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June 13, 2024

My Rating - 4 out of 5 stars

Publisher - No Frills Buffalo
Genre - Fiction
Publishing year - 2024
Language - English
ISBN - 978-1-9536-1064-5
Pages - 313 

Please Let Me Destroy You by Rupert Taylor

Book Review - 

As I turned the final pages of Rupert Taylor's debut book Please Let Me Destroy You, I found myself both exhilarated and contemplative, a testament to the novel's powerful impact. 

The author crafts a story that is not just a darkly comic adventure but a profound exploration of the human spirit's relentless pursuit of artistic perfection. The journey of Apollo Jones, from the disastrous casino heist in Cambodia to his encounters in Saigon and LA, and back again to the jungles that almost claimed his life, is nothing short of a narrative rollercoaster that challenges the reader to reconsider the cost of a dream.

Apollo Jones is an unforgettable protagonist, marked by his physical and emotional scars, and offers a poignant commentary on the price of chasing an unattainable ideal. His initial naivety, believing he could turn a heist into a blockbuster series, is a stark reminder of the often misguided optimism that fuels creative endeavours.

Rupert Taylor's storytelling prowess shines through in his vivid descriptions and the rich and cinematic quality of his prose. Each location -  from the stream, chaotic streets of Saigon to the glittering, deceptive allure of Hollywood - serves as a vibrant backdrop to Apollo's misadventures. 

The author's ability to paint these settings with such detail immerses the reader in Apollo's world, making his struggles and triumphs feel all more real. This global journey not only adds layers of cultural and geographical depth but also emphasizes the universal nature of Apollo's quest.

The novel's dark humour and satirical edge are perhaps its most striking feature but trust me when I say - that it's not for everyone. The author deftly uses comedy to highlight the absurdities of Apollo's situation and the broader critique of the entertainment industry's ruthless demands. 

Scenes that might otherwise be grim or harrowing are infused with biting that keeps the reader engaged and often laughing out loud. This balance of dark comedy and drama is no easy feat, but the author handles it with aplomb, creating a narrative that is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.

Yet, beneath the humour and adventure, there lies a deeper, more unsettling question about the nature of ambition and the sacrifices it demands. Apollo's story is a cautionary tale about the perilous path of seeking perfection, where the line between genius and madness becomes dangerously blurred. His return to the start, facing the possibility of digging his own grave, is a powerful metaphor for the cyclical and self-destructive nature of his quest.

As I closed the book, I couldn't help but reflect on the nature of my own ambitions and the fine line between striving for greatness and embracing the imperfections that make us human. Overall, it is more than just a novel about a young filmmaker's chaotic journey, because there are many characters as topsy-turvy as our protagonist, waiting for you to read about them.  

Add it to Goodreads or NetGalley

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