Monday, October 3, 2011

Indie October Review: The Cambridge List by Robert Clear

Title: The Cambridge List
Author: Robert Clear
Publisher: Indie
Publish Date: March 2011
Source: Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You like a good dark comedy
  • You're a fan of really original stories
What's the Story?:

From "The Cambridge List is an action-packed, ever-so-English dark comedy about gods, sex and death amidst the ivory towers of Cambridge University.

James Connor thinks that murdering his former professors in cold blood is rather a bad idea. Unfortunately his head has been commandeered by a bloodthirsty family of Greek gods, so he doesn’t have a say in the matter. With Hera and Aphrodite at each other’s throats and Dionysos failing to keep order, James’s brain has become a cosmic conflict zone, and he’s worried they’ll leave it in ruins. There’s only one way out: he has to go from socially inept young man to slick sociopath fast. If only he wasn’t so squeamish about mass slaughter.

Follow the world’s least menacing serial killer on his awkwardly murderous journey through the little town of Cambridge, where ancient rituals, scheming academics and divine politics collide. And where murder has consequences unforeseen even by the gods themselves."

My Two Cents:

This book was hilarious. I love a good dark comedy and this was one of the most original ones that I've read for awhile. Be warned though that the dark comedy is not for everyone though. James is a university student who feels like he's been wronged but he doesn't think much of it, until he finds himself overtaken by Greek gods who feel like they've been wronged and want vengeance. There's quite a couple graphic/ dark comedic scenes that you should be warned of. I was fine with them as they don't seem to be in the story simply to be needlessly shocking.

The book takes on the sort of arc of a traditional Greek myth where the gods bend a mortal to do their bidding but the book has so many different twists and turns that it's anything but traditional. The story is very fast paced. The characters are great. I really liked The Muse (Museli). She kind of becomes the guide to James and helps him along the way. She's very funny. This book had a lot of moments where I actually laughed aloud, a mark of a good book. 

I did find myself wishing that I knew a little bit more about James as a character before the gods were in his head. It would have been nice to know him a little bit better.

Bottom line: this book is a lot of fun and definitely unique!


  1. This sounds like a great book and something that I would love. I also really like dark comedies.

  2. At first this didn't seem like something I'd like, but the quirkiness of it appeals to me. I'm a big fan of dark comedies.


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