A message appears on the moon. It is legible from Earth, and almost no one knows how it was created. Markus West leads the government's investigation to find the creator.
The message is simple and familiar. But those three words, written in blazing crimson letters on the lunar surface, will foster the strangest revolution humankind has ever endured and make Markus West wish he was never involved.
The message is "Drink Diet Coke".
When Coca-Cola denies responsibility, global annoyance with the beverage-industrial complex becomes indignation. And when his investigation confirms Coca-Cola's innocence, Markus West becomes one of the most hated men on Earth.
Later, five miles above the White House, a cylinder is discovered floating in the night. It is 400 feet tall, 250 feet in diameter, and exactly resembles a can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. Nearly everyone thinks the cylinder is a promotional stunt gone wrong, just like the lunar advertisement. And this is exactly what the alien in the cylinder wants people to think.
Ralph, an eccentric extraterrestrial who's been hiding on the moon, needs Markus' help to personally deliver a dark warning to the White House. Ralph has a big heart, a fetish for Andy Warhol, and a dangerous plan to save the world.
Looking upon the cylinder, Markus realizes we are not the ones in control. The unexpected guest becomes the host, and somehow humans never belonged: "We are the homeless orphans peeking through the banquet window. We are the frills of the universe gazing upon something unspeakably more central than ourselves."
©2016 Christopher Steinsvold (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
Probably the most, or one of the most infuriating, but relevant, books I've ever read. It's awkward and stupid but somehow fantastic. Philosophy in a giant can of soup.
This book was written by a college professor and it shows. Very thoughtful and weird. Liked it!!!
"Philosophical Silly Sci-fi"
This one is somewhat hard to review because I'm still trying to decide what exactly it is I listened to. Really, it's two books put into one. The one book is a quirky tale of the alien Ralph who is presumably here to help humanity. This story is fairly comical and had its fun moments. The other book is a philosophy book on the nature of mankind. Personally, this didn't really appeal to me. I was listening to the book for a fun escape from my reality, not really intending to philosophize on the nature of my base motivations. To that end, these parts really slowed down the story for me. Also, to be as spoiler free as possible, I thought that it mace the antagonists cheap props to prove a philosophical point and, thereby, cheapens the story. Perhaps this was the author's intent. In the end, I did enjoy much of the book but was left unsatisfied by the ending, which I also felt was cheap.
On a bright note, Cronin did an excellent job narrating, putting on a great performance.
This is not a story that I will ever revisit but I don't begrudge the time I put into listening to it. I would say if you are on the fence about using a credit on this one, spend it somewhere else. If you're pretty sure you want to spend the credit, then do it and you'll probably be at least ok with what you get.
The description on the back of the book indicated that this would be a silly book. In some aspects, it is, but it also contains some thought provoking ideas and interesting concepts. The main character, and teacher, Ralph - maintains a silly posture throughout the book, but he does this to make a point. The philosophies presented in this book did stretch my mind and make me think. The author goes a long way to present some interesting new species, new ideas about species development, and new philosophies about the universe and why we exist.
"some fun concepts, but largely a let down"
This book has the worst, most terribly written romance scene of any book I have ever read—stilted, awkward, unbelievable... wow. It felt like it was written by a 12-year-old.
Half the book is philosophical discussions and narration explaining what has happened and why. Good editors coach their writers to "show don't tell". This author didn't get the memo. Perhaps so much of the book is spent explaining why things unfolded the way they did because fundamentally the decisions characters made were completely stupid and unrealistic.
I did however make it through the book, despite these aggravating flaws, because the premise is pretty neat, and the characters are likable, if unbelievable, and I wanted to know what happened in the end. But I definitely won't be recommending this book to anyone.
This book started out quirky and with a lot of promise. It has some unique ideas. However, it just kind of withered away about 1/3 of the way into it. It was as if the author had a great idea and a couple of opening chapters to go along with it, but then didn't know where to go from there.
"wordy repetitive crap"
the reader did a fantastic job. but there was just no substance to this book. some chapters felt like they were an exact repeat for the chapter before. I actually had to check my phone to make sure that it wasn't. I tried skipping ahead to see if it was just the middle couple of chapters but it wasn't.
"Gambled a credit and lost"
An interesting premise with loads of comic potential. This story appears to have been either published without editorial assistance or without critical advice from test readers. As a reader/listener, my suspension of disbelief is assumed by the author, instead of built and supported by plausible characters, events, or interplay between characters. Dialogue is functional and wooden. The closest I can come to describing the "hard boiled" narrative style and voice, is that it reminds me of the pig character in the cartoon Duckman.
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