The literary world is a strange place, so fixed in its norms, so content to remain within the same playbook. That is why it’s always a treat to come across a book and an author that takes the medium into new experimental routes of discovery. Such a book is Planet Q and such an author is Peter Quinones. The brilliant concept behind this book is a showcase of interesting and strangely funny opening lines. Hundreds of “story openers” with the following question in mind – If you started reading a story, and this was the first sentence, would you want to continue reading?
Personally, this seems like a marvelous idea for a colorful, engaging, and masterful book. Some lovers of traditional literature may complain about a book full of nothing but opening lines. But, it’s the opinion of this reviewer that after reading the first few pages, even their conservative attitudes towards books may be softened.
Honestly, how can you not be captivated by a book that begins with the sentence, “We did railroad tracks of cocaine on your deceased grandmother’s bed,” or contains show-stopping sentences that range from celebrity deaths, discovers of ancient 35,000-year-old skulls, sexting with robots, and a joke about the physical requirements of being a soccer hooligan?
Of course, the book is not completely filled with just provocative one-liners, there are observations that are not only striking in their depth but there also speak to the absurd nature of the human condition. The way in which we edit ourselves and separate ourselves in an age of increasing inseceruity. If ever there was an independent book of 2022 that demands wide attention, that seems destined to be a cult favorite, and outshine many of its peers, its Planet Q.
But, the truly compelling thing about Quinones’ book is not just the original concept or its engrossing content. It’s the craft involved, the effortless way in which Quinones manages to make his book flow. It all makes a strange bit of sense like you are given access to the inner monologue of a person with an unstoppable imagination, or that the reader has landed in the middle of a citywide mix of different conversations. This is not humor for humor’s sake. This is a conversation with the audience and an invitation for them to join in on the fun. It is ancient storytelling at its best, and a book I’ll be reading again soon.
|Page Count||120 pages|
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