THE BOY WHO DIDN’T DIE,
BY ALBERT ONIONS
PUBLICATION DATE: SEPTEMBER 7, 2015
In a day that was never going to be ordinary – the boy who didn’t die, will meet the man who wants kill him. Now he must try and save the hero, keep a date with the lady he might love, and if possible, settle a score with the wanker in the pink and orange tie. All before his time runs out.
I’m not quite sure where to begin with “The Boy Who Didn’t Die,” but I will say that I liked it quite a bit! This is the story of Elijah, and in the beginning, it talks about him dying as a young boy, but then the story shifts to being about what would have happened if he didn’t die. Elijah lives in Las Vegas and works at a hotel/casino place where he has a variety of jobs from serving, bartending, and on this particular day – restocking mini bars in the individual rooms. Elijah has a plan to put into action for the day, which at first is a mystery, but then the day goes in a completely different direction. With a great deal of time spent in Elijah’s mind, or I guess inner dialogue, the reader learns the events of the day and has an inside look into Elijah’s thoughts and feelings about life, and more importantly his job.
To be honest, it took me about 20 or so pages to really get invested in this novel, and here is why. Elijah frequently slips off into his own thoughts or daydreams either recalling past events or just contemplating the meaning of life, thus halting whatever action is taking place at the time. Normally, this would annoy me to death, but it completely worked in this case. Elijah does a lot of reflection about a woman he has met and really likes, a cockroach that hangs out in the minibar stock room, a man in a pink and orange tie, and various co-workers that he thrives to mess with. Without giving spoilers, I will say that Elijah has quite a bit of chemical/pharmaceutical enhancement on this day so shifts back and forth between analyzing the duties of his job and co-workers to completely left-field thoughts and “what-ifs.”
If I had to describe Elijah I would say – extraordinarily intelligent, laid back, imaginative, and honest. There’s a part in the novel where a manager is inquiring as to whether he was responsible for an incident and then surprised that he was because of the clean-up required afterward. However, Elijah quickly reminds him that he spends a lot of time at work actually trying to avoid doing any work – honest to a fault, despite the negative association to the confession.
Things take a dark turn over the course of the day with bombs, deaths, explosions, and what not – all while Elijah is tripping his butt off – but I still found this to be a very unique and poetic prose not focusing on negatives but more so on how things can go either way in life and we just never know. I was describing this novel to my husband earlier trying to find something to compare it to but really struggled. As far as authors, the only person that comes to mind would possibly be Hunter S. Thompson and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Not because of the Las Vegas part, but the bizarre, eclectic unfolding of the story. I’m not sure why, but it also made me think of the movie, “Natural Born Killers.” Again, not even remotely similar subject matter but the oddities and fading in and out between reality, flashbacks, and imagination.
“The Boy Who Didn’t Die” is not for everyone. This is not a light, happy read. It’s not a romance, although Elijah realizes he does have it bad for a woman, it’s not a suspense thriller, mystery, etc. It’s basically a portrait into a character’s mind and inner-workings, regardless of how frightening or inappropriate, and about the gamble that comes with every day we’re alive. It can be a good day or bad. You can get the girl or guy or not. You can be sober at work or not. A cockroach can scavenge and stockpile Kit Kat crumbs, or not.
For those of you looking for an escape from the norm and something completely different, check out “The Boy Who Didn’t Die.” I applaud and admire Albert Onions for his creativity and courage to think and write outside of the box and create a crazy and wild day for this character.
*Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review!