from David Bowie in Decibel Jones, and very Douglas Adams humor.
It’s all quite fun, but it brings to mind that Frank Zappa quote about how writing about music is like dancing about architecture. Additionally, I think I needed more story to support the amusing ideas about what space aliens would be like and how they would differ from us. If you’re a fan of Hitchhiker’s, you should like this even if it’s a bit less grounded than h2g2.