"Sponsored" Review + Giveaway- Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles

[Available from Viking, February 7, 2013]
In a hurry? I don't blame you. Scroll all the way down for the giveaway. 

Sometimes I'm a little hesitant to get too enthused when I receive a book to review- it's a little like when someone you barely know gives you a sweater for Christmas. I suppose it's an awkward "Why is this person picking things out for me? They barely know me!" sort of complex. 

That being said, I am happy to report that after reading Ron Currie Junior's upcoming Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles I didn't feel that way at all. In fact, this would absolutely be a book I would have bought myself. Who doesn't want to read a book about a writer who ends up faking his own suicide only to become ridiculously famous? Here's ten reasons why you too should read it:

1. He pokes fun at Nicholas Sparks- Sucker.

2. The diverse settings- A downtrodden tropical island, the East Coast, and the actual Mount Sinai (as in Egypt... not New York). 

3. The romance- Emma is the woman that stole Ron the narrator's heart (perhaps Ron the author, too) in middle school and hasn't let go. Their relationship is complicated and full of ups and downs. 

4. The sex- Speaking of Emma... Currie's sex scenes aren't awkward, but instead equally disturbing and hot (this does not mean I'd like to be punched in bed nor do I condone sexual violence, just to clarify).

5. The cover is pretty damn awesome- Note the upper right hand corner. The only thing real is Emma...

6. Gifts of teeth- Nothing says "I'm sorry" and "please call off the caballeros from beating the shit out of me" like the gift of your own teeth.

7. The father-son relationship- Throughout the novel Ron tells the story of his father's slow death from cancer, something that obviously rocked him to the very core. The emotion is just right; it's not sappy, just genuine. 

8. The robots- Did you know the singularity is near? It's going to happen, you guys. And when it does we're totally screwed... or are we?

9. The courtroom testimony- Probably my absolute favorite scene occurs towards the end when Ron is on trial. His depiction of what truth is in terms of novel writing is perfect. 

10. There's a Say Anything reference- Boom box lifting would have solved everything.

Random tidbits and jokes aside, this was a book about relationships, identity, truth, and despair. The format is different- each sort of train of thought, memory, or narrative section is told in short, unlabeled chapter of sorts that ends up making it an extremely fast read. The whole blurring of the narrator/author line is also worth careful examination.

Want to read it? Viking sent me an extra copy. In honor of the main character, tell me where you would go if you decided to fake your own death. Too morbid? Tell me what you're reading. Winners will be selected Saturday at noon. Few will enter... one will win....


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  2. What a very interesting sounding book. I don't think I have ever read or heard anything like this before. I can't decide what I think of it, but I am intrigued and your review may have just pulled me in.

    Thanks for the review!

    I have no idea where I would go if I faked my own death... I guess I would go somewhere with warm weather, or anywhere overseas since I have never left the U.S. before.

  3. I agree that the book does sound interesting. I am currently reading The Casual Vacancy ( stopped at page 73 and don't feel like continuing, so it would be great to win a new book to start reading :( ). Love your closing comments: Few will enter...

  4. I can't stop swooning over your new layout. Aren't you so glad that you did it? Looks so pretty!

    If I were to fake my own death, I'd go to live in France or Maine. I have a fascination with both. As for what I'm reading? Hmmm. Does Parents magazine count? I'm actually trying to finish Wild by Cheryl Strayed that I started a while back.

  5. If I was going to fake my own death and I could go anywhere to hide out, it'd definitely be Austria. Let the strudel eating commence!

    And I'm on book #4 of five in the Jessica Darling Series. (This one is called Fourth Comings.) But I only have a few pages left. I think I'm going to read some nonfiction next, but I'm not sure. (The last nonfiction book I read was a snooze, so I'll need to choose more carefully this time.)*

  6. I love Ron's work, too. If I faked my death, I'd like to go to the planet in Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow (a literary work, not purely sci-fi), but you meant in the real world? France. For THE CHEESE. Oh the cheese. Plus I might kind of blend in there being so much Euro this and Euro that.

  7. Thank you for your insights on Mr. Currie Jr.'s new book. If I were to fake my own death I might go to Sayulita - a little surf town in Mexico - where I would be able to stay fit in the ocean while eating mexican all the time. Possibly New York, Amsterdam or Rome where I could be easily absorbed while not running out of things to do. I'd probably grow a moustache. I just finished "News from Spain" and I am now making my way through "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" by DFW. I am going out of town in a week with my wife and am enthusiastically poised to read a copy of "Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles" - I have already pre-ordered a Kindle copy - before it releases on the 7th so that I can read it in one sitting, while away from the kids and the fray. Thanks again, and I like your taste in literature :).(If I happen to win the book, my email address is; rgitler@aol.com and I can send you my physical address off-line).

  8. Hello, so I will say this--I hope candor is appreciated--as a friend of Ron's on Facebook, I clicked on this link ready to read a new review of his book. I wasn't disappointed, and now I'm eagerly awaiting more of your reviews. So you've got a new fan.

    That said, if I had to go somewhere to fake my own death, it'd definitely be Australia. Yes, I know it only has about 23 million people--not as much cloud cover as, say, China. But here's my reasoning(s):

    1) I love Australia. Plain and simple.

    2) I have friends there, but sadly, I couldn't contact them if they knew I was...dead. I'd probably screw with them a little though and leave scrawled notes/stand outside their window.

    3) Depending on the variables of WHY I had to fake my own death, I'd want to psych people out. Some people would think I'd either just stay in the U.S. in hiding (you know, reverse psychology and all that), or go somewhere more remote. Maybe my plan is off, but I'd just go to a popular tourist spot like Sydney or Brisbane and stick it out, hoping that's like, number 25+ on people's lists to check for me. This is assuming, of course, that people are actually hunting for me or I've robbed the Louvre or something.

    4) I do a pretty killer Australian accent--not like those Outback Steakhouse commercials.

    And as for what book I just finished reading: "Await Your Reply" by Dan Chaon. Which, as it turns out, is about identity theft/confusion (in literal and metaphorical ways). It was a laborious read, no doubt, but like one of Ron's other books, "Everything Matters!" I thought the ruminations I received after the fact were well worth digging the trenches. And it's told in three parts, from multiple perspectives (kind of like EM!) to boot. So after reading that, I've got even more of a handle on dumping Jonathan Stevens for someone more exotic, maybe someone who has sun-bleached blonde hair, who has a knack for Italian language and culture trivia. Maybe he knows how to surf. Either way, Australia is where I'd go to be that person, and hopefully I'd get to read Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles on the beach, drinking a beer, looking over my shoulder every so often.

  9. You had me at "pokes fun of Nicholas Sparks".

    I just finished reading Freakonomics and am busy looking for something new to read!

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  11. i think i would want to do what ever the author has in store but i am his mom so does that count

  12. Hehe, I enjoyed reading your list of reasons why to check out this book! I remember coming across it while looking up books that were coming out this year but I didn't add it to my want-to-read pile. Am going to have to do that now, glad to hear that you enjoyed it! =D

    If I were to fake my death, I'd probably go to Mongolia. Totally isolated, beautiful landscapes...no one would think to find me there (until now)!

    I'm in the middle of re-reading Jane Austen's Emma. It's the first time I'm re-reading this book and while my impressions of it the first time were lukewarm/good-but-that's-about-it, I'm hoping the re-read will change some of my impressions of it =)

  13. Count me in Christine! I would lay low on the Grecian coast if I faked my own death. I thought maybe China, but I may be too tall and too white and stand out a bit much. Have a great weekend!