Book Review: Spit Roast by Jason Lee

When the back cover of the book contains the following: “characters undergo epiphanic transformations and all through this psychedelic journey…Spit Roast mind-bendingly transgresses the boundaries of species, sexuality and gender”, you know the reader is in for no ordinary experience. Even author Jason Lee describes his work as: “a non-traditional book in many respects.”

Since this is s website which deals with the review of football books – is this a football book? The central character John Tao is an international celebrity footballer and certainly the title of Lee’s work has unfortunate connotations for some high profile players from the 2000s. However, the author uses football as part of a vision of the future where life is more sleazy and corrupt, in a book which is a commentary in the presentation of an ugly version of what society could become.

Stylistically there are echoes of Joyce’s Ulysses, whilst there are thematic resonances with Huxley’s Brave New World and Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange.

As a reviewer, did I look forward to picking up the book each time? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, in that I was intrigued as to what style and content I would be confronted with and no, in that I just didn’t want to work that hard in attempting to understand and interpret what I was reading. The overriding feeling I’m left with is that need to read it again.

In a way, why as a reviewer would I tell you what to think about this book? Is it so that you the reader don’t have to do the hard yards? Why believe what I say? As a reviewer I could be screwing you over, just as the characters within Spit Roast are as they deal with life.

Football imitating life, life imitating football?


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