Do you want to know the question to Life, the Universe and Everything? Are you considering coming out of the closet to your BFF? Do you feel unloved? No? Regardless, I’m sure Clarey’s Worthless still has something for you!
The official synopsis of Worthless is rather cliché for a Victorian era novel. “Magdalene was only four when she was sent away to the orphanage. Her father – a budding architect – had disowned her so he could focus on breaking into the Neo-Gothic genre. Magdalence did not take this abandonment in her stride, and kept the pain locked away and secret. However, this isn’t the only secret Magdalence has locked away. Magdalence has decided she is a transsexual, but things have become more confusing now that she’s starting to develop feelings for her new project partner, Charles.”
Like I said, the synopsis does the book no justice. To begin with the story doesn’t follow a linear sequence of events. It jumps all over the place from the present to the past and then to the future with little warning and you are just left trying figuring how it all fits together. The story is also split across a number of different timelines, allowing us to see what would have happened if our protagonist had taken a different route. There are also a whole stack of characters in the story to flesh it out a bit. Fortunately they are generally very well developed and believable. Stacy for example hates the sound of chewing, which makes for an absolute hoot when she agrees to go on a double date to an upmarket restaurant.
Like his last book, Clarey’s unique writing style draws you into the story and challenges your assumptions. His trademark wit is well utilised as is his economic genius. However, make no mistake, Worthless is a dark and depressing tale of a girl making all the wrong decisions. The inclusion of extra timelines allowing us to see how things could have panned out had wiser decisions been made was certainly an interesting gimmick, but it did leave me with a rather chilling feeling.
On a side note, Freedom Twenty-Five has also released a book. Now, my review copy seems to have been lost in the post, so I no idea what it is about. However, judging by my past experience with Frost’s work, I’m sure it will be both informative, and interactive.