4.0 out of 5 starsA well executed satire, sharply aimed
29 December 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
The writing in this book is quite good... the author has clear command of words and wields them well to deliver double-duty satire that both amuses and provokes. I found myself hoping for happy redemption but admitted at the end Peter didn’t deserve it. The author had me thoroughly disgusted with him. Karma’s a b*#¥€, folks.
As far as I can see this is Sarah Neofield’s debut novel and what a way to start. Using her travel and blogging background she has produced Number Eight Crispy Chicken, an excellent political satire which covers migration and asylum which are two of the major concerns in today’s world. The countries in the book are fictional but Peter’s Furtivus could be either Noefield’s native Australia, the USA or the UK.
Despite her inexperience as a novelist Neofield has been very brave. Although told in the third person we follow the story through Peter’s mind. For most of the book he is the sole character, his only interaction being with assorted officials who he sees as nothing more than officious obstacles. The second character, Jeremy, features briefly but of course we only view him through Peter’s eyes so are we viewing him objectively?
It was not difficult to recognise the character of Peter, most of us can remember politicians like him. Clearly he is an expert in diplomacy and political wheeler-dealing yet he is unworldly, showing a lack of many basic skills. These shortcomings cause him to realise just how difficult life is for those migrants that his department has responsibility for.
At times Peter’s mishaps seem a little contrived and too slapstick but others are hilarious. Neofield also shows great writing skills, especially where she fills several engrossing pages describing a five minute delay in getting service. And if you feel that mid-way the story is going a bit slow then bear with it; once you reach the final third it will fly forward at such a pace the book will be finished before you know it, with quite a few surprises along the way.
So does Peter’s nightmare change his views? Well, you can only find out by reading Number Eight Crispy Chicken for yourself. As I write this review the paperback is available and the ebook is due for release in two weeks’ time. If you should need any more encouragement to buy it then look at the short video on Sarah Neofield’s website.
I don’t often fly but the next time I do Number Eight Crispy Chicken will be on my mind. For its thought provoking entertainment I have awarded a full five stars.
Book Reviewed on Whispering Stories Book Blog *I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed
You can keep your perfect characters, your heroes that overcome unsurmountable odds, your underdogs that rise up, fight the good fight, and win! Give me your jerks, your human monsters, your straight-up terrible people instead. And don’t, I repeat, DON’T save them. Peter is the perfect character to hate. He is a complete prick, through and through. From chapter one, I couldn’t wait for terrible things to happen to him! A typical conservative politician, Peter is personally responsible for a whole lot of hurt in the world, as he profits off of the displacement of people. The plane could crash and he could be the only one to perish and no one would be sad, but that wouldn’t make for a very good novel, now would it? In Number Eight Crispy Chicken, Sarah Neofield has crafted a powerful political satire in a neat little package, a perfectly bungled, beautifully wrapped gift of poetic justice. In the course of twenty-four hours, and using nothing more than a flight and a couple of mundane airports, she puts Peter through a very posh and privileged version of what the refugees he vilifies go through. And he absolutely disintegrates. I really enjoyed this book and how the main character remains true. He never sees the irony in his inability to survive being detained a single day versus what he puts refugees through. He’s a terrible person through and through and Neofield’s authentic storytelling doesn’t try to sugarcoat this with some unbelievable redemption story at the end. Instead, Peter gets exactly what’s coming to him.