The Orange Eats Creeps was a book that I’ve been intrigued with for a while, if only because of the unusual title and blurb. I was definitely getting a Chuck Palahniuk vibe from it, so I was kind of looking forward to it, but otherwise I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into.
A girl with drug-induced ESP, one of a group of self-described slutty teenage vampire hobo junkies, describes her life hitching rides across the Pacific Northwest. While her companions seem content to slum around gas stations and convenience stores, she intends to use her ESP to try find her runaway foster-sister and establish whether she has been murdered or not.
I still have very little idea of what happens in The Orange Eats Creeps despite having just finished it. Of all the books that I could have read as an audiobook, this one seems the least suited for it. The problem is that the book has a very strong voice, but a significantly weaker grasp on plot and continuity. So there’s a distinctly teenage-style voice narrating a series of very similar scenes at convenience stores, punk concerts and scuzzy shared digs, which makes it all start to blur into an indistinguishable morass of sex, drugs and teenage apathy. I’m all for a strong voice in writing, but it needs to be grounded in something like character or plot, otherwise it’s the literary equivalent of shouting into the void. Maybe that’s appropriate for this book, but it doesn’t lead to a particularly fun time.
A strong voice, but it doesn’t have the same strength when it comes to plot or characters, or anything else that you are likely to care about. Admittedly, this was possibly the worst choice of novel for an audiobook, but it made for some serious spacing out moments. 1.5/5
Next review: Silent City by G. R. Matthews