A Bitter, Depressing and Politically Incorrect Work of Staggering Genius

The Uniter recently called YOU COMMA IDIOT a “bitter, depressing, and politically incorrect” novel whose protagonist is a “pathetic little man who has never really done anything with his life.” They also declared its author, Doug Harris, a genius!

More praise:

The novel is written in second person, which initially makes for an alarming read. It feels like you’re being yelled at.

But eventually you adjust to it and realize that Harris is probably a genius for writing his novel this way.

By literally being inside Lee’s head and hearing all of the horrible and hilariously offensive things he says about himself and other people, you develop a relationship with the character that reaches a level of intimacy rarely established even in first person novels.

Harris’s decision to differ his style of narrative is the reason this book will resonate with an audience of this generation.

You, as the reader, end up cheering on this pathetic little man who has never really done anything with his life because if you don’t, you’ll lose hope for yourself too.

Harris’s novel is littered with some poignantly funny remarks about the way our society has supposedly progressed that give the novel punchy cynicism: “We now live in a perfectly harmonious, racially integrated land only TV seems to truly endorse.”

Bitter, depressing and often politically incorrect, You Comma Idiot may not be high-calibre literature.

However, it is a sensationalistic read that makes a fair attempt at reflecting the apathy that young adults feel in a postmodern world where it’s hard to commit to anything.

The Montreal Gazette also praised the book, which is set in their fair city, declaring that the author “does his part to put a colourful but often overlooked corner of this city on the literary map.”

They add:

If low self-esteem is what Harris is going for in You Comma Idiot, his quirky and dicey decision to use the second person point of view pays off. It is — as it was almost two decades earlier for Jay McInerney in his breakthrough first novel Bright Lights, Big City — the ideal narrative voice for self-loathing.

Harris has an advantage common to first-time novelists: a surplus of enthusiasm. The fun he appears to be having writing this novel spills over to those of us reading it.


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