Carl Reiner will always be Alan Brady to me, the man who made Robert Petrie’s life so difficult on the Dick Van Dyke Show. The fact that Carl Reiner’s glory days were about fifty years before he wrote NNNNN gives hope to all of us poor schmucks who still want to be novelists one of these days.
NNNNN is possibly the worst title ever given to a book, though Carl seems to think it ranks up their with M. To me it was too much like a Marx Brothers routine, you left out an N-and the most important one, too!
Ok, NNNNN was not a bad book, but it was an odd one. It’s the story of a writer who wants to create his own version of the Bible story Genesis. In his version Adam is a grumpy bully who ruins Eden, Eve is a battered wife, and the two boys suffer from having to believe the outrageous lies that Adams keeps telling them about the Universe.
Ok, fine, but then we have to go and listen to the Author of this biblical rewrite as he has loud arguments with himself about, well, everything. Which leads us to a long string of wonderful coincidences in which our hero finds out more than he ever dreamed possible about his past, his family, and what really happened the night he was born.
There are a number of funny bits in NNNNN, but near the end I found myself lost in the every growing cast-who the hell are these people and why should I care if they left Eden? Oh wait, the Eden story sort of made sense-but it was mixed in the our Hero’s fairly confusing life. The suprises are the best parts of this short novel, so I don’t want to spoil it.
I liked listening to Carl Reiner read the audiobook, he did a good job of bringing people to life and making silly characterizations.