The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How to Succeed in Evil (and avoid Watchmen)

I highly recommend against seeing Watchmen, for a variety of reasons that I don’t feel like going into here. However, if you feel the need to get your fix of the superhero genre and you want it in an unusual form, you may want to check out the book that the film is based on, or, better yet, try something new.

Patrick McLean, whose mp3 site and podcast The Seanachai consistently contains some of the best short audio fiction I have had the privilege of hearing, has revamped his on-going story How to Succeed in Evil, the story of Edwin Windsor, the world’s first efficiency consultant to supervillians. The back-episodes contain the story as it originally developed (as well as a couple of side-stories, one of which features a voodoo priest and his army of zombie laborers), and the new episodes contain the new incarnation of the story, as an audio novel.

How to succeed in evil is humorous, though not typically laugh-out-loud funny. Neither is it a straight-up-parody of superhero stories. It is its own animal, and it is a delight to listen to. Should Mr. McLean have the novel published, I will be sure to buy a copy. However, nothing beats listening to the author read his own work.

Actually, if you get a chance, read the Watchmen book (but don't see the film), and then listen to How to Succeed in Evil. They make for an interesting pairing.

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