Book review of Finally, Some Good News by Delicious Tacos.
Have you ever had one of days when you thought your life would be improved by a nuclear holocaust? I sometimes get them when a customer explains to me, like I’m a retarded child, just how I ought to do my job. Or when the water’s off for no reason whatsoever. Or when I don’t get to have sex, which I guess is every day.
Delicious Tacos, of the eponymous blog, has days like that, too. So many, it seems, that he wrote a book about it. He takes his real life, known to many of us intimately through his long-running blog, hurls some really big bombs into it, and sees what happens.
The results are quite impressive.
Mr. Tacos has a very strange problem with women – they only want him for casual sex, not for marriage and family. The end up with rich guys instead. But with all the rich guys dead, Marcy, the hot girl in the office, must take her chances with him or end up a victim of the rape gangs that round up all the others.
Everything’s comin’ up Milhouse!
As the story develops, we become aware of the background of the nuclear attack and Tacos’ somewhat inadvertent, but not entirely innocent nor minor, role in making it happen.
Did part of him know that would happen? Did he unconsciously will it upon his world? It would make sense.
Delicious Tacos is in an impossible situation. His debts will take decades to pay off. His job is an abomination. His landlady is a nasty harridan who pushes him around. His bike got stolen by Dreamers. His cat died. And here, unfortunately, we are back to the unnuked real world.
Those of us who have followed Tacos for some time know he was an alcoholic for decades, recently got clean, got a job, and occasionally has even found religion. His vices still exist but are now duller and more sexual. The problems in his life are not those of a recovering alcoholic – they are the problems of many ordinary men of his age. Debt. Cars that break down. An inability to get ahead even if he works himself to the bone forever. More than anything, a lack of love, purpose and hope for the future.
Tacos strikes me as an alternative version of myself – cooler, more charming, buffer, but a version who zigged when I zagged, and made different mistakes. So now the main difference between myself and him is that I have more money and he gets more pussy (girls see me as the serious guy, a situation I would like to reverse.) He has more talent, I have more discipline. But our lives seem somehow parallel – lacking love, purpose, hope – I know others our age who have those things, or think they do, but I reckon they’re dreaming.
Love – they’ll get divorced soon enough, or nagged to death. Purpose – well there are cults and SJW campaigns for that. Hope – some days I have it, some days I don’t.
Yesterday I didn’t. Even though it was Saturday. I woke and felt the universe pressing down on my chest, making it hard to breathe. I looked for a book to distract me, something light, remembered I’d just got Tacos’ and gave it a squiz.
The very start riffed off his earlier blog posts and my heart fell. I really wanted this to be a great book, not just an expanded blog post. But I continued and soon was lost inside it. It didn’t give me love, purpose and hope but it bloody well made me laugh, and I finished it late that afternoon. While it was very funny, I also experienced a kind of gloomy background horror at being shown the world as it is: a nuclear holocaust certainly solves a lot of our problems. Kind of like the frogs in Magnolia.
So Tacos pulls it off. He turns his real life into fiction only by inventing a catastrophe to mend it. This is a trick that works here perfectly, but which can only work precisely once. I dearly hope he will next write a novel where he is not the protagonist and in which entirely fictional events take place – because I want to read it. I couldn’t promise it would be a blinding success, though. It would no doubt be brilliant but most people wouldn’t get it.