Lance is a middle-aged man stuck in a loveless marriage and a life with no meaning. His sedentary existence has packed on the weight, both physical and mental, and he envies his successful and fit neighbor who may be banging his alcoholic wife on the sly. The Grim Reaper shows up to recruit Lance into brainstorming new ways for people to die.
Kirk Jones tells the story in second person, thus forcing you to take on the role of Lance. In chapter one,
Jones dumps you into Lance's life. Jones systematically tears down Lance's pitiful attempts to find meaning
in a world of soulless consumerism. Lance knows that his life is pathetic, but he lacks the self-esteem—or
even friends—to find a way out of it, so he trudges on, looking for something, anything, to jolt some
life back into him.
Fortunately for the reader, the Grim Reaper shows up in chapter two to give Lance a way to escape what
author Danger Slater perfectly
describes as "suburban ennui." Seeing this as an opportunity to escape his misery, Lance accepts.
The pace picked up, and it seemed like the story was headed in a direction I was hoping it would go, but
then it veered off into a different direction. While Jones does a fine job with second person storytelling, I
could never connect with Lance. Jones would write that you (Lance) would do something and my reaction was
always, "I wouldn't do that." All I could do was shake my head and hope that Jones would have the Grim Reaper
show up because those were the best parts.