I’m reading a greater variety of authors these days, as I follow bargain offers on Amazon. This brings me into contact with more poorly written books (which I endure with greater patience than in my palmier days), but now and then I encounter something interesting.
This one, for instance. It isn’t often I encounter a book I consider a genuine original. But Silent Retribution Man by J. Sato was unlike anything I’ve read before. It’s not without flaws, but it was a fascinating exercise.
The Amazon review says the narrator’s name is Lionel Seaver, so I suppose that name must have cropped up somewhere in the text. But mostly he calls himself Silent Retribution Man. Once an ordinary lawyer and family man, his life got demolished in a day. He then found his “purpose in life” (quoting Steve Martin in “The Jerk.” He can barely express himself without quoting movies and TV shows) in getting revenge on the creeps of the world. Not the ordinary run of rude and obnoxious people, but those egregious types who take pleasure in cruelty, or ruin others’ lives for personal gain. Silent Retribution Man finds simple ways to give them a taste of their own medicine. Sometimes his activities are rather pleasant to observe, sometimes shocking. But always effective.
Until the day it goes wrong.
He tells his story to a journalist. There’s a reason why he’s seeking this publicity, and I did guess that reason before it was officially revealed. But the details were fascinating, and the ending something of a surprise.
The book had flaws. There were spelling problems, as is so often the case in novels today. And the whole story is morally problematic – but that’s kind of the point. We’re forced to confront our assumptions about what’s fair and right and just. There are no easy answers.
I enjoyed Silent Retribution Man, and recommend it for adults. Worth your time.