Welcome Inkers! Here at our new book club, we'll read a new novel of a different genre every month and discuss our thoughts and opinions on the plot and writing style!
December is here, meaning that the year is slowly coming to an end… as is the world itself, in Mark Labbe’s outrageously funny Science Fiction novel Kev (OMGIAG). Full of gripping twists and turns, it is a story with the potential to send readers over the moon.
If neither Humor nor Science Fiction are genres you usually go for, I hope you’ll still be willing to read the first three chapters of this book, and see if you can put it down. I, for one, was hooked. But if you’re still not ... See More convinced, don’t forget to comment, and let us know why. Discussion is what makes a Book Club thrive.
I hope you’ll all join me in saying a huge thank you to stylisticmoods, the talented author of last month’s story She Lays Down. Stylisticmoods - your heartwarming book was just what so many of us needed to get us through the November cold, and I wish you all the best for the editing process.
Since Kev is a bit longer than usual, and the Christmas holidays are coming up, the reading schedule is as follows:
December 5th - December 12th: Read to the end of Chapter 5
December 13th - December 20th: Read to the end of Chapter 10
December 21st - December 31st: Read to the end of Chapter 12
January 1st - January 8th: Read to the end of Chapter 17
January 9th - January 15th: Finish the rest of the novel
Read, comment, discuss and debate. Tell your friends. Here at Inkitt, we believe that there is nothing like a Book Club to bring readers and authors together.
Together, let us aim for the stars!
Have a wonderful time reading,
Your new moderator,
Ok. I'm happy to take the blame here, since I wrote this thing, although I don't think I really was all there when i wrote it. First, Kev is an experiment in madness driven largely by my memory problems. I have chronic memory problems, names, people, places things etc...always have. That was the start of the whole thing. I will gladly agree that pacing needs work and that some of the more confusing elements of the story could be shifted to make things more clear to the reader sooner. ... See More Lisa's comment about Kev's confusion translating the the reader's confusion is spot on. The narrator can't be trusted, because the narrator, first person, is not clearly perceiving things. Still, it can be confusing, and I know that I was aware of this as I wrote it but went on my merry way and wrote it that way anyway. As for the title, Kev (omgiag). Yes, omgiag has a meaning and should become clear somewhere in the last third or so of the book. If it doesn't become clear, I will gladly reveal it. Anyway, OMGIAG is the series title. Yeah, I wrote others in the series... A lot of them and that is a function of my brain not always working optimally. For those of you who are reading the first three chapters to test it out, know that in the fourth chapter things shift significantly. Most of the story deals with Kev as an adult, in the same utterly confused state. I had contemplated limiting the amount of print I would give to the younger Kev, but I kept things as they are now for sentimental reasons. The girl, both older and younger, was someone very close to me when I was young, a very long time ago, and some of the things her dress and mannerisms are photo images of the real person. The same goes for Clive. These were my best friends, and remain my best friends, so, yeah, I'm sentimental, and more sentimental because I've never lost those memories. Ok, putting the violin away and focusing...focused. I know there are issues large and small with the story. Some of that is really impatience on my part, some is a lack of experience as a writer (Kev was the first book I wrote.) Part of it is this kind of rhythm of thought. It reads like I think. So, really what that amounts to, is a kind of functional fixedness on my part. Now, some people would cringe at bad reviews, maybe get their feelings hurt or whatever. I don't work that way, so if you are willing to share analysis, please do so. I have been thinking about a complete overhaul, provided I can find the time and the patience to do so.
I wasn't sure whether I would enjoy this as I'm not a great fan of science fiction. It was a bit confusing at first but after reading the first 5 chapters I found myself being drawn in. I don't really know a lot about science fiction novels but I did like the humour and I did laugh. I will keep reading as I want to know what happens. It's not a book I'd normally read but it's crazy enough to keep my attention.
If you could choose between the ability to teleport to any spot in the universe, and the ability to travel through time, what choice would you make and why?
Mark says, “Kev is an experiment in madness.” Also, “ The narrator can't be trusted.” If we have un untrustworthy narrator, then we do not know if anything he says is actually happening, or if it is all hallucinations. This book could well end with Kev waking up in a mental institution, being given his meds for the day, and happily ambling off to participate in the basket weaving class. There is nothing so far to suggest that any other ending is more likely.
Lisa said, “What if ... See More Mark ... started the novel with the plane crashing into Kev's back yard? Do you think that would be a good idea?” No, because the plane crash is irrelevant to the story. No sooner does it happen than Kev forgets all about the crash, and his parents. So starting with the plane crash would mean no more than what the book already starts with.
Dawsonpb said, “Where's the hook? Why should I read this book?” My sentiments exactly. There is nothing in the book to indicate where it is going, or why a reader should care. Edgar Allen Poe’s writings are definitely strange, yet his stories always began with some solid element to ground the madness. I think it would be much better to have something concrete, and known to be true, early in the book and continue through it. Let Kev know at the beginning that he is on a quest to save the world, even if he is not sure how or why. Let his protagonists then introduce the madness, but let Kev come out of it after only a page or two, and advance his quest somehow. Give us something at which we are aiming, and a chance to believe that we are getting there.
The book is all the same, even after chapter 4. Minor details change but the main story keeps repeating. Kev goes somewhere, does something, returns, meets the girl, and someone has green tea. It never changes. The book is in a loop just as much as Kev’s memory. Sorry, but I could not finish the first five chapters. I will be dropping out at this point..
I've read chapters 1-5 but here's my take on the story so far: (Sorry if it's confusing, if you have any questions, I'll try to clarify, I write stream-of-conscious because of my short-term memory issues).
TL;DR: The first chapter was incredibly confusing, and I usually wouldn't have read on. After that, things start to clear up a little, and I am left with questions, but ones that make me want to read on, not stop reading. If you're worried about grammar/spelling, run it through ... See More Grammarly. Feel free to ask for clarity on anything I write.
Stream of Consciousness Start:
I must admit I was VERY confused by the opening of the story and the storyline in the first chapter. (I have short-term memory issues, but I can usually follow a story as long as I'm not taking a break when reading, and don't pick it back up for 24 hours). I think even a short prologue from whoever is running the experiment's POV, even a cryptic one, would make the opening a little less confusing.
The story seemed to jump around a lot in chapter 1, which had me going back to re-read thinking I had missed or forgotten something, even though I read one chapter each day, so as o be able to keep up with the storyline.
I was vaguely reminded of the endless eight sequence in Haruhi Suzumiya anime when his aunt commented that if he could only remember, then they could stop the repeating of events.
When Kev mentioned how quickly he healed while playing the dangerous game with Clive, I began to wonder if either this was some kind of computer VR simulation, or if Kev had some sort of mutant/super healing power (but then why wouldn't Clive express more interest if the latter was the case). If it WAS a VR simulation, what was the point of Clive hurting him over and over?
After meeting the girl, my next question was, is this a VR simulation, but also set in the future? Is Kev older than he thinks he is and is the girl a VR projection of his wife?
The female voice in his head and the comments made by the girl cemented that it was likely a VR experience.
Side note: I would just run the manuscript through Grammarly if you're worried about spelling/grammar. It's a considerable help, speaking from experience. Even the free version!
I like the way you describe all the different worlds they visit. I want to visit them now too!
Chapter 2 started to clear up a lot of the confusion I had in chapter 1. But honestly, if a book I picked up on my kindle or at the library left me that confused after chapter 1, I probably would stop reading it. I just wish I wasn't so confused going in. Even putting in the synopsis that it's a science experiment for his memory problems would have cleared up a lot, then I would know what to expect going in!
As someone interested in time travel, I'm fascinated by the talk of my past/your past/your sort of past travel anywhere but the true future. It piqued my interest and made me *need* to read more so I could learn more about time travel in this reality.
I've begun to wonder if it isn't entirely VR if the black box makes it hard to find him. But I'm unsure...It's entirely possible he's time traveling back, and if this universe subscribes to the infinite parallel universe theory of time, it would explain why things are similar but not always the *same* but it wouldn't explain why those around him remember everything happening over and over, and he doesn't...hmmmmm
I'm glad you explained why Kev doesn't question what's happening, why he heals so fast, etc. I was beginning to wonder why he didn't freak out or get curious.
Seeing the girl and Clive interact makes me wonder just what Clive's true roll in all this is. I can't wait to find out! It's definitely a hook to keep reading.
I laughed at the idea of Canadian extremists but not in a bad way. It just made me giggle because of how calm and peaceful most Canadians are!
Clive randomly exploding was great. He was kind of a butt to Kev, and it was a fitting end.
Love Aputi's wardrobe choice. Makes him seem eccentric right off the bat.
So...is Kev going back in time to try and save the universe, over and over? Is he jumping time streams a lot? If he is why does everyone else remember? And if it's time travel is that what the rules refer to? Or is it a VR simulation meant to help form memories, and the rules are there, so the memories are recalled organically?
Why green tea? Is there something in it that's supposed to help his memory issues?
How does The Show first with Clive and now post Clive play into everything? Does it have to do with the universe ending?
LOL hookers because they hook people in by drugging them, I love it!
Ah, the green tea makes more sense now. I thought that was weird that green tea was causing Kev to experience such strange things! I like that he invented it to help himself.
Interesting, co-creator of the universe. I'm curious about how that works.
LOL Kev made the rules that are making him crazy because he can't remember anything. I love it!
Arguing over how many types of jelly donuts there can be that's excellent.
Bad guys always have the most fun.....
Based on the first five chapters of Kev, which villain do you think is the most villainous? Click on the link to vote, and see how your opinions compare to those of other Book Club members:
After answering the poll, come back to this page and tell us why you voted the way you did! Did the way other people vote surprise you?
As an active member of this club, I too am going to bow out this month. I have several other obligations that I need to get on. I love humor, but Scifi, not so much. As a romance writer, well...I will leave it at that.
Would love to choose the book we are to read. Perhaps midway through the current book we choose the next book? Just a thought.
Starting in the middle of the action is definitely the way to go. Grabs the reader. Once the reader is hooked, the author has cleared the first hurtle!
So, I just wanted to say, unfortunately I will not be able to read this month's book... I have some other reading obligations that I need to get caught up on. But I hope to be back in January! :)
In response to Lisa's question about Kev's maturity:: Unconventional thinking can be refreshing, and twisted thinking fascinating, if the foundation of the novel is strong.. For the reading audience Mark hopes to attract, he needs to draw people into his story. It would be helpful if he foreshadowed the adult (more mature) Kev in the first chapter. The first chapter sets the mood for the story. That was my point. Hook and structure. There can be story structure, and not change Kev's basic ... See More personality. It doesn't matter how brilliant a character is if the story doesn't have an audience. It's an author's prerogative to disregard the set standards for novel writing, but breaking the norm is best done after the author has developed a following.
According to its author, Kev is 'an experiment in madness'.
Some people have said that the book is confusing, and that it would be better if Mark made what is happening more clear. This is an excellent point. However, I stumbled across this quote by Edgar Allan Poe, and I wanted to share it with you guys. This is what Poe had to say:
“Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence– whether much that is ... See More glorious– whether all that is profound– does not spring from disease of thought"
So let us settle the question. Here. Now. At this Book Club! :P
What is your opinion? Experimental writing, writing that people call mad - is this type of writing at the same time interesting and intelligent, even 'glorious'?
Or is it more important that a book communicates its ideas clearly? After all, if nobody understands what the author is trying to say, that is obviously a big problem.
Reply with your thoughts, talk to one another, and have fun discussing!
Enjoy reading new and exciting works, embrace the opportunity to share ideas and respect the opinions of other readers
Every month a new genre will be chosen and a choice of two or three books from that genre will be uploaded onto our social media accounts for you to vote on - whichever book shows to be the favourite will be read that month
Different goals will be set every month depending on how long the book is and once the goal has been achieved, we can then begin discussions (therefore, book discussion won't begin until the start of week 2)
If the chosen novel is entered into our free writing contest - in order to keep the contest fair and treat every author equally - the reads that have come directly from the book club will not affect the author's chances of winning
PLEASE remember to be respectful, supportive and helpful whilst giving feedback - sometimes it's hard to receive criticism on something you've worked so hard on so please bear this in mind before posting
Please be aware that if your comments are not respectful, supportive and helpful - your comment will be deleted without any prior notice
NO spoilers - please do not ruin the story for other readers, feel free to discuss whether you're enjoying the story or not but please wait until the goal deadline has arrived before you begin discussing plot-lines
When you have finished the novel, it'd be great if we could all leave the author a review
Make sure to join in with discussions to become a member and earn a Book Club Member badge on your profile
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