Hot Off the Presses scours the internet for newly published books from unknown authors, and saves everyone else the trouble of actually reading books to find out if they’re good or not. New posts every Tuesday and Thursday. This is meant for entertainment purposes only, not serious consumer advice. And there will be spoilers.
Sometimes you can’t let society drag you down with its pleasantries and decency. Sometimes you just want to lay your darkest desires naked before the world. Spear: Profile of a Predator is a thriller from one-man sales team for Amazon’s “look inside” feature Sinserious Brunea, in which Black Patrick Bateman fulfills the power fantasies of teenage psychopaths.
Whenever I read a book for which I am clearly not the target demographic, it would be fair for you to ask “Madeline, if a pair of Lululemon leggings and a Vera Bradley diaper bag had a baby named Conner, that baby would be less white than you,” to which I would reply “I’m sorry, was that a question?” It’s true I am often culturally out of my depth when I run my net across Amazon’s new releases. But so far it’s had little impact on my ability to enjoy a book. I don’t know who wrote the one where a man falls in love with a giant talking spider, but whoever or whatever she is, I don’t think I would have understood that story any more if she and I were twins. So I’m going into this the same way I would approach a book where an old British man lists his favorite boats, or a weeaboo walks us through his erotic entrepreneurial fantasies.
The plot of Spear: Profile of a Predator is not trying to be a complete story arc, but functions like a slice of life drama. The story jumps from one vignette to another, each time giving us a little more information about our unnamed protagonist, which ultimately proves to be the same information we got last time. Black Patrick Bateman is an elite assassin known as a predator, the result of the MK-Ultra experiments and a shadowy academy known as The Compound. Killing a predator allows a mere hunter become a predator of their own, so predators must constantly look over their shoulders. The story begins when BPB easily fends off a hunter. His “calculations are so precise it’s baffling,” which I guess is referring to the fact that he punches her in the vulva, which she enjoys. It’s hard to tell exactly, since some of the fight scenes are a little difficult to follow.
“My right elbow hits him first in the forehead for poking me in mine, knocking him out, but I grab his shirt pre-fall with my right hand and hit him 3 more times in the forehead to even the score… The 1st left elbow wakes him back up, and 2nd knocks him back out and the 3rd wakes him up again.”
From there it’s a dizzying series of events, and to proeprly describe it I might have to stretch each sentence until it’s a quivering mess. BPB roundhouse kicks people at a gas station filling up his nice car before boarding a plane full of Asian flight attendants without underwear that takes him to another mark in a strip club. There is a Fast and Furious car chase that ends in BPB’s vorpal dick going snicker-snack in some lady we’ll never see again before he kills a bunch of people with a barrel roll. There is more gleeful and highly detailed violence in Houston and Colorado involving hookers, custom weapons and cars, cocktails that Leon Phelps would drink if he ran out of Couvoisier, and designer clothes. A lady who gives amazing blowjobs wins some Grammies while our hero kills a man using Kill Bill pressure points. In Atlanta, which is made of rich people and airplanes, he looks at a woman “through $8200 Cartier shades” from the door of his house that is oops all aquariums. The Compound taught him self actualization, manifesting the imagination, and how to unlock his full spiritual, physical, and mental potential, unlike regular schools that teach the pledge of allegiance. He can’t believe that Bryce prefers Van Patten’s card to his. He applies his chess genius to taunting his brother-in-law about boinking the man’s sister. He does 1000 pushups. He beats up a cowboy. He knocks up a woman who gets murdered in Paris, Italy. Bear skin rug. Scuba escape. Nickel plating.
Eventually the whole thing becomes a blur or blood, wish-fulfillment descriptions of expensive consumer goods, sex with women who are introduced with their measurements, and the humiliation and emasculation of any man who is not BPB. The clothing items all get price tags, which quickly lose all meaning, like children arguing about what is the highest number. The car specifications were lost on me, but I’m guessing that the cars are very good at going fast a bunch. It’s the same handful of facts about BPB’s life over and over, which suggests we’re supposed to be getting something out of reading all the details of how much his boots cost and what part of the face he shot someone in. But for all the detail we get, the prose is still more tell than show. We’re constantly told that he is awesome or his fish tank is “way more magical than you have ever seen,” with occasional gems of description like “I’ll leave it to your imagination” or “If you don’t believe me, Google it.” This is disappointing, because the whole book reads like the first-person version of what Chad gets up to in incel fanfic, and those dweebs can’t wait to give all the sordid details. I feel like I’m waiting for the scene where it’s all in his mind, or the camera pans out to show him talking to a prison psychiatrist or something.
This is the regularly scheduled part of our program where we ask ourselves if this is all a joke, a deliberate satire about violent power fantasies, like an X-rated Brock Samson from the Venture Brothers. The vicarious thrill of over-the-top violence is muffled by the noise of the author licking his lips every time there is a description of murder/cars. I tried to find some indication that this is all a joke, but what I realized is that anything I would interpret as a nodding wink to the audience that this is all too ridiculous to be taken seriously, is just every line of the book. It’s Schrodinger’s Parody, in a simultaneous state of taking the piss out of itself and being dead serious. That alone could make it worth the ride, assuming you’re not a delicate petunia like me who winces every time someone in a movie tests the sharpness of a sword with their thumb. But I have to warn you about the price. Ten dollars for an ebook is simply too much. If you ever find Spear: Profile of a Predator on a steep discount, snatch it up to get your fill of wanton murder and Ducatti descriptions.
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